Sebastian Vettel
Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel recorded their first victory of the season after beating the dominant Mercedes team at the Malaysian Grand PrixGetty

Sebastian Vettel took his first victory for Ferrari at the Sepang International circuit beating the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in a race of strategy and speed.

It was the first victory for the Maranello based team in 35 races, and it was the perfect strategy and a well timed safety car on the second lap, that helped the German beat the team that had dominated the Australian Grand Prix two weeks back.

But all the credit goes to Vettel, who drove a flawless race to beat the Mercedes cars fair and square. Kimi Raikkonen underlined the true pace of the Ferrari as the Finn cruised to fourth place, despite a tyre puncture dropping him down to last place at the start of the race.

Valtteri Bottas overcame his teammate Felipe Massa on the penultimate lap to finish fifth and make a string return from a back injury that forced him to miss the season opening Grand Prix.

The Renault powered cars rounded out the top ten, but in a surprising twist it was the Toro Rosso cars in seventh and eighth leading parent team Red Bull Racing's Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo, who took the last point.

Vettel was delighted with the victory, and is glad to be back on the top step of the podium for the first time since the Brazilian GP in 2013.

"A phenomenal day. How does it feel? It feels incredible, to see the guys when I looked down from the podium. I can only recall the victories Fernando [Alonso] had at Ferrari and especially Michael [Schumacher]," Vettel said, as quoted by ESPNF1.

"It's incredible to become part of this team, it's something special. It makes me very happy obviously. It's the first win in more than a year now. I missed not only the champagne but the top step in particular. It's great to come back after a tough season last year where I just didn't get on top of the car," the four-time F1 World champion added.