Key Strategic Moment
Undoubtedly the turning point of the Malaysian Grand Prix was the safety car on lap four, which the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS and Scuderia Ferrari teams tackled differently.
Confident of its superior tyre life and with nothing to lose, Ferrari left Sebastian Vettel out on his medium tyres, while Mercedes pitted Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg and switched them onto the hard compound tyres, as they had planned before the race. This committed them to a three stop race, while the three laps behind the safety car allowed Vettel to stay out to lap 17 and make a two stop plan work.
Mercedes struggled to find its usual dominant pace in the 60 degree track conditions and Vettel delivered a champion’s drive to execute the strategy and win Ferrari’s first race since 2013.