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Sebastian Vettel masters Lewis Hamilton to win Australian Grand Prix

12 April 2017

Indeed, yesterday's win means that for the first time under the new formula introduced in 2014, a non-Mercedes powered driver leads the championship.

Thereafter, there was no stopping Ferrari, who made up for fumbling what should have been victory here past year by setting out their stall for all to see.

"If it wasn't already clear after qualifying, then it's certainly clear now that this is going to be a season of very small margins", Mercedes technical director James Allison said.

"It's good to know that we have a great auto but it's just the beginning: new regulations, new generations of cars, so there will be a lot of progress". We won't panic, though.

"I think there's things we'll have to change for the next time to make it better, but yeah, it's great - we've got a race on our hands".

Next up on the calendar is the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai in a fortnight. Mercedes won 19 of the 21 F1 Global Positioning System in 2016, and Red Bull collected the other two titles.

Mercedes have dominated Formula One for the past three years, but Sebastian Vettel's comfortable victory here would appear to suggest that their stranglehold on the sport may be over. Would we have been good enough to win?

"For now, we're just over the moon", four-time world champion Vettel said.

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"It was about time", Marchionne said. We had an exceptional run the last three years. Hearing the Italian national anthem again was very moving. He soon caught him and was told by his engineer Peter Bonnington: "This is race-critical - you need to pass Verstappen".

"We always said this was an outlier and we can not expect this to continue forever". Fernando Alonso was the fastest in Australia at Melbourne that year.

Hamilton led from pole position but struggled for pace in the opening laps and after an early pit stop was held up by Red Bull's Max Verstappen, allowing Vettel to get ahead.

"Sure, I'm disappointed now but it is what it is".

Hamilton says the result is evidence that the two cars have similar performance and is therefore expecting "an actual race" to the championship this season.

"I hope it stays that way and then we will see how it turns out - but it's obviously a lot of fun to race for victories".

However, the Briton managed to claw his way back into second place ahead of Bottas in third and Raikkonen in fourth.

Sebastian Vettel masters Lewis Hamilton to win Australian Grand Prix