The start of the 2017 Formula 1 season brought very good news. Faster cars thanks to the new technical regulations and even the return to victory of Ferrari, which had not celebrated in the Máxima since the 2015 Singapore GP. And, precisely, the one that returned the victory to the Scuderia in the framework of the Gan Australia's prize was the German Sebastian Vettel, also a winner of that race in Marina Bay.
To win at Albert Park in Melbourne, Vettel had to defeat Englishman Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), a great favorite after achieving pole position, taking the time he had held on the Aussie track since 2016 by almost two seconds.
The man with the Silver Arrow led until he made his only entry to the pits to change the tires - Pirelli's toughest compounds allowed one-stop strategies between the leaders - since when he returned to the track he lost time with the Dutch Max Verstappen (Honda) and that allowed the Scuderia to win their tactic with Vettel.
The German entered the pits five laps after his rival and returned in front of the three-time champion, who after getting rid of Verstappen was left with no options to stop the triumphant ride of the Rossa driver. If it's any consolation, Lewis reached 3.006 laps as the leader of a GP and thus surpassed the 3.000 barrier, a mark he shares with none other than German Michael Schumacher (although he still has 2.105 laps to catch up with Schumi).
Obviously, Vettel was elated to start the championship with a great win. “I am beside myself. We have given our whole soul. It is a great relief to everyone. This is just the beginning. The good thing is also that people take the message that we are here to fight ”, explained the German.
Far from being bitter about the loss, Hamilton appeared to be happy about the return to victory of the Maranello squad. “I have to congratulate Sebastian and Ferrari. I know you have been waiting a long time for a result like this. This shows that we will have a great competition on our hands ”, assured the Englishman, who arrived in front of his Finnish teammate Valtteri Bottas. "Ferrari was faster and did a better job in this race," analyzed the Nordic, substitute for retired German champion Nico Rosberg.
Further from the leaders came the Finn Kimi Räikkönen (Ferrari) and Verstappen. While in the Top 10 the Brazilian Felipe Massa (Williams) also stood out, who finished sixth and showed that retirement can wait a while longer.
The Australian GP is past. Now the guns are aimed at the Chinese GP, the next commitment of this renewed F-1. Gentlemen, place your bets ...
CLASSIFICATION (57 laps)
1. Sebastian Vettel (ALE / Ferrari), 1h24m11s672
2. Lewis Hamilton (GBR / Mercedes) at 9s975
3. Valtteri Bottas (FIN / Mercedes) at 11s250
4. Kimi Räikkönen (FIN / Ferrari) at 22s393
5. Max Verstappen (HOL / Red Bull-TAG Heuer) at 28s827
6. Felipe Massa (BRA / Williams-Mercedes) at 1m23s386
7. Sergio Pérez (MEX / Force India-Mercedes) 1 lap
8. Carlos Sainz (ESP / Toro Rosso-Renault) 1 lap
9. Daniil Kvyat (RUS / Toro Rosso-Renault) 1 lap
10. Esteban Ocon (FRA / Force India-Mercedes) 1 lap
AVERAGE: 215.409 km / h. LAP RECORD: Räikkönen (56th) in 1m26s538 at 220,606 km / h. CHAMPIONSHIP: 1) Vettel, 25 points; 2) Hamilton, 18; 3) Bottas, 15; 4) Räikkönen, 12; 5) Verstappen, 10; 6) Massa, 8; 7) Pérez, 6; 8) Sainz, 4; 9) Kvyat, 2; 10) Ocon, 1. BUILDERS CUP: 1) Ferrari, 37 points; 2) Mercedes, 33; 3) Red Bull, 10; 4) Williams, 8; 5) Force India, 7; Toro Rosso, 6. NEXT DATE: 9/4, Chinese GP.