Sebastian Vettel won the F1 season opener at the Australian Grand Prix, and after a year without a win, opened this season fantastically.
Since the race at Singapore in 2015, this was the first win for the four-time champion.
For him, this is the 43rd win in career and fourth with Ferrari.
For Ferrari, since 2011, this is the first win in the opening race of the season. Fernando Alonso was the fastest in Australia at Melbourne that year.
Vettel was extremely happy after the race.
“I was not entirely happy with my start, there was a bit of wheel spin, but I was trying to keep the pressure on to give the message that we are here to fight.”
He also mentioned that he had some luck.
“There was a bit of luck that Lewis came out in traffic.”
The journalists wanted to know if this a start to a year where he will try to win a title.
“A title challenge is a long way ahead. For now, we are just over the moon at the start we have made here today,” Vettel said.
Lewis Hamilton was second and the third place was his teammate Valtteri Bottas.
Mercedes made one mistake during the race, and that cost Hamilton this race. The team summoned him to the pit stop earlier than they should, and he got stuck behind Max Verstappen. Later, Vettel came out in front of him when coming back on the track from the pit lane.
Unlike Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel drove a few more laps, and the situation where Hamilton was stuck behind Max Verstappen, made it possible for him to reach the top spot and to preserve it until the end of the race.
Hamilton was a bit disappointed after the race.
“In the race, we struggled with the tires. I had to stop earlier as we ran out of grip. We pitted and got stuck behind one of the Red Bulls.”
He was explaining what happened.
“We were struggling with the grip from the get-go, Seb was able to always answer the laptime – and the majority of the time he would do faster laptimes. Towards the end, I got in traffic and started to overheat tires and struggle with grip. The gap was closing up and I was slowing down. But that is motor racing,” said Hamilton, with bitterness in his words.
Valtteri Bottas was third and Kimi Raikkonen, another Ferrari, fourth. At the beginning right after start, Raikkonen tried to pass Bottas, but his countryman denied that attack and later went up ahead. Since there were no vehicles behind Raikkonen, he drove his own race, without any excitement and pressure.
Max Verstappen was fifth, and he showed that he has to be counted seriously this year when talking about contenders for podium places.
In two weeks time, the teams will head to China Shanghai International Circuit in Shanghai on April 9.