MELBOURNE Four-instances world winner Sebastian Vettel won the Australian Grand Prix for Ferrari on Sunday to dash Mercedes’ hopes of extending their dominance into a fourth successive season of Formula 1.
The German cruised to his 43rd race victory with a 9.9 2nd gap to Mercedes’ runner-up Lewis Hamilton, with the Briton’s new team mate, Valtteri Bottas, ending 3rd on a wonderful afternoon at Albert Park.
The victory was Vettel’s fourth for Ferrari but his initially because the Singapore Grand Prix in September 2015.
That triumph was also the last time Ferrari experienced topped the podium but Vettel’s victory underlined the massive leap in effectiveness designed by the glamour team, whose automobiles confirmed outstanding rate and trustworthiness in winter testing.
“For all of us, it is a positive shock,” a beaming Vettel explained at the post-race media meeting.
“The massive distinction was remaining equipped to provide a actually great auto… I feel the new auto in general clearly is wonderful and is a great reward, a massive reduction for all people.”
For the initially time in the V6 turbo hybrid era, which began in 2014, there is a non-Mercedes driver at the top rated of the championship standings.
Vettel’s 2007 championship-profitable team mate Kimi Raikkonen concluded fourth, with Pink Bull’s Max Verstappen a single guiding.
On the entrance row future to pole-sitter Hamilton, Vettel bought off to a sluggish start out and his British rival broke very clear to steer clear of Albert Park’s regular messy log-jam at change a single.
But Hamilton was soon complaining on the team radio about his car’s grip and was initially to pit on lap eighteen to adjust tyres.
It proved a turning stage as he rejoined guiding Verstappen and was not able to move the feisty Dutch teen.
As Hamilton vented on the team radio, Vettel forged forward.
The German pitted at lap 23 and exited the pit-lane just in entrance of Verstappen, who was nevertheless gamely holding off Hamilton even though using his tyres slender.
Mercedes motorsport head Toto Wolff was enraged. Tv shots confirmed him pounding his fist into a desk in the team garage.
Vettel confirmed the reigning constructors’ champions a cleanse set of heels and swiftly recognized a 6-2nd gap, which only bought wider as the race progressed.
Soon after crossing the end line, Vettel howled in ecstasy and hundreds of pink-clad Ferrari followers flooded on to the lakeside circuit to share in the German’s triumph.
Followers of home racer Daniel Ricciardo have been left let down, however, immediately after the Australian’s race finished halfway via at change three, his Pink Bull halting with smoke billowing out.
He experienced earlier began from pit-lane two laps guiding, immediately after suffering a sensor dilemma with his gearbox that prevented him from using his area at the grid.
It was a greater working day for Felipe Massa, who came sixth in his ‘comeback’ race following his small-lived retirement from Williams last yr.
Pressure India also enjoyed a sturdy race, with Sergio Perez coming seventh and French newcomer Esteban Ocon also in the points immediately after operating 10th.
Reliability problems have been rife in other teams, however, with seven automobiles failing to end, together with McLaren’s 2 times winner Fernando Alonso and Williams’ Canadian debutant Lance Stroll.
(Modifying by Peter Rutherford)