Well, that’s that. After Mercedes dominating the 2014 F1 season, we’ve finally seen them beaten purely on pace. Vettel’s drive in his Ferrari at the Malaysian Grand Prix was nothing if not inspiring, igniting the start of a multi-team race for the title that we didn’t get to see at all last year.
After the domination of the Mercedes team in 2014, it is refreshing to see them being overtaken. Vettel’s Ferrari was unstoppable in the Malaysian heat, and his team mate Kimi Raikkonen was also flying despite picking up a puncture on one of the opening laps. In the end the two Ferraris finished 1st and 4th, a strong performance for a team who came out of the 2014 season with no race wins, only two podium results and an awful lot of work to do.
There have been massive changes and restructuring at Ferrari in preparation for the 2015 season – chairman Luca di Montezemolo resigned midway through the 2014 season and was replaced by with Sergio Marchionne, while Maurizio Arrivabene has replaced Marco Mattiacci as Team Principal. Vettel jumped across from Red Bull, with whom he won 4 world championships, and on Sunday it was great to see the German driver looking far more passionate and cheerful than he did towards the end of his tenure at Red Bull.
As a reasonably big F1 fan, this change up could mark the end of the domination that Mercedes experienced last year, and for me (and, I guess, a lot of other F1 fans) that would be just fine.
With the Mercedes cars lapping a second a lap quicker than the rest of the field in 2014, it became almost certain that each race would be won by either Rosberg or Hamilton, with the rest of the teams fighting over the third podium spot or the remaining points.
We’re not far enough into this season to see if Malaysia was a fluke on Ferrari’s part, or the track conditions simply favouring the prancing horse above the Mercedes, but if this is the sign of things to come then the 2015 season is going to get a whole lot more exciting, and I for one can’t wait.