Sebastian Vettel withstood stiff challenge from the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg to win his first race as a Ferrari driver. Ferrari were smart with their strategy and stuck to their guns during the race.
There was plenty of action as early as the fourth lap when Magnus Ericsson overturned after attempting an overtaking move on Nico Hulkenberg. With the safety car on, Hamilton and Rosberg pitted and opted for harder tyres. Ricciardo, Massa and Kyvat also pitted and went for medium set of tyres.
The hot conditions in Sepang asked a lot from the drivers. " Its incredibly hot out here for the tyres", said Hamilton in the fifth lap. Hamilton and Rosberg were back in the top three as Vettel did not go for his first pitstop until the 18th lap.
Pastor Maldonado was penalised 10 seconds after he exceeded safety car time. Hulkenberg and Perez also faced similar penalties later on in the race after their collisions with Kyvat and Grosjean respectively. Max Verstappen became the youngest driver to score points as he finished in seventh place.
Things were really tight after Vettel pitted for the second time. Hamilton was back in the lead and Vettel narrowly held on to the second spot behind a fast approaching Rosberg. Vettel got back the lead when Hamilton pitted for the third time. The Brit opted for harder tyres to last the race.
Vettel was back at the first place and drove like the champion he is to deny Hamilton back to back wins this season. Hamilton was asked by Team Mercedes to go for it and estimated the World Champion to overtake Vettel with 5 laps to go.
It wasn't to be as Vettel did not let go the advantage to win his fourth Malaysian Grand Prix in his young career. Mercedes had won the last eight races dating back to last season. In fact, this is Vettel’s first win since the 2013 Brazilian Grand Prix.