Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Albert Park, 2017

Vettel wins as Ferrari sting Mercedes in Australia

2017 Australian Grand Prix summaryPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Sebastian Vettel gave Ferrari their first victory for more than a year as the 2017 season began in Melbourne.

Lewis Hamilton led the opening stages of the race but Vettel moved ahead when the Mercedes driver made an early pit stop and got stuck behind the Red Bull of Max Verstappen.

2017 Australian Grand Prix in pictures
Vettel rejoined the track ahead of both of them following his sole pit stop and went on to take victory by almost ten seconds.

Hamilton fell back into the clutches of team mate Valtteri Bottas in the closing laps but his second place never came under serious threat.

Kimi Raikkonen similarly took a safe fourth place ahead of Max Verstappen. Red Bull only got one of its car to the chequered flag as Daniel Ricciardo made a delayed start to the race following a problem on his reconnaissance lap, then retired.

Felipe Massa moved up to sixth place at the start and finished there but team mate Lance Stroll retired with a suspected braking problem on his Williams.

Both Force India drivers featured in the points, Sergio Perez taking seventh after late pressure from Carlos Sainz Jnr. The second Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat finished ninth following a late pit stop to refill his engine air.

McLaren’s Fernando Alonso had been holding the final points position until a fault developed on his car which helped Esteban Ocon to pass him.

Full race report to follow later.

2017 Australian Grand Prix reaction

147 comments on “Vettel wins as Ferrari sting Mercedes in Australia”

  1. Please Vettel and Ferrari keep this form throughout the year.
    Congrats Seb!!! Now get 44th victory against driver 44.

    1. And if Vettel does you’ll be complaining that he is always winning. It is as if people don’t understand the nature of competition. It is just jumping on the retard bandwagon of despising success. I look forward to hearing the complaints about Vettel soon.

      1. I somehow doubt that @omarr-pepper would be unhappy at a Vettel domination.

        1. @mashiat well, I wouldn’t mind a 2010 and 2012 kind-of season. Those seasons were great, and even when Red Bull was the car to beat, there was a realistic chance for more teams (Ferrari and McLaren in 2010, Williams and Lotus too in 2012) to win races as well. That’s what I hope to see this year. Some tracks will still favour Mercedes. But remember, there is more into the equation than “tracks”. As someone mentioned here before, it seems that the temperature plays slightly into Ferrari’s favour. And also it looks like Mercedes, so used to cruising for the win the last 3 seasons, forgot how to properly cover their backs. They were so worried about Seb that forgot Max could (and did) block Lewis. Kind of 2010 Abu Dhabi, when Ferrari forgot to cover Vettel for worrying too much only about Webber, and forgot how fast Petrov could be in front of Alonso.

          1. @omarr-pepper

            and forgot how fast Petrov could be in front of Alonso.

            Forgot how easy it was to overtake in Yas Marina :)

  2. Ugh, I hope we haven’t just exchanged Merc domination for Ferrari domination.

    1. I think we saw how close Seb and Lewis was at the start. The two drivers in that two cars are close. Both Valtteri and Kimi were nowhere at the early stages of the race.

    2. i dont think that will happen, they are very close, seb was a Bit Lucky too that Lewis got Stuck behind ver

      1. Sundar Srinivas Harish
        26th March 2017, 8:03

        How the heck was this “domination”? Seb clearly kept Lewis under pressure until the pit stop. I think Max was the nail in the coffin, but I’m sure Kimi would’ve defended anyway, if Lewis had passed Max.

        Cunning strategy by Ferrari, and I personally enjoyed the race.

        1. “Domination” in previous seasons… no one was taking anything away from Seb!

      2. It looks like a 2008 season, finally! At some tracks Ferrari will have the edge, at some others Mercedes, I expect. But it will produce a thrilling season between two constructors. Raikkonen has to up his game though! Should have been replaced a ling time ago. He could cost Ferrari the championship.

    3. Let’s not exagerrate! The cars seem pretty matched overall. Still too early to say who’s better, but if things will go this way all season long, the title will be more than sure decided by DNFs, errors (in general) and by 2nd driver’ performance. In my opinion Ferrari has little chances to win the WCC with RAI in the 2nd car. After the pit-stop, RAI was losing time every lap, while BOT was gaining on HAM and VER was catching him. I think it wasn’t the wisest decision to send RAI on track again on Softs. SuperSofts would have been a better choice IMO.

  3. Verstappen was rapidly catching Raikkonen – he was 1.2 seconds behind at one point, then fell to about 3 seconds behind in one lap, and started catching RAI again. What?

    1. He backed off as his breaks were on fire :D

      1. traffic from lapped cars.

      2. Brakes indeed. Max said he just drove the car home slowly, due to the overheating brakes.

    2. Traffic if I recall

  4. mark jackson
    26th March 2017, 7:45

    I love hearing Lewis panicked, flustered, and whiny on the team radio.

    1. Not a touch on Sebs whining and swearing but hey.. Its Lewis so lets pick holes in everything he says or does. Well done Seb. Deserved that victory today. Heres hoping we have a genuine battle on our hands

      1. Difference is, Seb started whining and swearing after one bad result after the other, for over a year. 2015 he wasn’t that annoyed. Lewis starts whining the second he notices he’s not winning.

        1. Just a quick question, can you point out the whining that you’re referring to?

          1. nelson piquet
            26th March 2017, 12:20

            everytime he isn’t winning something is suddenly wrong with the car or it’s someone elses fault. or maybe it’s because he’s black.

          2. Nelson

            Are you Piquet Jr or Snr?

      2. Blue Flag Seb (the whiner)

    2. Ah. Where were you yesterday when Hamilton was on pole? Quiet as a church mouse. Today, when he doesn’t win, alas you have something negative to say. You seem so obsessed with Lewis, get some help.

      1. B (@subhashs)
        26th March 2017, 9:41

        He whined ? I thought it’s just his voice sounding like that on the radio..he’s not actually whining is he ?

      2. Lewis sux, he was getting booed on the podium haahaa

        1. How very mature.

        2. I’d like to know why he was booed, what did he do wrong ?

          1. Yeah I didn’t quite get that either – especially in Australia, I would have thought he was #2 after Ricciardo and definitely more liked than the guy that didn’t get on with Webber.

    3. I saw a very relaxed Hamilton casually chatting with Vettel in the green room and exchanging smiles and hugs. Looks to me he actually welcomes the competition.

      1. Of course, afterwards it’s over with stress and adrenaline. That’s with all drivers. It’s just the heat of the moment. Plus, Lewis knows there is still a ling way to go.

      2. IMO they have both grown a bit more mature with experience. What impressed me most was how well the Ferrari handled in Vettel’s hands. Mercs are still the faster cars and out out and out speed circuits like Monza they’ll be impossible to beat but I feel that on slower tracks where aero is important Ferrari could come into their own.

        Bottas looked impressive once he got the hang of the car. Despite all the practice runs, a driver’s mettle is only really tested when he races in anger for the first time. The fact that Bottas comfortably beat Raikkonen and was only 1.2 seconds behind Hamilton means that Vettel is not the only one Hamilton has to worry about.

    4. Would be a real shame if Mercedes did tell Bottas to hold the gap to Hamilton, which judging by the laps I think they did, as he suddenly came in with a 26.5 on the penultimate lap, hinting he would’ve caught him, which I’d have loved to have seen

      1. @hugh11 you do know Mercedes turned down Hamilton’s engines in the final laps when they realized Vettel couldn’t be reeled back in, right?

        Please restrain from birthing wishful conspiracies, the facts don’t support it. Nothing was imposed in bias, reality merely tipped against strategy expectations today and Ferrari handled it better.

        1. @riggerus The commentators said it, I wouldn’t even have thought of it if they hadn’t. I do doubt it is true, but it was just a bit odd that he was catching him by over .5 a lap, then suddenly, not even over a few laps, but from one lap to the next, they were doing the same laptimes.

      2. almost all drivers were racing to do a big lap to name to their names, and their teams were asking to hold off and bring the cars home safely… it is a lot of races and drivers dont understand the heat from the first race i think… Vers, Vet, Bot, Kvyat i guess were all told to stay down on radio…

    5. Every time things don’t go he’s way he blames the team , the car, reminds everyone how he won 17 year in a row.And the best LH punchline “Because i’m African-British” .

      1. Utter s……

        1. Totally agree …… Knight is an ass

  5. Seb’s pit exit just ahead of VER-HAM was heart-stopping. A good start to the season.

    1. my heart was pounding soooo hard

    2. @ironcito After so many strategy fails by Ferrari in recent memory it was certainly great to see them pull off a manoeuvre like this. It was really close, another couple of tenths in the pitstop would have failed, but they just got the right side.

    3. Yep, now I need an EKG after that moment @ironcito

      1. Awesome. The most fun since 20012. Can’t wait for Shanghai.

  6. Traffic was a misfortune for Lewis, the fight is on however. I believe Merc will develop their car faster and Australia is one of a kind circuit, Ferrari were so strong here last year too. Power should swing back to Merc side as of China, but this is only my opinion.

    1. Actually, I’ve read Ferrari thought this track would’nt suit them as well as it would the Mercedes. Although I’m sure Mercedes is still faster, the Ferrari isn’t that far behind, and in the hands of Vettel, it’s something else.

      1. We can only ever go by the last race, and today Ferrari was faster. Was proved by how vettel kept up with Hamilton at the start, and how he extended the lead and managed it when in front of Hamilton. Toto Wolff had the sane opinion as me.

    2. Ferrari weren’t that strong last year, “so strong” is really an exagerration. VET qualified last year like 0.9sec behind HAM, 0.25sec in 2017 is a lot better indeed if you ask me, but I agree that Mercedes still seem to be somehow the faster car.

      1. I think he means more the race. Ferrari would have won it if it wasn’t for a strategy blunder. People seem to forget that Ferrari had the chance to win last year, on merit, but did not because of bad strategies.

    3. mark jackson
      26th March 2017, 17:23

      I do agree Mercedes will out develop Ferrari and probably win the title this year. Mercedes still have +0.3s in hand as we saw in qualifying. It also looks like they have their starts in order as well.

      1. I wouldn’t take Australia as the be all and end all. It’s a street circuit so is not a true representation, Magnussen got a podium in 2014 and we remember where Mclaren ended up.

  7. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
    26th March 2017, 7:57

    I know Raikkonen was struggling all weekend long, but it seemed like he was out on a Sunday stroll. Hopefully this is a one off thing and not commonplace, otherwise it’ll definitely be his last year.

    1. Sundar Srinivas Harish
      26th March 2017, 8:06

      All of the radio chatter from him yesterday was about how the car did not feel balanced. Hopefully a one-time thing.

    2. It was all about poor setup. Kimi said that in an interview after the race. They knew already yesterday after the poor qualification what was wrong with the car and that it would be difficult today in the race, because changing the setup isn’t allowed after qualification, so Kimi had to drive with that poor setup. They know what was wrong and will fix that for the next race. Funny thing is that Kimi still managed to drive the fastest lap of the race when the car was light at the end.

  8. Poor Alonso lol, should be him.

    1. How so.

      You make your bed, you lay in it.

  9. You can say that Ferrari won due to a bad Mercedes strategy call, and that this was supposed to happen last year, and Ferrari was a wreck after that. But in the after-race interview, Verstappen commented on how hard it is to get into 2s of the next car, and this is a guy known for pushing hard, he even asked in the last few laps if he could challenge the fastest lap. Bottas got close to Hamilton, but had to back off as he got into the 2s zone. So I guess, one, it is as hard as they say to overtake with these new cars, and two, Vettel staying inside 2s behind Hamilton at the start, and occasionally got into the DRS zone, shows that Ferrari does have some real pace.

    May be a great season ahead in term of competition for the Championship, but I’m not that optimistic about the on-track actions.

    1. But Vettel was able to stay within a second of Hamilton!

      1. That’s because Lewis was struggling with his tires. Furthermore, it’s ok getting close, but if you’re still unable to get pass, what’s the point?

        1. The point is they are close in pace! And Hamilton wouldn’t be struggling if someone wasn’t pushing him to go faster than he was comfortable with!

          1. His tire issues had nothing to do with Seb pushing him. Reported at the start that the grip was very poor.

            In his own words, Seb was struggling to stay close Hamilton, even though Lewis had tire issues.

            http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/128663/vettel-verstappen-key-to-beating-hamilton?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

        2. The passing is hard because you are unable to get close. If you get close and dont manage an overtake its time to change driver.

      2. Only for a few laps, after that he dropped off to around 2 seconds, then after the pit stops and both was in clean air, the gap was around 3 seconds until Hamilton hit traffic.

  10. I think it’s great Ferrari won. But I do think Merc would have won if rosberg was still in the car. Qualifying 1-2 for merc makes the difference to control the pace at the front. Bottas needed to be P2 to defend from vettel and let Lewis control the pace!!

    1. Well you may wanna check the diff between Hamilton and Rosberg usually over 4 tenths around here in qually

      1. No matter how you turn it around, Mercedes would have won if they had locked out the front row yesterday.

        1. No matter, vettel qualified 2nd and won the race. Mercedes couldn’t do anything about it and didn’t.

        2. Shoulda, woulda, coulda…..DIDNT.

    2. Andrew Purkis
      26th March 2017, 11:25

      yep not locking out the front row was what lost the race

      vettel got it right and Ham got it wrong

      Ferrari have definately closed the gap tho in race pace at least maybe even surpassed merc, losing their trick suspension has cost them here

      also its shows that the Merc aero is not suited to running in turbulent air that way not locking out the front row damaged them more that ferrari and RBR

      I wouldnt right off Merc just yet,Vettel/Ferrari fans its a long season 20 races weve only had 25 of the 500 points available

      but Merc domination 51/58 races is over i would say

    3. If, if, if… woulda, coulda, shoulda.
      Excuses, excuses.

      It’s Hamilton’s job to drive fast enough to get away from competition, not his team mate’s (who btw was the faster Merc driver today) job to help Hamilton win. I wonder how Lewis will handle the situation when Valtteri starts to beat him in races. If Bottas is this fast already after being such a short time in the team, he will eventually make it past Hamilton when he actually gets used to the team and the car. To me today’s race showed that Hamilton is actually quite vulnerable. Bottas might do to Hamilton what Hamilton did to Alonso in 2007.

      1. or what Rosberg did last year. One thing I have noticed about Hamilton compared to the other great multiple champions in the sport (I’m not totally hating on Hamilton, I admit he is a great), Hamilton never seems to do “dominant” wins – ie wins by 30 seconds, or dominate teammates in a race. today is case in point, bottas only 2 seconds away from Hamilton, even though Hamilton faster outright over 1 lap. in comparison Vettel, Alonso, Schumacher, they beat their teammates by 20-30 seconds consistently. I think part of the reason is Hamilton drives too hard straight away on a set of new tyres after a pit stop – as if it were qualigying, this was proven in the old v8 era we he often had to pit earlier than others, and by the end of the race his slower teammate is within a couple seconds of him or beating him. we saw todays race scenario multiple times with the slower Rosberg finishing right with Hamilton lots of times.

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          26th March 2017, 17:08

          @kpcart

          Did you watch the last race of 2016 season? Hamilton was driving like a bus and Nico and Vettel couldn’t pass him.

          He tends to slow down if he doesn’t need to drive fast.

          But last year at Monaco, he did beat Ricciardo with the Ultras driving on a huge stint and he’s beaten Rosberg with the medium.

          If he has trouble the car, there’s something very wrong with the car or the tyres.

          He’s capable of getting top 10 positions with car that practically can’t run as evidenced at McLaren when he got 1 point and even Whitmarsh said that it was hardest point ever won in F1 by a driver and we all know how Whitmarsh felt about Lewis…

        2. You seem to have a short memory. Go look at the races from 2014 and you will see that Hamilton completely dominated Rosberg in the first few races. Winning by 30 seconds. Once Rosberg got his telemetry he was able to see how Hamilton does it and you saw him close up gradually.

          You also have to remember that they have a small allocation of engines. Why have it give 100% power when you can have it at 75% and still win, also offering a better reliability. Simple maths.

  11. i really liked the fact, that seb was able to follow close without wrecking his tyres

    1. Guy did an overcut lol. After he followed Lewis around for laps! Plenty of tyre management that is.
      I think there really might be something to this Mercedes being overly sensitive to dirty air.

      1. yeh was really interesting that Hamilton was claiming his soft tyres were gone after following Verstappen for about 4 laps closely, yet Vettel followed Hamilton closely and then stayed out longer than Hamilton even after following closely. the Ferrari I feel is the better package – better tyre management, looks like it is driving on rails, and Mercedes only still have the qualifying engine mode advantage. I think if Vettel got to turn one first, he would have gapped the Mercedes by about 3-4 seconds before first stop.

  12. I wonder if we start hearing talks about politics in Mercedes and how they mess up…

  13. Really annoyed at the booing of Hamilton. there was no cause for that at all.

    1. @johnrkh Heard that too. Do Aussies not like Hamilton? Or was that just because it wasn’t a Merc dominated race and they wanted to rub salt in the wound? Still it’s uncalled for no matter what the reason is.

    2. There’s always cause for booing Hamilton :D

      1. nelson piquet
        26th March 2017, 12:25

        cotd

    3. @johnrkh

      Thank you for your post.

      A sampling of forums such as this very one shows a considerable number would endorse such behaviour towards HAM. The reasons for the hatred have nought to do with his driving. They are probably all to do with “freedom of speech and expression”. I believe Oz was accentuated by the fact that the tifosi, who we all know are HAM’s biggest fans, ;-) packed the podium area after the upset win.

      Don’t invest too much emotion in it. With certain voices feeling emboldened and legitimised by recent political shifts, I expect this cacophony to form a clamour. I have witnessed a considerable rise in troll-like posters on this very forum since HAM’s debut. Take your cue from the man himself. He has matured a great deal before our very eyes and embodies the “Still I Rise” emblazoned on his crash helmet. In keeping with this, he was admirably magnanimous towards VET post-race where he would, not too long ago, have cut a morose figure and focused on throwing barbs at his team for the poor strategy whilst conveniently glossing over the fact that his own premature low grip alarm had triggered the chain of events. I for one choose to take inspiration from his pioneering career and continuing success.

  14. I don’t know about the rest of the season, but Ferrari was the faster car today. They were a few tenths faster than Mercedes on race pace.

    1. +1, Agreed.

  15. Great win for Seb- but the race was won in the pits and with Verstappen holding up Hamilton who was unable to pass. I watched the race and that opening stint from Seb- were he was on Hamilton’s tail and DRS for the majority- showed that the Ferrari had the legs on Merc in race pace. Where was Kimi today? And where was Bottas in the first stint? I know Bottas finished a touch behind Lewis however his tyres were 8 laps younger and Lewis had his tyres shot from trying to pass Verstappen. On another note- that Ferrari is good in dirty air, the Merc not so much.

  16. The same Verstappen who said before the season started, that overtaking shouldnt be a problem. The difference a few extra weeks of growing older can do to one

    1. Yes, today he said it is barely possible to follow other cars when you get within 2 seconds. No point in taking anything serious that he says from this point on. Lewis was much more honest in that respect.

      1. To be fair to MV it was from his experience in following cars in testing that led him to the conclusion, not as you say that overtaking shouldn’t be a problem, but that it shouldn’t be more difficult than 2016. Racing in anger was always going to be a different kettle of fish and an unknown until they actually did it.

        To now claim that from this point on his comments shouldn’t be taken seriously, or that he was somehow being dishonest, sounds rather high school level if you ask me.

        1. Agree Robbie.

  17. Let’s all keep in mind that Ferrari almost won here last year too. I think the entire paddock will now realise how imortant saturdays and starts are going to be. I think Vettel had a pace advantage over Hamilton but had they pitted on the same lap I doubt Vettel could’ve gotten past as Mercedes still is the faster on the straight.

    1. I think people need to stop peddling this false equivalency of last year.

      What the car is doing this year is different, also Vettel beat Mercedes on pure pace today. When you back your opponent into a corner they end up in a lose lose situation.

    2. Last year is no comparison, if Hamilton hadn’t fluffed the start last year, Mercedes would have had an easy win. This tune Ferrari won because they were actually faster.

  18. B (@subhashs)
    26th March 2017, 9:48

    Today we saw two amazing drivers making a difference in the car, the way they pulled away from their respective teammates, being in their own league (sadly until only the first pit stop) , but this is what we need more of.

    1. Hamilton finished just ahead of Bottas (1.3s). Nowehere near being in “his own league”. To be honest, the two Mercedes drivers finished closest to each other than those of any other team, bar maybe Torro Rosso. Bottas’s performance should probably concern Hamilton as much as that of Ferrari.

      1. Not if you watched the race. The first stint Bottas was falling back as was Kimi, and consider that after the pitstops Hamilton used up a bit of tyre trying to get past Max and Bottas’ tyres were 8 laps younger. Once he got within the 2,5s range Hamilton kept him there and the gap was quite stable until the finish. If I was Hamilton I would be more concerned about Vettel and Ferrari along with Merc’s performance in these conditions and in dirty air. If its going to be a dog fight you need a car that can follow- Merc still seems like it doesn’t follow very well. Unlike the Ferrari were Vettel was putting pressure on Hamilton in the opening stint.

      2. Opening stint Lewis was dropping Bottas at about 4/10 per lap.

      3. You probably didn’t watch the race. I’m talking about the first stint here.

        1. You could argue Bottas drove the better first stint, making his tyres last 8 laps longer than Hamilton….

          1. Given that this was VB’s first race with Merc, and first race in a competitive car, yeah it does feel like he will be keeping LH on his toes.

          2. Maybe but what’s the point of doing that if your not going to be on the pace of the leaders? If Bottas’ intention was for 3rd place then your theory makes sense. If- as he says, he was there to win then that approach makes no sense because when eventually he was in clean air leading- he still failed to make an impression.

  19. I couldn’t help think of Paddy Lowe as Toto banged his fist on the table top.

    Hamilton should have stayed out until his tyres were properly gone and Vettel was all over him.

    1. What is Toto. I mean what does he actually do. I think he’s a very poor Team Principal, Mercedes success has been in spite of him. Too emotional, lacks a backbone and talks rubbish

      1. Yeah, boss of a team that won all the titles for 3 years with both drivers 1st and 2nd, 51 out of 59 wins….they loose 1 race on pure pace at the start of a season and he is now a useless boss. Bit over the top?

        1. Tell me what he actually did. Ross Brawn and co got Hamilton in, the development of those power trains were started long before he came in. Paddy Lowe managed the factory and development at Brackley and Andy Cowell did that at Brixworth. Stats are somewhat misleading, thats like saying I’m a great Football manager and I won everything all the time but I had Messi, Xavi, Suarez etc. All I’m saying is what does he actually do. Or is he just a glorified minder who has to report to the organ grinders at Stuttgart every so often

          1. You maybe right but impossible to say unless you are part of Merc. He was the boss in a very good time for Merc that is a fact. Cannot put it down to him but cannot take it away either. If he was nothing to do with the wins why is he responsible for not winning today and being labelled rubbish. Are you saying when Merc win it’s nothing to do with him but when they loose it’s his fault?

          2. He brought Lauda ^^

          3. Brawn made Mercedes into an only 4th best car after the Honda built brawn car he bought for nothing. In the brawn era 2010-2013, mercedes started good every year then faded as the year went in. Mercedes fortune changed only because of new engine era, not brawn.

          4. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
            27th March 2017, 12:33

            @kpcart “Mercedes fortune changed only because of new engine era, not Brawn.”
            Brawn left in Merc November ’13 (officially Feb ’14).
            It was no secret that the Hybrid era was starting in 2014,
            Are you saying that Brawn has no stake in the fact that Merc turned up in 2014 with the best car?

      2. Toto, is that you then?

    2. @john-h

      Most sensible comment I’ve read on here. HAM’s call was premature and the team should have used laptimes, telemetry and direct observation to reassure a driver who had a mere 2 days prior run twice as long on similar rubber in FP2 that there was no need to yield track position.

  20. Obviously Mercedes were screwing Hamilton’s race yet again on purpose. They want a German driver to win the championship.

    1. I’m sure @patienceandtime would agree with me 🙂

      1. nelson piquet
        26th March 2017, 12:28

        it’s a shame that he’s able to write comments to spread his nonsense

    2. Haha

    3. You got it all wrong, this year merc want a Finn to win ;) because that is what teams with thousands of employees on 500million euro budge do, they favour the lower paid driver in the team ;)

      1. …again.
        And its just to prove a misheard Murray Walker axiom.

    4. mark jackson
      26th March 2017, 17:24

      Looks like Mercedes swapped Lewis’ pit stop strategist with last year’s Ferrari strategist as well.

      1. hahaha nice one mark jackson!!!!! also witty punch from @sravan-pe to Impatienceandwhine.

  21. Come on, Kimi! You can do better than that! Splendid day for Ferrari and tifosi. Always amusing to read everyones opinion. Great site.

  22. Ferrari won it on tyre management. Hoping for more of that form in China and Kimi right up there with Vettel. And then Bahrain where Scuderia was relatively faster than in Melbourne last two years :)

    Good job Max.

    1. Nope. Premature pitstop by Merc influenced by HAM’s raising of a false alarm. Laptimes and observable balance as he drove around the track contradicted the driver’s claim of loss of grip. The team should have overruled him. Yielding track position was not smart, but they could well have looked at FP2 data and thought they had the pace advantage to reel in VET. HAM could be paying for not putting in enough race-simulation laps with the various compounds in testing to be able to fine-tune his feel for grip. He may well need some extra laps in FP2 sessions to compensate.

  23. Very interesting start to the season, and that on a track that has not been kind to Ferrari for the last decade. Also the first victory for Ferrari in the season opener since 2010..

    I think Vettel just might have got his mojo back and then some. He loves a car in which he can break late, initialize a little bit of oversteer and then get early on the gas and power out of the corner. There’s no coincidence he’s always doing well in all types of cars as this is a proven formula, slow in fast out.

    These new cars with their extra downforce and more mechanical grip offers the opportunity to do just that and he seems to revel in it. I’m not sure Ferrari was the fastest car today, it just might be the case that the new cars suit Sebastian Vettel very very well.

  24. I’m pretty sure that vettel sacrificed his race engine lifespan for that win, Mercedes to still win both championships.

  25. I’ll let everyone else talk about Vettel vs Hamilton. Ahh man such a bummer the McLaren of Alonso gave out when it did. Desperately wanted that championship point. :-(

    1. For my boy Alonso and the McLaren Honda. *pours one out*
      Do you guys think I’ll go broke if I make it a ritual?

      1. Even your bank might go broke.

  26. Great race (considering the new generation of cars can’t overtake).

    – Superb to see Vettel in his element again
    – No surprise to see such a high volume of radio whining from Hamilton. He only seems happy with easy wins. I feel sorry for the team that have to work with him.
    – New tyres look like they don’t suit Hamilton either and high tyre wear might become his undoing again as it was in the pre-Pirelli era
    – Bottas has obviously signed a #2 contract so I don’t think we’ll see anything from him this season

    Looks like we might have a contest in store!

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      26th March 2017, 17:25

      @david easy wins? like the one Vettel was served today?

    2. David:
      You make some decent points, but proceed to sully them with the ad hominem attack on HAM. That you dislike HAM puts you in the company of many like-minded people on forums such as these, but your points could be made without the use of HAM hatred as some kind of mandatory punctuation. You might as well make HAM hatred part of your username/handle.

      Objectively, you may have a point re the “whining”. HAM’s claim of lost grip led to a premature pitstop considering the laptimes in the stint in question. The team’s error was not challenging HAM by quoting the laptimes and reminding him that he had done twice the number of laps without incident in the FP2 race sim. These tyres are robust enough, so your assertion that HAM has a tyre problem, presumably occasioned by driving style, is more a wish than fact.

    3. No surprise to see such a high volume of radio whining from Hamilton. He only seems happy with easy wins. I feel sorry for the team that have to work with him.

      I don’t think HAM gives more or such an impression than VET does.

  27. Ferrari doens’t seens to be as fast as Mercedes, I really think that Vettel made the difference and put his car ahead from it’s natural position. Actually, now we can see how big is the gap between average and good drivers, this car isn’t easy to drive as the previous years.

  28. I think Mercedes will still win more races. Vettel won this in the same way he won Malaysia 2015: Hamilton pitted early and got stuck in traffic. For the first time in a long time, Ferrari’s alternate strategy worked.

  29. Bravo, Seb! Imperious drive! Well, it appears that without the benefit of the Merc PU quali mode, Hamilton is not all that special, and if he’s in the league of his own, that league is not the Premier one. And it’s not like Merc made the wrong strategy call, it’s just that Lulu somehow managed to kill his ultrasoft tyres by lap 10 – and that was while staying in the lead – while all his competition managed to preserve theirs for far longer. So keeping him out longer was not a better option considering the performance drop. It is also interesting to note that both Ferraris set their fastest laps after 50+ laps showing that they did have more pace in hand.

    Number twos in both teams were seriously disappointing though, but at least Bottas is new to the team and might improve. Raikkonen, on the other hand, was nowhere and doesn’t have that excuse, particularly since he obviously had some pace in reserve. Instead of driving one fastest lap, he should’ve concentrated on generally going faster and at least put some effort to challenge Bottas.

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      26th March 2017, 16:59

      Manule,

      Do you actually think Bottas was “seriously disappointing” ?? You did say after that that at leased he was new to the team but I still don’t get how he was even the slightest bit disappointing. He may not have had much pace to start with but he admitted that he seemed to be struggling then. It didn’t knock him that far back. But after he pitted, He was FAR faster than Hamilton. Even when he had done 8 laps, his lap times were still quite a bit faster than Hamilton’s were when his tyres had done a similar number of laps. Bottas just kept catching up with Hamilton. Judging by how fast he was catching up, I do believe his pace was better. It wasn’t just because they had done less laps. Yes, he did struggle to overtake but he barely finished a second behind Hamilton in the end. Hardly “seriously disappointing” for his first race with the team considering he was against who many say is the best driver out there.

  30. Yes, I do believe Bottas was seriously disappointing. He was nowhere with respect to Hamilton in qualifying. He was not able to keep up with Hamilton and Vettel during the first stint. He only came alive in the second part of the race, when he was like 15+ sec off the lead. He did catch up with Hamilton and reduce the gap from 6 to 1.6 sec, but then he either gave up or was instructed to or couldn’t do better and fell back to 2+ sec where he stayed unitl the end, the exact time at the finish line doesn’t matter, he was never ever close enough to Hamilton even to “struggle to overtake”. So, in my opinion it is far more likely that Lulu himself gave up when the gap to Seb was 8+ sec than Bottas was “FAR faster than Hamilton”. Considering that Hamilton was beaten by Rosberg last year, I find today’s performance from Bottas disappointing. I do hope he improves though, coz I would really like to see more than two guys duking it out in front, and the current form of RB certainly puts them out of the equation.

    1. Who is Lulu? Are you hearing voices in your head?

  31. Good drives from the top three, none of them really made any mistakes or put a foot wrong. Good to see a good tactical call from Ferrari they had some howlers last year. I think the big question for me is is the aero development on the Ferrari better than the Merc?
    The first 17 laps to see Vettel under a second to Hamilton was good to watch but… he didn’t overtake on track even though when Hamilton pitted Vettel was told his tyres were good keep pushing, so for me I don’t know how much harder the Merc is on the tyres or what other forces are at work. Ham vs Vet will be good to see over the season but i do expect wins from the other drivers.
    Too much Hamilton hate… no need for it.

  32. The more HAM influences strategy calls, the more he’s bound to lose out. This debacle was reminiscent of his contribution to his 2015 loss in Monaco.

    Granted, grip is a safety issue and should be treated as a matter of priority, but the team should have consulted the timing charts as well as data they had handy from FP2. Both would have shown HAM had plenty of life left in the tyres and did not need to yield track position. Just as in Monaco 2015, they should have used information at their disposal to overrule the driver and calmly explain why. The post-mortem after Australia 2017 will likely show HAM’s premature stop contributed decisively to VET’s win.

  33. Piyush (@square-route)
    27th March 2017, 7:15

    Three great moments of the race:

    Perez’s awesome overtake
    Ocon’s great overtake
    Vettel emerges in from of Hamilton

    1. Piyush (@square-route)
      27th March 2017, 7:20

      Vettel emerges in from of Hamilton

      Vettel emerges in front of Hamilton

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