Things could not have got off to a better start for Ferrari with their driver Sebastian Vettel in great form, winning the first race of the 2017 Formula One season, Australian Grand Prix on Sunday, March 26. This is Vettel's second win in Australia after having won the title in 2011.
Mercedes' Leiws Hamilton, who started the race in a pole position, finished second with his new team mate Valtteri Bottas completing the race in third position. Here are five things we have learned from the Australian Grand Prix 2017.
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Vettel's Ferrari is fast, really fast
Hamilton might have started the Australian Grand Prix as a huge favourite, but Ferrai and primarily Vettel looked in cruise control once he took the first position. What surprised many F1 fans might have been the way Vettel won the Australian GP, beating Hamliton by almost 10 seconds. Even Mercedes' Bottas later said that the Ferrari were too quick. Vettel looked extremely fast and clocked some impressive lap timings on Sunday. With Kimi Raikkonen finishing fourth, Ferrari, as a unit, have also delivered in the first race of the season.
Tone set for an exciting F1 2017 season
With Vettel's win, Ferrari has drawn first blood. The Ferrari were one of the most impressive teams in the pre-season, and with the way Vettel performed in the first race of the season, this year has all the ingredients for a classic battle between Ferrari and Mercedes. This win will give Ferrari a huge confidence in the future races of the season too, and if Vettel can maintain this consistency, we are in for a competitive season with the battle for the 2017 world champions between Vettel and Hamilton.
Valtteri Bottas – impressive debut in Mercedes car
After the shocking retirement of Nico Rosberg, Mercedes seemed to have done a good job on finding a decent replacement in the form of Valtteri Bottas, who finished third in Australia. There were instances, especially with the last 20 laps to go that he closed down on Hamilton, and also tried to pressurise him from behind.
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Daniel Ricciardo starts F1 2017 on a false note
All eyes were on Red Bull's driver Daniel Ricciardo from the first day of the Australian GP, but the driver spun his car in the qualifying session, and finished 10th on Saturday. But, that become even worse as he suffered a five-spot grid penalty due to an unscheduled gearbox change, meaning he had to start from the 15th place. That was not the end of the horror story for the Australian as he faced technical problems on the way to the grid even before the race started. Red Bull fixed the problems but he had to start the race two laps behind the rest of the field, and he ultimately came to a stop on lap 29, finishing his home grand prix without even completing the race.
Fans pour onto the Albert Park – not good signs
With the cars still on the track and coming to the pits, the fans were eager to get up close and get a glimpse of the cars and drivers. They came out on the track, which should not have happened as it could have led to major chaos and confusion on the track. The officials should have stopped them from gaining entry into the track.