Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel launched a stunning season opener in a tactical battle with reigning world champions Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton to win the Australian Grand Prix Sunday for his revitalized Ferrari team.
Mercedes have dominated the Formula 1 for the past three seasons but Hamilton cautioned in pre-season of the pace of the Ferrari, and so it proved in Melbourne.
Hamilton’s new team-mate Valtteri Bottas had a fine race to come third, with the three-time world champion suffering from tyre degradation and a poor pit stop strategy in the race as he saw Vettel beat him to the line.
Vettel, with four world titles under his belt, said: ” Unbelievable, thank you everyone it’s a fantastic Grand Prix. Its what we needed, the whole team has been working so hard, the guys didn’t get much sleep here or in the factory and the car is so much fun to drive”
Mercedes chief Toto Wolff told the BBC: ” Today we were not quick enough and Sebastian was a deserved winner. We weren’t quick enough, the tyre was degrading… it’s a good wake-up call”