Vettel Wins Australian GP; Steals Lewis Hamilton’s Thunder
German Sebastian Vettel won the season opener Australian Grand Prix and demoted fan favourite Lewis Hamilton to second place. Throughout the weekend, Briton Hamilton had the best possible preparation with a blistering pole position – setting a lap record to boot – but still finished runner-up.
Hamilton finished second when the race turned on its head after a loose wheel forced Romain Grosjean of team Haas to stop before the halfway mark of the race, which caused Hamilton to slow down during the deployment of the VSC and prompted Vettel to pit.
Laps earlier, teammate Kevin Magnusson had to beach his car after what seemed to be the same failure.
A confused and shocked Hamilton asked over the team radio: “What just happened, guys? Why did you not tell me Vettel was in the pits?…Was that my mistake? Was I supposed to go quicker through the safety car?”
The debate on what went wrong will go on and the team will have to get their act sorted out before the next race in Bahrain on 8th April.
As for Haas, they will rue what had at first been a great weekend leading up to the race, ending with their double DNFs.
Top three finishers were Vettel, Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen, followed by home hero, Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull Racing, a rejuvenated Fernando Alonso of McLaren—after all the mishaps during testing—and followed by Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing. Down the order completing the top ten were Niko Hulkenberg of Renault, Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes, Stoffel Vandoorne of McLaren and Carlos Sainz Jr of Renault.
It makes for an intriguing race come round two at the Sakhir circuit, where it is a different ball game altogether. Whatever the outcome, it’ll definitely keep us glued to our TV sets.
Watch the race highlights here :