Despite his obvious allegiance to Mercedes, Niki Lauda says he can take pleasure from seeing Ferrari clinch a surprise win at the Malaysian Grand Prix, adding that it will do a lot to bolster Vettel's image as a worthy champion.

The German swept to victory on a searingly hot day at Sepang, the unexpected nature of his success over the erstwhile dominant Mercedes' compounded by the relative ease with which he achieved it.

Coming in only his second race as a Ferrari driver after leaving Red Bull, Vettel's win has been roundly praised across F1, including by Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff and former manager Christian Horner, while Lauda says he was also pleased to see his former team - but modern day rival - back on the top step of the podium.

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"They were unbeatable because they did a perfect strategy and Vettel did an incredible job - their car performed, the tyres lasted," he said. I went over right away and congratulated them from my heart because it is competition and more competition is better.

Lauda also believes Vettel's win will do a lot for his reputation both inside and outside the particularly with Bernie Ecclestone, who has been critical of the four-time champion in the past.

"If Ferrari wins, Bernie can't complain anymore about boring Vettel, which he said. Now Vettel is not boring anymore.

"I think this result is very good for the total image of Formula 1, which we are always complaining [about]. Well you know I am not, but some other people are."