Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix ... Vettel finishes 3rd after a thrilling race
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Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix ... Vettel finishes 3rd after a thrilling race
Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix ... Vettel finishes 3rd after a thrilling race
Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix ... Vettel finishes 3rd after a thrilling race
Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix ... Vettel finishes 3rd after a thrilling race
Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix ... Vettel finishes 3rd after a thrilling race
Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix ... Vettel finishes 3rd after a thrilling race
Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix ... Vettel finishes 3rd after a thrilling race
Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix ... Vettel finishes 3rd after a thrilling race
Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix ... Vettel finishes 3rd after a thrilling race
Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix ... Vettel finishes 3rd after a thrilling race
Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix ... Vettel finishes 3rd after a thrilling race

Melbourne, 20 March, 1026

Scuderia Ferrari put on a strong showing at the Australian Grand Prix. At the start, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen both got the jump on the two Mercedes ahead of them on the front row of the grid, to lead the race. However, after 18 laps the race was red-flagged because of a huge crash involving Fernando Alonso and Esteban Gutierrez. The stoppage wiped out the advantage Vettel had built up over Rosberg and upset the race strategy, allowing Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton to move back into the top two places. Raikkonen then had to pit and retire at the end of lap 21 with a technical problem. Vettel began to close steadily on the Mercedes duo so that he ended the race right on the tail of the German cars.


Nico Rosberg
That was a perfect race for me. The start was tricky, as I was on the dirty side of the grid and Vettel managed to be ahead. He did a really good job at the start Ė but we chose the perfect strategy by going onto the medium tyre after the red flag. A big thanks to the team on the pit wall for that, to everyone back at the factories for this fantastic car and to everyone back in Europe who woke up so early to tune in for the race. I hope it was a good show for you! We can enjoy this moment for sure Ė but we know now just how strong those red cars will be this season, so we cannot afford to relax. Iím really looking forward to the next races and hopefully some more exciting battles. Finally, I also have to say it was a big relief to see Fernando walk away from his shunt. It shows how incredible the safety of these cars is now, which is great to see.

Lewis Hamilton
Iíd had a perfect weekend in every way up until the lights went out and felt confident heading into the race. I got a bit of wheelspin off the line then got pushed wide at the first corner, so from there it was just about recovering. But these things happen and Iím grateful for the way I was able to fight back through. P2 isnít bad in terms of damage limitation after a start like that. I spent a long time stuck behind one of the Toro Rossos and there wasnít a lot I could do about it as he was on a quicker tyre. I could just see the others pulling away, so the safety car definitely helped by bunching us all up again. I was already on a one-stop strategy and, to be honest, I donít know why everyone else didnít do the same on the medium. Iím happy they didnít, as I probably would have finished a lot further back. In any case, the team did a great job to help us pull it back and thereís still 20 races to go, so Iím feeling pretty chilled. Iíve had far worse starts to the season, so Iíll take that today and head into the next one looking up.

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport

First of all, a big relief to see Fernando walk away from that shunt. The race itself was extremely tense throughout Ė a real cliffhanger and a great way to show what Formula One is really about. We didnít get it right at the start. The drivers were slow away from the line then touched at the first corner, so we were forced into recovery mode. Our plan from there had been to put Nico on a two stop and Lewis a one stop strategy before the red flag came out. We did the maths and opted to go with one set of mediums to the end, with the drivers on the knife edge of endurance and performance. Managing tyres and temperatures became a big challenge, with debris causing an overheating brake caliper that almost forced us to retire Nico at one stage. Thankfully that was not the case and he led Lewis home for a hard-fought 1-2. A perfect result to start the year, a great job from the drivers to manage and recover the race, fantastic work on the pit wall to give them the right strategy to do so and an incredible team effort from everybody at the factories to get us here. We must now sort our starts and look to carry out momentum into Bahrain.

Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical)

What can you say after a race like that? Absolutely fantastic to get a 1-2 at the first race of the season Ė particularly after we made life very difficult for ourselves with a pair of poor starts. After the red flag we opted to run the medium tyre to the end and expected others to do the same Ė which would have made the win a very big ask, let alone a 1-2. Of course, we can look back and enjoy it now Ė but it was quite stressful at the time! It made for a great spectacle, so I hope the fans enjoyed it. Overall, we can be extremely happy today. Congratulations to everyone back at Brackley, Brixworth and Stuttgart. Together, theyíve produced a car which has given us the perfect start to the season in very exciting circumstances.

Maurizio Arrivabene
ĒOur pace was good in the first part of the Grand Prix, before the race was red-flagged, but we shouldnít use it as an excuse. This only show that you shouldnít count your chickens before theyíre hatched. Todayís race should serve as a lesson to us to push even harder, with even more humility and dedication, starting already at the next race in Bahrain.Ē

Sebastian Vettel
ďI obviously had a great start, I was very happy to see that I had a better start than the two cars in front of me, reminding me of Hungary last year and it worked out. It was great to see that Kimi made it as well, so we got first and second and from there we dictated the pace. The red flag didnít help us, but to be fair the most important thing was that Fernando and Esteban were alright. It was the right decision to stop the race. First time I went through I saw the debris on the track. Naturally the expectations are higher when you had a strong season last year and you wanted to close the gap. Yesterday we were a bit further away and today we were closer. In general it was a great race, I was racing flat out until to the end, I didnít want to go onto the grass but I did the lawn mower! So I donít have to do it next week when I go home, but for sure we would have liked more from today.Ē

Kimi Raikkonen
ďToday we had a good first part of the race but at a certain point I lost power and had to retire. I donít know exactly what happened, I donít think that the problem was related to the engine because it was still running. It must have been something else. Itís a very unfortunate thing for the whole team. After the winter testing we had a rough idea that we should be pretty ok, Saturday was a funny day, with very odd conditions and circumstances, so we knew that the time difference in qualifying was not real. The car has been handling well, itís fast and I had a good feeling but obviously we need to finish the race. We still have some work to do.Ē

Kevin Magnussen

ďWe have a really good car; the pace is strong, as is the baseline set-up. Itís something we can continue to work from and evolve to gain more performance. Today was pretty tough at the start as I was really gutted about the puncture. I donít think I had any contact so it was really unfortunate. You never want to see a red flag incident, and itís a positive statement that Fernando could walk away from that dramatic crash, but the restart did benefit us. Our pace after the restart was very promising so Iím excited for the next racesĒ.

Jolyon Palmer

ďI think the team has done an incredible job this weekend to qualify in Q2 and then finishing the race in eleventh and twelfth; itís the maximum we could expect to achieve. Itís a good start, we were so close to scoring points, and we can move forward from here. The race itself was busy but good fun; I absolutely loved being wheel to wheel again after a year out of racing. It was great to be back in the fray and it all went pretty smoothly for me. Happy days.Ē

Fred Vasseur, Racing Director

ďToday was very encouraging for the team as we showed good race pace and a good base to build on. We need to take a look at our qualifying pace to get us further up the grid and hopefully start to get some good results as it would have been much better to score points today! Both Kevin and Jolyon did a very good job, it was a shame to have Kevin suffer from a puncture but the rest of the afternoon went well, especially for a first race.Ē

Bob Bell, Chief Technical Officer

ďIt was a very credible first race from the team with everyone gelling and performing at a high standard. We had a trouble-free weekend, made the most out of the new qualifying format then the race was managed well with the only upset being Kevinís puncture. Both drivers drove well and the car even looked a little racier than expected. We didnít score points today but we werenít far off. Thatís definitely the next target.Ē

Pos.

Driver Team Chassis # Time

1. 

N. Rosberg Mercedes F1 W07 Hybrid/03

2. 

L. Hamilton Mercedes F1 W07 Hybrid/01 +8.606

3. 

S. Vettel Ferrari 314 +9.643

4. 

D. Ricciardo Red Bull  +34.330

5. 

F. Massa Williams  +58.979

6. 

R. Grosjean Haas  +1:12.081

7. 

N. Hulkenberg Force India  +1:14.199

8. 

V. Bottas Williams  +1:15.153

9. 

C. Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso  +1:15.680

10. 

M. Verstappen Toro Rosso  +1:16.833

11. 

J. Palmer Renault R.S.16-01  +1:23.399

12. 

K. Magnussen Renault R.S.16-02  +1:25.606

13. 

S. Perez Force India  +1:31.699

14. 

J. Button McLaren  +1 Lap

15.

F. Nasr Sauber  +1 Lap

16. 

P. Wehrlein Manor  +1 Lap

Did not finish

17. 

M. Ericsson Sauber  +19 Laps

18. 

K. Raikkonen Ferrari 317 +36 Laps

19. 

R. Haryanto Manor  +40 Laps

20. 

F. Alonso McLaren  +41 Laps

21. 

E. Gutiérrez Haas  +41 Laps

22. 

D. Kvyat Red Bull  +57 Laps
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