Vettel beats Hamilton: F1 finally gets the rivalry it craves

New Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas is quietly confident he can challenge for his maiden F1 win

New Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas is quietly confident he can challenge for his maiden F1 win

"I'd much rather win than lose but it's part of Formula 1".

Sunday's season-opening Australian Grand Prix gave Formula One the changing of the guard it had so desperately yearned for. But Ricciardo's weekend never got going here. We have a great driver in Sebastian winning four titles after his incredible surge into Formula One and he will continue to be a force for many years to come.

Sebastian Vettel's Australian Grand Prix victory on Sunday was the team's first race win since September 2015.

Vettel finished in 1 hour, 24 minutes and 11.672 seconds, nearly 10 seconds clear of Hamilton, to give Ferrari its first win in Australia since Kimi Raikkonen took the title in 2007.

Meanwhile, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said that the red vehicle was faster.

Another veteran fan, Frank Dargenton from Sydney, face-painted and bedecked in Ferrari gear, watched his first race at Monaco in 1972 and this year will also be travelling to Japan, Monza, Spa, Austin, Mexico and Singapore.

"It is a wonderful feeling coming into a new era of Formula One to have a auto that is so strong", Hamilton said.

Ferrari's testing pace left many to wonder whether the team could take on Mercedes this season.

Red Bull managed to get him in the race - albeit two laps down - but he retired with a mechanical issue. But to see us come here and be battling so closely for a win and missing out marginally, there's a lot of things to be incredibly proud of. It was a mature drive from the young Dutchman and look for him get faster as the RB13 improves throughout the season. It felt like I was just sliding around, always missing front grip, rear grip, especially after like 10 laps of the first stint.

"I hope it stays that way and then we'll see how it turns out, but it's obviously a lot of fun to race for victories and a lot of fun to race against the best". "Take the strength of the weekend". But the resurgence of the Prancing Horse should hopefully provide us with the ingredients for a scintillating season.

Ferrari's head of racing activities Jock Clear, who joined from Mercedes, said it was a good feeling. Teammate Kevin Magnussen was a non-factor after a first-lap incident that would lead to suspension failure later in the race.

The four-time world champion is confident however of mounting a challenge on Sunday, reiterating his belief that team and auto have come a long way over the past year year. Unfortunately, he was forced to retire on just lap 29, missing out on a race in front of his home crowd. "Our vehicle is obviously not very competitive at the moment, so being able to keep the auto in the points was a little surprising".

"We were running a decent race and the pace was pretty good", Stroll said.

Despite his personal performance, Alonso hilariously called the McLaren a last-place vehicle, shoveling shame on Honda's still struggling race department.

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