Hamilton shocked by Ferrari pace

Sebastian Vettel, third from left, of Germany with Mercedes duo Nico Rosberg, right, and Britain's Lewis Hamilton and Diego Ioverno, head of Track Operations and Car Assembly on the podium  (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
Sebastian Vettel, third from left, of Germany with Mercedes duo Nico Rosberg, right, and Britain's Lewis Hamilton and Diego Ioverno, head of Track Operations and Car Assembly on the podium (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
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Lewis Hamilton admits he had been caught off-guard by Ferrari’s resurgence but is determined to ensure their return to glory does not last long.

Hamilton was forced to settle for second place at the Malaysian Grand Prix behind the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel as the German gave the Italian marque their first victory for almost two years. Hamilton’s team mate Nico Rosberg was third.

Unlike last season when Mercedes suffered just three losses from 19 races - all of their own making due to mechanical issues - this was a “fair and square” defeat, in Vettel’s words.

After a comfortable one-two in the opening race in Australia, Mercedes were expected to run away with the championship: “Huge congratulations to Seb and Ferrari,” Hamilton said: “I wasn’t expecting them to be as quick as they were today.”

Hamilton’s victory bid was hampered by missing virtually all of first practice and almost 40 minutes of the second with a power unit inlet system issue.