It was Ferrari’s 222nd victory in F1 racing and their first triumph in 34 races. It was also the first non-Mercedes powered victory since last year’s Belgian race and the Prancing Horse’s first turbo-powered win since the 1988 Italian Grand Prix when Gerhard Berger was victorious.
Vettel, who hadn’t won since the 2013 Brazilian round some 20 races ago, is the 38th different driver to win for the Scuderia, which incidentally is the second Italian team he has triumphed for in Grand Prix racing, following his debut victory for Toro Rosso in 2008.
The quadruple champion is also the third German to stand on the top step of the rostrum for Ferrari, following in the wheel tracks of childhood idol Michael Schumacher and Sixties star Wolfgang von Trips.
Vettel now has 40 victories in Grand Prix racing, which puts him just one behind the late great Ayrton Senna on the all-time list, in 21 fewer races.
Elsewhere it was another momentous day for Toro Rosso who not only got both of their cars home in the points for the first time in 12 races, they also got them home in front of both Red Bulls for the first time since the 2009 season opener in Australia.
Max Verstappen finished seventh to become the youngest points scorer in F1 history at 17 years, 5 months and 27 days, eclipsing the record held since last year’s Australia race by former Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat. Fellow rookie Carlos Sainz meanwhile finished eighth, becoming just the fifth driver in the last ten years to score points in his first two races.
Finally, there were a couple of interesting statistics relating to retirements that emerged from the race in Sepang. Lotus’s Pastor Maldonado didn't make the finish for the second race in a row, meaning he’s now failed to see the chequered flag in the first two races of every season he has competed in F1 (dating back to 2011).
Meanwhile Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button’s retirements meant that McLaren were without a classified race finisher for the first time since the 2006 United States Grand Prix, some 158 races ago (that’s discounting the 2009 Australian Grand Prix when Lewis Hamilton was disqualified from the results post-race).