The German chose to stay out during an early safety car period and assumed the lead. Vettel then made a two-stop strategy work while Mercedes did three stops with Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. It proved to be the wrong call for the world champion team as neither Hamilton nor Rosberg had the pace, tyre longevity or enough laps to catch and pass Vettel in the final stint.
It was Ferrari’s first victory since the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix, and Vettel’s first since that year’s season finale in Brazil.
Kimi Raikkonen recovered to a strong fourth in the second Ferrari having dropped to the back of the field following a puncture sustained in contact with Felipe Nasr’s Sauber on the first lap.
Scuderia Ferrari: Sebastian Vettel won the Malaysian Grand Prix for Ferrari at the wheel of his SF-15T. Having started from second on the grid, the German managed to finish ahead of the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. His team-mate Kimi Raikkonen finished fourth, after having to make an unscheduled pit stop on lap 2, because of a puncture. He then fought his way back up the order to finish just off the podium. The Formula 1 circus will be back in action after a two week break, at the Shanghai circuit in China.
|7||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m39.085s|
|8||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1 Lap|
|9||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1 Lap|
|10||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1 Lap|
|11||Romain Grosjean||Lotus/Mercedes||1 Lap|
|12||Felipe Nasr||Sauber/Ferrari||1 Lap|
|13||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1 Lap|
|14||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1 Lap|
|15||Roberto Merhi||Marussia/Ferrari||3 Laps|
View full gallery here.
From motorsport.com – Kimi: “I think it might be the conditions,” said Raikkonen of Ferrari’s form. “It was very hot and that’s good for us, but I think even in Melbourne if we could have got behind them [Mercedes] at the beginning I don’t think they would have pulled away a lot. We know that we are not exactly as fast as them over one lap, but we are working on that. But comparing where we finished last year and where we are this year it’s a big step. I think we did the maximum we could after that [being hit and punctured by Nasr]. There’s not much that I can do when I get touched from behind. It is what it is. Luckily there was a safety car and we had pretty okay speed although we had had damage from the car flapping around. Like I said, we did the maximum that we we could. It’s a very good result for the team with the win.”
From autosport.com – Kimi: “We’ve had a very poor weekend in the sense of things going wrong. I got a very bad start, wheelspin off the line and then the first corner I didn’t get a very good positions and lost some places. Then I gained some positions and was catching people, but then I got a puncture at the last corner so I had to do the whole lap. Luckily we had a safety car so that helped. But then I don’t know what the guys in front of me were doing because they were not going full speed to catch up so we were like one straight behind. I was asking if I could pass them but there was some confusion with the Sauber in front of me. That didn’t help either. Obviously for the team it’s a pretty good result. It could have been better but I think we did the maximum with what we had today.”
From ferrari.com – Kimi: “We had a pretty poor weekend in terms of things going wrong. I had a good speed but in qualify it didn’t go well and then today, after a poor start where I had too much wheelspin right off the line, I found myself fighting with all the other drivers and I had a puncture on the rear left tyre while battling Nasr at the last corner, which means I had to go one full lap before coming back to pits with no tyre. At that point my floor had got a little bit damaged, I had to do a full lap with no tyre and then, even if the safety car helped us, I had to start from way back behind. We did our best and the forth position was the maximum we could achieve. The win of Sebastian is a very good thing for him and for the whole team , knowing how difficult the last year has been; it’s a very good job what the team has done. We knew from winter testing that we have a good car, so it did not come as a total surprise, and probably the track with these high temperatures suited us. I don’t know how it will be in other circuits, but the car has been strong so far, not yet as we want but we have a good package, and we are getting stronger”.
From espn.co.uk – Arrivabene: “I have to say the discipline of the guys was amazing and the job of Seb was unbelievable. I have to congratulate also Kimi because he caught bad luck but still, from last position, was able to do a good job. During the race I was thinking about the briefing of this morning and I was looking at the discipline of the guys, drivers, engineers, and how they were working like a Swiss watch. But in this case it was a perfect Italian watch!”
Onboard Raikkonen – Puncture
Report – “Forza Ferrari!” the Italian accent might still need some work, but this was Sebastian Vettel’s happy radio message to the team on his slowing down lap, as he made it to the podium in his debut race for the Prancing Horse. It was the Scuderia’s first podium since Fernando Alonso finished second in last year’s Hungarian Grand Prix and it was Vettel’s first since a third place in Japan, also in 2014.
The season started with a Safety Car, as Maldonado’s Lotus spun and crashed at Turn 2 on the opening lap, leaving plenty of debris to deal with. By then we had already lost Magnussen and Kvyat who had problems on the way to the grid and, of course the two Manor cars were not there either. The Mercedes duo led off the front row, followed by Massa in the Williams. Kimi and Sebastian were behind the lead trio, but the Finn’s Ferrari found itself trapped behind Massa and dropped to eighth.Once the Safety Car came in, Vettel managed his race to the end and thanks to a well planned strategy, he was able to get ahead of Massa at his pit stop on lap 24.
Kimi’s race was complicated by a problem with the left rear wheel, during his pit stop on lap 16. Trying to make up for lost time, he put in several fastest lap after fastest lap, passing Verstappen on lap 27, he was fifth and set off in pursuit of Massa. Unfortunately, there was a problem at his second pit stop, again with the left rear, which resulted in the Finn having to park his SF-15T at the side of the track.
Sebastian Vettel’s third place is a great reward for all the hard work over the winter and a great incentive to learn lessons from the weekend and mount an even stronger challenge in a fortnight’s time in the heat of Malaysia.
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1 Lap|
|7||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1 Lap|
|8||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber/Ferrari||1 Lap|
|9||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Toro Rosso/Renault||1 Lap|
|10||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1 Lap|
|11||Jenson Button||McLaren/Honda||2 Laps|
|-||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||Retirement|
|-||Kevin Magnussen||McLaren/Honda||Not started|
|-||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||Not started|
|9||Carlos Sainz Jr.||2|
Official Team Statements
Kimi Raikkonen: “Shortly after the start, someone hit me from behind. Then I felt another contact on my right side, but I don’t think it was Sebastian’s car. The impact activated the anti-stall system and did some damage to the floor of the car. We were very quick in the race, able to catch the Williams and to fight for the podium: but then there were problems at both pit stops. I don’t know exactly what happened, but I know I lost something in terms of downforce. However, my team-mate’s podium is a great result for the team. Already in qualifying, despite my mistake on the quick lap, we knew we had a good car. And in the race, the gap to the Mercedes seemed less than on Saturday. It’s simply that, today, everything happened to me.”
Maurizio Arrivabene: “I’m only half happy today, because the real joy comes when you win. I am happy about the podium and for Seb, but above all I am pleased for the team, because this is a good starting point, although it’s definitely not the end of the road. I am sorry for Kimi, because everyone could see how strong he was in the race. But at the second pit stop, there was a problem with a wheelnut on which the threads had already been crossed during the first one. We realised there was a possible problem and we decided to stop the car immediately, because safety is the number one priority. Looking to Malaysia, we will keep our feet on the ground, because the Albert Park is a rather unusual track. If the second Williams had also been racing today, there would have been a clearer picture of the opposition we face. But now we have realised we can do well, we must begin to stop thinking about being “second best” and start aiming higher.”
Team radio – Kimi: “Did you leave the rear loose?”
“I got hit by Sainz on the rear wheel, the floor got damaged at the rear,” Raikkonen explained after the race. “I then got hit by the Sauber quite heavily so it damaged the front wing.”
The early incident could have derailed Raikkonen’s race but Ferrari switched him to a two-stop strategy, which seemed to be working as he scythed through the field in his middle stint. He set several fastest laps before his second pit stop but then his hard work was undone when Ferrari failed to correctly fit his left rear tyre on lap 40.
“I’m not very happy right now but I still believe in the race we are not too far away from Mercedes [on pace]. Obviously it depends on the race and what they do, we just had too many things not go our way today. I am sure we can be up there and fight at the front, so obviously we need to improve in qualifying as they are ahead of us by some margin. Things didn’t work out this weekend.
“We had the speed for a podium, even with the issues we went through after the start, we could still challenge the Williams at the end of the race, but it didn’t happen. I think we had a good car in qualifying, so we should have been higher up. Even with the damage with the floor from the rear when we got hit, the car was still fast. I strongly believe that we have a good race car, a fast car, I think the gap in the race is much smaller than in qualifying. Too many issues and an unfortunate thing we didn’t finish.” [espn.co.uk]
Cross-threaded wheel cause of pit-stop problem: As he brought his car to a stop Raikkonen asked his team “did you leave the wheel loose?”. “Unfortunately the wheel was not tight,” his engineer replied, “I’m sorry, Kimi”.[f1fanatic.co.uk]
Ferrari has escaped punishment from the Formula 1 stewards for releasing Kimi Raikkonen from his second Australian Grand Prix pitstop with the left-rear wheel not properly attached.
Raikkonen stopped at Turn 4 on his out-lap after the problem – caused by damage from a cross-threaded nut at an earlier stop – was detected, costing him a likely fifth-place finish.
But while unsafe releases usually lead to teams being punished, FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer accepted that the car was not sent out of the pits in an unsafe condition.
One of the crew on the left-rear corner of the car did signal that there was a problem when Raikkonen’s car was released.
But the stewards, including Le Mans legend Tom Kristensen, deemed that Ferrari had monitored this situation closely and stopped the car as soon as the data and Raikkonen confirmed there was a definite problem.
“The team explained that the system used to monitor the pitstops gave no indication that the car was in an unsafe condition when released and the team caused the driver to stop immediately [once] the problem was apparent from the driver and telemetry.
“The team had paid close attention to the telemetry after the actions of the team members involved in the pitstop and further that the FIA technical delegate accepted the car was not in an unsafe condition when released.
“The stewards took no further action.”
Team principal Maurizio Arrivabene was seen talking with the pit crew after the incident, which he stressed was primarily to ensure the team remained focused.
“I went down into the box first of all to calm them down because I didn’t want them to panic,” he said.
“Second, I was asking the mechanics what had happened and if he could explain it to me.
“I simply said to him ‘calm down, be focused, don’t worry'”.
“I got hit by Sainz on the rear wheel, the floor got damaged and the rear,” said Raikkonen. “The car went into anti-stall because of that, then obviously I was slow before I could get the gear in, then I got hit by the Sauber quite heavily so it damaged the front wing, but it was the Toro Rosso of Sainz that started everything.”
Sainz admitted responsibility for the incident.
“I just know that I braked a tiny bit too” late, probably a bit too encouraged by the great start I got, and unfortunately I hit one of the Ferraris. I’m sorry for that. But lesson learned,” he said.
Kimi Raikkonen explains his tyre strategy: “The first corner shit pretty much made the plan to move around…”
— Adam Cooper (@adamcooperF1) March 15, 2015
Report – It was not the best of days for Scuderia Ferrari in the final Grand Prix of the season here in Abu Dhabi. Fernando Alonso finished ninth and Kimi Raikkonen came home tenth. Both drivers got away well, the two of them making up two places, coming round at the end of the opening lap in fifth and sixth places. Shortly after that, Fernando passed Kimi and made his first pit stop, followed next time round by the Finn. However, coming in early did not work out for them as they lost a lot of time in traffic, finding themselves just outside the points as the first run of stops ended. Not much changed in the middle stint and with 15 laps to go, Fernando was tenth, one place ahead of Kimi.
Towards the end, as Nico Rosberg slowed to finish 13th, it promoted Raikkonen into tenth place for 2 points. At the end of the race, both drivers thanks the team, Kimi looking ahead to next year and Fernando saying his farewells. “You are all special people, thanks to all of you, I will miss this team a lot.”
|4||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault|
|6||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes|
|7||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes|
|8||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull/Renault|
|12||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso/Renault|
|-||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault|
FINAL DRIVERS’ STANDINGS:
FINAL CONSTRUCTORS’ STANDINGS:
#Kimi7 on the team radio: “Tough year guys, but thanks a lot for all your support, we’ll get it back!”
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) November 23, 2014
Kimi Raikkonen: “It was a very difficult race but we knew right from the beginning that this track would be tough for us. The start was good but then, at the first stop, I already lost a few places and from then on I couldn’t move up the order. The car handled well and I had no particular problem, but today we lacked the speed we needed to attack. All season we have faced a series of difficulties which we put a lot of effort into solving and we learned a lot from that. We know which direction we need to work in to be competitive as soon as possible and I have absolute faith in the team.”
Marco Mattiacci: “This race was the epilogue to a difficult season for the team at the track and for all the men and women of the Scuderia back home. It’s the last day of a season that saw the beginning of a technical revolution that required a different approach and work methodologies and it was a year that presented a steep learning curve for all of us. Unfortunately, the result here in Abu Dhabi reflects the performance level seen in recent races, even though Fernando and Kimi fought all the way as always, showing just what they are capable of. On behalf of the team, I want to congratulate Lewis Hamilton on his fantastic win and I also want to once again thank Fernando, while regretting that we never won the title together. Nevertheless, we had the pleasure of sharing unforgettable moments that are now part of Ferrari history. I also thank Kimi, who this year has patiently dealt with a car that was not easy to manage and I am sure we will soon see him able to express his great talent. Now we are continuing in a methodical and disciplined fashion with the work behind the scenes in Maranello, so as to give our drivers a competitive car with which we can return as soon as possible to the top level of this sport.”
Pat Fry: “First of all, we must congratulate Lewis Hamilton for a well-deserved second World Championship title. For us it was a complicated race from start to finish and our final result was a confirmation of our qualifying performance. Over all 55 laps, both Kimi and Fernando struggled with little reliability problems which affected their cars. Having gained two places at the start, we had to make the first stops very early because of tyre degradation. That put us back out in traffic and unfortunately, our management of the power units and the tyres meant it was difficult to make any overtaking moves. After such an intense last race now we turn all our attention to the work that awaits us, beginning with next week’s test, aimed at getting started on next season as soon as possible.”
Report – Scuderia Ferrari drivers, Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen finished the Brazilian Grand Prix in sixth and seventh places respectively, after staging a great duel, which saw them swap positions with only a few laps to go.
Everything went smoothly for Fernando at the start, as he maintained eighth place, while Kimi emerged from the Senna Esses in 12th place. The first pit stop came very early, as the Soft tyres degraded very quickly, after track temperature had exceeded 50 degrees. All the drivers tackled the second stint on the Medium tyres, which were clearly more consistent, to the extent that Fernando and Kimi extended the stint, making up places before their second stops. Kimi had a really strong race pace at this point, which, while the pit stops were on, saw him run as high as third.
However, the Finn’s stop was slow because of a problem with the front jack, but Kimi didn’t give up, lapping quickly and consistently, so the team decided to run him to the flag without a third stop. Therefore, with Alonso having stopped three times, the two men found themselves running together and they put on one of the most thrilling duels of the day, fighting wheel to wheel but perfectly fairly. In the end, because his tyres were more worn, Kimi had to give best to Fernando, but finishing seventh, having completed one less stop than the rest.
|5||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull/Renault||51.420s|
|8||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m03.934s|
|10||Valtteri Bottas||Williams/Mercedes||1 Lap|
|11||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1 Lap|
|12||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus/Renault||1 Lap|
|13||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso/Renault||1 Lap|
|14||Esteban Gutierrez||Sauber/Ferrari||1 Lap|
|15||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1 Lap|
|16||Adrian Sutil||Sauber/Ferrari||1 Lap|
|17||Romain Grosjean||Lotus/Renault||8 Laps|
|-||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||Retirement|
Kimi Raikkonen: “Overall, this has been a positive weekend and even today in the race, I felt very good in the car. During the second stint, we realised that if we went for a two stop strategy, we could make up ground, but then, at my second pit stop, I lost valuable time and that cost me some places. In the final part of the race, I had to fight off Button for a few laps and when Fernando caught me, tyre degradation meant I couldn’t fend him off. We leave Interlagos with a good feeling and even if we still have a lot of work ahead of us, this continued progress makes me confident for the future.”
Marco Mattiacci: “I believe this weekend ended on a positive note for the team, with both our drivers finishing higher than their grid positions to bring home important points. With Kimi we decided to risk putting him to a two stop strategy and he was able to show that, if he feels comfortable with his car, he can get the most out of himself in terms of managing the tyres. We are disappointed to have lost a few seconds at his pit stop and we take away the lesson that we must improve in every area that can affect performance. As for Fernando, he produced an equally perfect race and in the late duel with his team-mate he was clear headed and precise in his driving. Clearly, fighting for the places we secured today is not our aim, but the team continues to improve day by day as we work on getting back to fighting at the front of the field.”
Pat Fry: “Like the majority of the grid, today we were planning to run a three stop strategy, as we knew that the increase in temperatures, the nature of the circuit and the abrasive track surface would impact heavily on tyre behaviour. Managing the two compounds was extremely complicated, with an early first stop to get rid of the Softs, because of graining, to take on the Mediums which degraded rapidly but in a more linear fashion. The decision to switch Kimi to a two stop paid off as, surprisingly, he was able to run consistently for no less than 36 laps. Fernando found himself fighting with Vettel in the Red Bull, who probably had a bit more pace today, but taking sixth place along with Kimi’s seventh, gives us a reasonable margin in the Constructors’ classification over McLaren. Overall, it was a positive weekend and, in future we must ensure we get on top of any reliability problems, like the ones we’ve had over the past few days.”
Alonso – Zero frustration over Raikkonen battle:When asked post-race if Raikkonen’s defending prevented him from finishing higher than sixth, Alonso said: “No, I’m very very happy – zero frustration.”The most important thing was not the battle with him, it was the battle with the other teams and we got some good points for Ferrari today.
“Even if I could have overtaken Kimi a little quicker I had to save a lot of fuel in the last couple of laps so a battle with Sebastian was never a possibility.”
Alonso said that he was pleased to come out on top in the battle with Raikkonen.
“Finishing in front of him always gives satisfaction,” he added.
“This weekend I managed to finish in front in qualifying and in the race after a weekend where I struggled a bit with some mechanical issues.
“It was definitely a good experience – I had one more stop so I had to recover 21 seconds.
“I had fresh tyres so I had the advantage in the last battle.”
Raikkonen described the dice as “normal racing” and said that he did not feel the battle had cost Ferrari anything overall.
“It’s the same points for the team, and at the end of this kind of season it makes no really big difference for myself or the team as we get the same points [whichever driver finishes ahead].”
Vettel on passing Raikkonen: I have good memories of T6. Passing is only possible if the other cooperates. With Kimi, I know what he’s doing
— Sebastian Vettel (@FansOfSebVettel) November 9, 2014
Jenson Button “My great fight with Kimi – you always push to the limit with him, but you never go over it – so I enjoyed that very much” #F1
— Connor (@cmckinleyF1) November 9, 2014
Button and his engineer full of praise for Raikkonen’s efforts in making the 2 stop strategy work #F1
— Connor (@cmckinleyF1) November 9, 2014