Australian Grand Prix race day


By: Geoff Creighton


Status: Stopped
Here's our full report of how Sebastian Vettel stole the Australian Grand Prix for Ferrari. Thanks for joining us. See you again for the Bahrain GP in a little less than two weeks time.
Australian Grand Prix: Sebastian Vettel jumps Lewis Hamilton to win
That winning feeling

That winning feeling

"It was OK, I didn't have the most luck. Luckily it was Seb who had the most luck. I think I had decent speed all race long," Raikkonen is laconic about his afternoon as the crowd chants 'Kimi! Kimi! Kimi!. his first Melbourne podium since he won here for Lotus in 2013.
"It's been an incredible weekend," says Hamilton. "Congratulations to Sebastian. We have to go back to the drawing board. We had pace, but it's so hard to overtake here - even with the extra DRS."
"Pretty good. We got a bit lucky with the safety car," says Vettel. "My start didn't really work, I lost my connection to Lewis and Kimi, I was struggling with my tyres, I was praying for a safety car!"
Here comes Mark Webber to conduct the podium interviews.
Time to spray the champagne!
Hamilton won't be in party mode now, but second is still a decent start to his championship defence.
As he said after qualifying yesterday, he and Kimi can have a party tonight.
Vettel is all smiles, as well he might be having stolen that race away from Mercedes.
Hamilton forces a smile and waves to the crowd.
Raikkonen is first onto the podium in his usual understated fashion.
The top three drivers are making their way to the podium while a brass band plays.
"You were unlucky with the safety car - could have been an easy second place" Ferrari tells Raikkonen, who drove a decent race overall to complete the podium, though fell away in the second stint.
"Sorry about that one mate. You had it in the bag. We'll chat about it later". The inquest will have already begun at Mercedes.
Vettel climbs out of his car, almost trips over it, then charges over to his Ferrari team to celebrate. A lucky win, but you take them wherever you find them in motor racing.
Hamilton is clearly a bit shell shocked by all that. He takes a few moments to process before getting out of the car. He should have won this race.
"Yes Fernando! Well done! P5". McLaren is chuffed with that result. "I'm proud of you guys" is Alonso's response. Strong start for McLaren-Renault.
Retirements: Grosjean, Magnussen, Gasly, Ericsson, Sirotkin
"Nice job Seb. P1. Well managed". Ferrari is happy. Vettel praises the strategy. "We are getting there. Still some homework to do". He knows Ferrari has fluked this race today.
Result: 1 Vettel; 2 Hamilton; 3 Raikkonen; 4 Ricciardo; 5 Alonso; 6 Verstappen; 7 Hulkenberg; 8 Bottas; 9 Vandoorne; 10 Sainz; 11 Perez; 12 Ocon; 13 Leclerc; 14 Stroll; 15 Hartley
Ocon is a lonely 12th then Leclerc resists Stroll for 13th. Hartley is a distant last.
Sainz successfully resists Perez for the final point.
Vandoorne catches Bottas for eighth on the last lap but the Mercedes stays ahead.
The top four was covered by just over seven seconds.
Alonso successfully fends off Verstappen to start the McLaren-Renault era with fifth. Hulkenberg chases them home.
Hamilton trails home second, with Raikkonen third and Ricciardo fourth.
Vettel wins the Australian Grand Prix!
Bottas isn't going to get higher than eighth, he's now 2s adrift of Hulkenberg ahead.
Hamilton has fallen back towards the Raikkonen/Ricciardo battle, but doesn't look under threat.
And with those buttons pressed, Verstappen closes back up towards Alonso's tail for fifth.
"It will be the last lap next. You have three full press-and-holds of the overtaking button. Use them on the last lap. You know where," Red Bull tells Verstappen.