Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel has won the Australian Grand Prix winning by almost 10 seconds from Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas. Kimi Raikkonen finished in fourth place, the Finn producing the fastest lap of the race.
Hamilton began on pole position and led until the first set of pit stops when Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel leapfrogged the Mercedes driver to secure Ferrari’s first victory since the 2015 Singapore Grand Prix.
Local hero Daniel Ricciardo bowed out midway through the season-opening race at Melbourne’s Albert Park when his car suffered engine failure.
Sebastian Vettel pays tribute to fans and mechanics
“It was quite mad, in a good way, with people running on the track with Ferrari flags on my way back to the pits.
“The guys didn’t get much sleep here or in the factory.”
“In the race, I struggled with the tyres.
“I had to stop very early and I got stuck behind one of the Red Bulls but that’s just the way it goes.”
“Everything went smoothly but the red guys are just too quick so we need to work a bit harder.
“This is a start. We can improve from here”
A fantastic win for the Scuderia team, clearly showing evidence of Ferrari’s readiness to challenge the recent dominance of Mercedes, who have won the past three constructors’ championships and also provided the past three individual world champions.
This is Vettel’s first win in Melbourne since 2011, and he went on to win the title in a landslide that year. That day Hamilton finished second as well.
How they finished:
1st Sebastian Vettel
2nd Lewis Hamilton
3rd Valtteri Bottas
4th Kimi Raikkonen
5th Max Verstappen
6th Felipe Massa
7th Sergio Perez
8th Carlos Sainz
9th Daniil Kvyat
10th Esteban Ocon
11th Nico Hulkenberg
12th Antonio Giovinazzi
13th Stoffel Vandoorne.