Mon, Mar 26, 11:58am by Head Editor
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel has come from third on the grid to salute at the Australian Grand Prix. The win is the German’s second in as many years in Melbourne and signals the 30-year-old’s intentions to go one better than last season’s runners-up finish in the Drivers’ Championship.
The defending champion, Lewis Hamilton, hasn’t had a good time of it in Australia recently. On Sunday, he was in pole position for the second year in a row, but also for the second year in a row, he slid back to second during the 58-lap race.
Vettel admitted that “we got a bit lucky, but we’ll take it”, in the post-race media conference. The German is referring to the fact that a safety car came out midway through the race, which allowed the Ferrari team to go for a smart pit-stop, which helped the Heppenheim-native claim the 48th win of his career.
Sunday’s result is also the 100th time that Vettel has stood on the podium, which sees the Ferrari driver join some elite company, becoming the fourth man behind Hamilton, Michael Schumacher and Alain Prost to achieve the feat.
Vettel’s Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen finished in third place, after the 38-year-old managed to hold off fast-finishing Aussie Daniel Ricciardo, who had a brilliant race, coming from way back in 8th on the grid to finish just outside the podium, in fourth place.
That result is equal to the Australian’s best finish at Albert Park, he did of course finish second in 2014, but was later disqualified, for breaching the maximum fuel limit and using an unauthorised method of measuring fuel consumption.
It wasn’t the best weekend for the Aussie but he does leave his home Grand Prix with the fastest lap time and said that ““I think we’re really close to Ferrari’s pace,” which gives not just his huge legion of fans hope for the upcoming season, but also means that we could have a challenger to the might of Mercedes and Ferrari in 2018.
The teams now head to Bahrain for the second Grand Prix of the season, which takes place at 1am (AEST) on April 9. Despite the result at Albert Park, Hamilton remains the favourite ($1.53) to claim his fifth Drivers Championship, ahead of Vettel ($4.33), Max Verstappen ($8.50) and his Red Bull teammate, Daniel Ricciardo ($15).
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