After a winless season in
2016, Ferrari came back fully charged with Sebastian Vettel winning the opening
race of the 2017 Formula 1 season. At the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix
Sebastian Vettel beat Lewis Hamilton. With Nico Rosberg retiring, Hamilton’s
new Mercedes team mate, Valtteri Bottas, completed the Albert Park podium.
Vettel took the chequered flag
almost 10 seconds clear to clinch Ferrari’s first win since Singapore 2015,
with team mate Kimi Raikkonen fourth.
Sebastian Vettel crossed the
finish line in first place after 57 laps, in a race whose key moment came on
lap 23, when a perfectly executed pit stop for fresh tyres saw him rejoin the
track ahead of Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes.
This is Scuderia Ferrari’s
225th Formula 1 victory, Seb’s 43rd and his fourth with the Maranello team.
It was also his and the
Prancing Horse’s first since the 2015 Singapore Grand Prix, 28 races ago. It’s
only the second time in his career that Vettel has won the opening round of the
season. The other time was in 2011 when he dominantly led the championship from
start to finish. Incidentally the start was in Australia and one of the crucial
races was held in India’s Buddh International Circuit. He was then racing for
Red Bull Racing Renault.
For India’s Vijay Mallya
controlled Sahara Force India, there was good news as the team scored seven when
Sergio Perez raced to a well-earned seventh place finish, while Esteban Ocon
scored his first point in Formula One with a strong drive to tenth place.
Hamilton who had started in
pole position, led the way in the initial part of the race, leaving Vettel to
chase him, but the Mercedes had consumed its ultrasoft Pirelli tyres after 17
laps, whereas Vettel managed to get his to the 22nd lap before making his sole
When Hamilton came out of the
pits he had to be behind Max Verstappen’s fifth placed Red Bull, and simply
could not pass it despite running on new tyres. Vettel was able to make his
stop and emerge still in the lead, much to the discomfort of Mercedes.
Vettel thus leads the drivers’
points table with 25 points to Hamilton’s 18, Bottas’ 15, Raikkonen’s 12,
Verstappen’s 10, Massa’s eight, Perez’s six, Sainz’s four, Kvyat’s two and
Ferrari also head the
constructors’ stakes with 37 points to Mercedes’ 33, as Red Bull have 10,
Williams eight, Force India seven and Toro Rosso six.
Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer
Force India Mercedes
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