Mercedes equipped for Ferrari F1 fight

Mercedes has explained that it is fully prepared for a "season-long" championship battle with Ferrari, after Sebastian Vettel overcame Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg to win the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton

Having elected to stay out on track during an early Safety Car period, Vettel carried out an alternate two-stop strategy to beat three-stopping Hamilton and Rosberg to the chequered flag.

With Kimi Räikkönen also recovering to fourth position after picking up a puncture at the end of the first lap, Mercedes' championship advantage over Ferrari was trimmed to 24 points.

"We left Malaysia with plenty to think about. It may have been a good result for the sport – but for us, it was a wake-up call," said Wolff, who talked up Ferrari's victory after the race.

"This is something you cannot afford to happen often and, although we had two cars on the podium, we have been looking very carefully at every area where we could have performed better.

"Our opposition has raised its game and we must now raise ours even further; as we have said since Melbourne, we expect a season-long battle for both championships and we must maximise every opportunity.

"China is the next chance to do that – a circuit which has been a good hunting ground for the team. Lewis has a great record here and for Nico, it's where he made his first step into the winners circle.

"We have the weapons at our disposal – and we need to make the most of them this weekend."

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