After four years of drought, Ferrari kick-started the 2017 Formula 1 season with a bang as Sebastian Vettel zoomed past the checkered flag beating Lewis Hamilton to win the season-opening Rolex Australian Grand Prix, Melbourne.
Remarkably, the 29-year-old German defeated defending champion Mercedes’ Hamilton by almost 10 seconds (relatively speaking that’s a big deal in F1) after 57 laps, making it clear that Ferrari to hopes to get back to Schumacher days.
Teammate Kimi Raikkonen who had won for Ferrari 10 years ago at Albert Park finished fourth pulling in 12 points, as Scuderia Ferrari now has a total of 37 points in the Constructors’ Championship.
Critical Race moment:
As Vettel was chasing the three-time world champion polesitter- Hamilton, the Mercedes had worn off its ultrasoft Pirelli tires after 17 laps and had to go through the first round of stops. On the other hand, Vettel managed to get his to the 22nd lap before undergoing a flawlessly performed sole pit stop on lap 23 for fresh tyres which prompted him to rejoin the track ahead of Hamilton.
Fact: Pit stop’s are executed by engineers ( I failed in engineering. Period.)
Briton Hamilton could have regained the lead, but he came out of the pits behind fifth-placed Red Bull’ Max Verstappen and struggled to pass through despite running on fresher rubber.
Thereafter, Scuderia Ferrari bagged its 225th Formula 1 victory as Vettel booked his 43rd and his fourth with a team whose owner seems to be alive and kicking literally (no hard feelings).
After the dramatic first win since the Singapore GP in September 2015, Vettel said that it’s been a great day for us [Ferrai]. The entire team has been working so hard at the track as much as back at the factory [Maranello]. So it’s a great feeling. “Grazie Mille”[thank you very much in Italian], you can’t say much more.
He further added that it’s just the beginning and there’s still a lot of work going on. This is one of many steps and Ferrari have to enjoy what they do. It’s great to see people smiling. Now they have to reset to go to China and try to do a good job.