Sebastian Vettel wins the Australian Grand Prix

The former World Champion finished ahead to the two Mercedes drivers

BY Daniel Kelly 10:22 Sunday 26 March 2017, 10:22 26 Mar 2017

Picture by: HZ/DPA/PA Images

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel has won the Australian Grand Prix, the opening race of the 2017 Formula 1 season.

The win, is Vettel's fourth for Ferrari, but his first since September 2015, when he won the Singapore Grand Prix. It's also Vettel's first win in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix since 2011, when he won the second of his four World titles.

Despite starting the race in second place, behind Lewis Hamilton, the German overtook the Mercedes driver after the first round of pit stops. From there, he never relinquished the lead, and went on to win by almost ten seconds.

After Nico Rosberg retired from the sport last season after winning the World Driver's Championship, this is the first season since 1994 to take place without the reigning World Champion competing.

Ferrari and Mercedes dominated the opening race of the season, in a warning to the other teams on the grid. Vettel finished ahead of the Mercedes duo of Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas. Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen finished in fourth place.

"There is a long, long way ahead but for now we are over the moon", Vettel said after the win. "It has been a hard winter, and an incredible race today".

"I was a bit nervous at the start and Lewis was better, then I had to take care of Valtteri in turn one, then I had to keep the pressure on, to get the message that we are here and we are here to fight."

The second Grand Prix takes place in China on April 9th, with Vettel hoping to increase his lead at the top of the Driver's Standings.

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