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.

Intense Season Opener in Australia!
Intense Season Opener in Australia!

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.

View best pics from Melbourne

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.

Full Results

1Sebastian VettelFerrari1h 24:11.670
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes9.975
3Valtteri BottasMercedes11.25
4Kimi RaikkonenFerrari33.393
5Max VerstappenRed Bull28.827
6Felipe MassaWilliams01:23.4
7Sergio PerezForce India1 Lap
8Carlos SainzToro Rosso1 Lap
9Daniil KvyatToro Rosso1 Lap
10Esteban OconForce India1 Lap
11Nico HulkenbergRenault1 Lap
12Antonio GiovinazziSauber2 Laps
13Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren2 Laps
-Fernando AlonsoMcLarenRetirement
-Kevin MagnussenHaasRetirement
-Lance StrollWilliamsBrakes
-Daniel RicciardoRed BullRetirement
-Marcus EricssonSauberRetirement
-Jolyon PalmerRenaultRetirement
-Romain GrosjeanHaasEngine
-Pascal WehrleinSauberWithdrawn

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.

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