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2018 F1

Vettel admits Ferrari got lucky to take victory at Australia

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Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel take an unlikely victory in Melbourne after making the most of the Virtual Safety Car to leapfrog Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton had led the way from pole and Vettel ran third during the opening stint – Hamilton and Raikkonen pitted early, but during the mid-race Virtual Safety Car period Vettel pitted for fresh tyres and emerged ahead of the Briton as he seized on in thrilling style to claim his 48th career win and 100th podium finish in his 200th grand prix.

“We got a bit lucky but we will take it. We’re not yet where we want to be, I don’t quite feel the car, but it gives us a good start, good wind and fresh motivation for the coming weeks,” Vettel said.

Hamilton said: “Today they did the better job. We have to go back to the drawing board and work on it. We still have great pace and during the race I could apply pressure but it is so hard to overtake here.”

The German also admitted that, he had been praying for a Safety Car after struggling to match Hamilton and team-mate Raikkonen in the opening stages of the race.

“In the race with my start I was hoping for a bit better but it didn’t really work so I had to stay third and towards the end of the first stint I lost a little bit of connection to Lewis and Kimi ahead as I struggled a little bit with the tyres. Vettel added.

“I was praying for a Safety Car and there was a car that stopped at turn 4 and I was like ‘no, not there’ and then somebody stopped, I think it was the Haas, on the exit of turn 2 and then when I saw it I was full of adrenaline even though the race was frozen.

“But still to come into the pits and everything was on the limit because they told me it was really close to Lewis. We got out ahead and I know it is a difficult track to pass. He kept some pressure on especially at the beginning of the last stint and then at the end in the last five laps I could enjoy it a little more.”

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