Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) won ahead of Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) with Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) completing the podium in the Australian Grand Prix. Note the abandonment of Romain Grosjean and the first point taken by Esteban Ocon, author of a superb overtaking Alonso late in the race.
Germany’s Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) won Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix on the circuit of Albert Park in Melbourne, before the British favorite Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), who started in pole position. The quadruple world champion had not won since the Singapore Grand Prix in 2015, the longest drought of his career since his first victory in 2008.
“This is a great victory, a victory for us all, a victory for all those who work in Maranello (Ferrari headquarters), it is a great victory that was built serenely”, launched in Italian on his radio just after his victory.
After managing to keep the advantage of his pole position, Hamilton was served by his race strategy. Returning to the garage before the German, who followed him on lap 17, he went out in the field to get stuck behind the Red Bull Dutch Max Verstappen, leaving Vettel widen his advantage at the head. The other Mercedes of Finns Valtteri Bottas finished third, ahead of Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen and fellow Red Bull Verstappen.
The only French driver that gained points was Esteban Ocon (Force India), 10th, while Romain Grosjean retired after 14 laps, his car with smoke. Six other drivers (Alonso, Magnussen, Stroll, Ricciardo, Ericsson, Palmer) abandoned.
The starting grid. 1st line: Hamilton (Mercedes) / Vettel (Ferrari); 2nd line: Bottas (Mercedes) / Raikkonen (Ferrari); 3rd line: Verstappen (Red Bull) / Grosjean (Haas); 4th line Massa (Williams) / Sainz Jr (Toro Rosso); 5th line: Kvyat (Toro Rosso) / Ricciardo (Red Bull); 6th line: Perez (Force India) / Hulkenberg (Renault); 7th row: Alonso (McLaren) / Ocon (Force India); 8th row: Ericsson (Sauber) / Giovinazzi (Sauber); 9th row: Magnussen (Haas) / Vandoorne (McLaren); 10th row: Palmer (Renault) / Stroll (Williams).