When Ferrari clinched the victory at the Malaysian Grand Prix, the Formula 1 world was left momentarily stunned. To finally see Mercedes dethroned in such a manner was certainly a surprise.. Lewis Hamilton still managed to finish second, but his team’s pride was damaged by Sebastian Vettel’s victory.
Mercedes is conducting a thorough analysis of their Sepang performance, concluding that tire management was partially at fault for the sub-par performance. According to chief technical officer Paddy Lowe,
“Exceptionally high track temperatures – even by Malaysian standards – contributed to this, however it is essential to have a car which performs at all circuits and in all conditions, so there is work to be done on that front,”
According to Mercedes, new aero components are being brought in to bolster the car’s profile. Regardless of the performance benefits to be reaped by these forthcoming modifications, the season has been changed, with Lowe admitting that Ferrari is now a serious challenger,
“It is now clearer than ever that there is serious competition for this world championship, so we will continue to work flat out for performance gains.”
Lowe also commented on the contrasting nature of the Chinese circuit where the next Grand Prix will be run, saying,
“China presents a different challenge. Temperatures can vary dramatically year-on-year, but are generally quite low.
It’s also a front-limited circuit – the opposite of Sepang – with a good mix of corners and a long straight, so it will be interesting to see how the different cars perform at yet another circuit characteristic for this new season.”