FORMULA 1’s throwback cars delivered us a suitably throwback Australian Grand Prix, where a German in a Ferrari outfoxed a Brit in a silver car to take victory.
Sebastian Vettel pounced on a Mercedes strategic error to leapfrog Lewis Hamilton in the pit stops and end a victory drought for the Scuderia that dates back to September 2015.
Mercedes nevertheless locked out the remainder of the podium, Hamilton holding off new teammate Valtteri Bottas.
Hamilton lead the early going after a storming start from pole position, but an early pit stop left him trapped behind Max Verstappen, giving Vettel enough of a margin to make his sole pitstop and rejoin ahead of them both.
Daniel Ricciardo’s weekend from hell had a suitably indignant ending.
He didn’t even make it to his penalty-enforced 15th grid spot, the No.3 Red Bull rolling to a stop jammed in sixth gear.
The car was brought back to the garage where the Red Bull team were able to get the Ricciardo into the race – albeit two laps down.
He eventually retired with an engine failure late in the rac
RESULTS – Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park
1. (5) Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 57 laps
2. (44) Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +9.9s
3. (77) Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) +11.2s
4. (7) Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) +22.3s
5. (33) Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +28.8s
6. (19) Felipe Massa (Williams) +1m23.3s
7. (11) Sergio Perez (Force India) +1 lap
8. (55) Carlos Sainz (Toro Rosso) +1 lap
9. (26) Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso) +1 lap
10. (31) Esteban Ocon (Force India) +1 lap
11. (27) Nico Hulkenberg (Renault) +1 lap
12. (36) Antonio Giovinazzi (Sauber) +2 laps
13. (2) Stoffel Vandoorne (McLaren) +2 laps
DNF (14) Fernando Alonso (McLaren)
DNF (20) Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
DNF (18) Lance Stroll (Williams)
DNF (3) Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)
DNF (9) Marcus Ericsson (Sauber)
DNF (30) Jolyon Palmer (Renault)
DNF (8) Romain Grosjean (Haas)