Vettel, Ferrari start season with win in Australia

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Winners celebrating at the podium after the conclusion of the race. (photo courtesy: twitter.com/@ausgrandprix)

Vettel gives Ferrari their first win since Singapore Grand Prix in 2015

Sebastian Vettel gave Ferrari a head start to the 2017 Formula 1 season by winning season’s inaugural Australian Grand Prix. The German fended off challenges from the pair of Mercedes’ drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, to win the race.

Starting the race at second grid position, Vettel surpassed the polesitter Hamilton to lead the race in the 16th lap temporarily when the Briton had to make a pit-stop. On resuming, Hamilton had fallen behind to the fifth position in the race. Vettel made a pit-stop in the 22nd lap and resumed the race ahead of Hamilton at third and subsequently grabbed the leading position. He maintained his position thereon to finish the 57-lap race as the winner with timings of 1:24:11:672. Hamilton finished the race a distant 9.975 seconds behind Vettel while teammate Bottas finished the race further 1.275 seconds behind. Force India’s debutant Frenchman Esteban Ocon managed to finish the race within the points zone at the tenth position.

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Vettel finished the race around ten seconds ahead of Hamilton. (photo courtesy: twitter.com/@F1)

The victory was Vettel’s 43rd career victory and Ferrari’s 225th ever

Vettel’s Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen finished at the 4th position. The victory earned Vettel 25 points while Raikkonen’s fourth position fetched him 12 points. Hamilton and Bottas earned 18 and 15 points respectively thereby leaving Mercedes 3 points behind Ferrari.

Verstappen (5th position), Massa(6th), Perez(7th), Sainz(8th) and Kvyat(9th) secured the other positions inside the top ten. Ferrari lead the constructors’ championship followed by Mercedes, Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer(10 points), Williams Mercedes(8 points), Force India Mercedes(7 points) and Torro Rosso(6 points) respectively while Renault, Sauber Ferrari and McLaren Honda failed to secure any point from the race.

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Vettel expressed his delight over the victory. He said “That (a title challenge) is a long way ahead. For now we are just over the moon at the start we have made here today”. Hamilton congratulated Ferrai over their win. He at at the same time warned his rivals by commenting “I’ll be coming back stronger in the next race, that’s for sure”

The next stop for Formula 1 racing is Shanghai for the Chinese Grand Prix. The Grand Prix will be held between 07-09 April.