What defines a legend in Formula One? Who is allowed to join the harrowed hall of fame in this amazing sport? This is a question that elicits debate, but one thing that is an irrefutable fact is Sebastian Vettel’s desire to join this coterie of drivers.
With the win at the amazing 2015 Malaysia Grand Prix, the Ferrari driver announced his comeback, and for F1 fans, they have Sepang to thank for this turnaround. But before you start celebrating that baby-Schumacher, as Vettel is adoringly called, is back, why not look at germane issues around this incredible win at Kuala Lumpur?
Struggling to Join Legends
The German might have won four back-to-back titles with Red Bull from 2010 to 2014 but the sporting world seems to have never accepted him into the pantheon of F1 greats. When the German announced he would leave Red Bull in September 2014, everyone was astonished including team bigwigs.
Of course you had to sympathize with the guy; a defending champion with no race win as the F1 season was closing had to make a drastic decision, and Sebastian Vettel was bold enough to make the call. It was considered career suicide considering the struggle Ferrari was going through in the 2014 season, but finally the move paid.
Malaysia Grand Prix as a Springboard
So, was it just the SF-15T’s pace or were there other factors about the circuit that worked for Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari in general? Here are some ideas:
- Past wins experience: With age comes experience. Vettel has won at Sepang three other times. With such background and a good car to boot, all the right ingredients were there for a win at Malaysia GP.
- The incredible Ferrari SF-15T: After the race, one statement from Vettel stood out about beating Mercedes W06 fair and square. During pre-season testing at Jerez, the German had also hinted about the car’s incredible performance, and when the right conditions presented themselves, it was all systems go for the four-time champion.
- Amazing race strategy: When Mercedes decided to pit early under the safety car, Vettel took the lead and he was able to run longer on more fragile medium tires. Mercedes in desperation split tire strategy to catch Vettel, but the German’s skills and race conditions worked to his favor.
You can’t deny that the complicated Malaysia GP circuit, which requires an innovative tire strategy, handed F1 a refreshing outlook to things. All of a sudden, the 2015 season looks like it is bound to get even more exciting; thanks to Sepang!