Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari beat his team ‘fair and square’ in the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Vettel pulled off a two-stop tyre strategy to beat the three stopping Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg and record his maiden win for Ferrari.
The German is the first driver to lead the Mercedes team-mates home since Daniel Ricciardo won for Red Bull in Belgium last year.
“Our first feeling today is obviously one of disappointment,” Wolff said. “We were beaten fair and square by Ferrari and Sebastian, who did a fantastic job, and I’m not sure we could have matched their long run pace at any point.
“They took a well-deserved win. We saw on Friday that Kimi was really strong in these hot conditions, with the track over 60 degrees, and that was confirmed in the race.
“Of course, it’s easy to be clever after the race looking at things we could have done better and there are certainly plenty of points that could have been optimised.
“But we take these decisions together as a team and this is the moment to stay calm, do our analysis and learn what we can improve for next time.
“It was a complicated race for the team to read – and for the drivers, too, from the cockpit. We had some interesting radio discussions and both guys did a great job to deliver the double podium at the finish.”
Despite losing out to Ferrari, Wolff believes Vettel’s victory was good for the sport, following complaints of Mercedes domination at the opening round in Australia.
“I think we can also take a step back and look at the sport today,” he added.
“Always it seems that when people are making the most noise about changing the rules, Formula One delivers. It was the case in Bahrain last year and we saw it again today.
“It wasn’t a perfect day for Mercedes but it was a good one for Formula One.”
Image courtesy of Scuderia Ferrari