Sebastian Vettel raced to a fine victory in the Australian Grand Prix today to execute a dream start to his 2017 campaign in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship.
Vettel steered Ferrari to the top of the podium for the first time at Albert Park since 2007, when Kimi Raikkonen triumphed for the Scuderia in his sole title-winning season.
Vettel crossed the finish line in a total race time of one hour 24 minutes 11.672 seconds. The decisive moment came on lap 23 for the German, when a perfectly executed pit-stop for fresh tyres saw him rejoin the track ahead of previous leader and pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton in a Mercedes.
Hamilton was eventually the runner-up finishing 9.975 seconds behind, while teammate Valtteri Bottas showed his class by taking the final podium step 11.250s from the victor.
Raikkonen was classified fourth overall, Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing was fifth, and Felipe Massa of Williams finished sixth.
Sergio Pere of Force India, Toro Rosso pair Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat and Force India’s Esteban Ocon rounded out the top 10 and the points winners.
Vettel’s victory was the 225th in Formula 1 for Scuderia Ferrari and 43rd for his career. It is also only his fourth win with the Maranello team.
|1||Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari||1h 24:11.670|
|5||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||28.827|
|7||Sergio Perez||Force India||1 Lap|
|8||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso||1 Lap|
|9||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso||1 Lap|
|10||Esteban Ocon||Force India||1 Lap|
|11||Nico Hulkenberg||Renault||1 Lap|
|12||Antonio Giovinazzi||Sauber||2 Laps|
|13||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren||2 Laps|
|-||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||Retirement|
The season now heads to Shanghai for the Chinese Grand Prix from April 7 to 9.
That will be followed by the ultimate experience of racing and entertainment: the Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix from April 14 to 16 at Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir.