Sebastian Vettel takes advantage of a Mercedes miscalculation relating to a caution period to win the season-opening Australian Grand Prix ahead of Lewis Hamilton.
Sebastian Vettel has secured an opportunistic victory over Lewis Hamilton in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
The Mercedes driver was in control of the race until Romain Grosjean's Haas pulled up on the side of the track and officials imposed a virtual safety car.
Hamilton had already made his pit stop but Vettel had yet to make his, allowing Ferrari to pounce on the opportunity and jump into the lead.
Until the VSC intervention, the world champion was well ahead in the race after taking pole position by nearly 0.7 seconds on Saturday.
However, Hamilton was unable to pass Vettel's Ferrari thereafter, before losing pace in the closing laps and having to work hard to secure second place.
Vettel's Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen finished third after holding off Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo during the closing stages, the latter taking fourth place.
McLaren's Fernando Alonso was another to benefit from the caution period as he ran 10th in the first part of the race, but subsequently ran long like Vettel and emerged fifth.
Australian GP top 10:
1. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)
2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
3. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)
4. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)
5. Fernando Alonso (McLaren)
6. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
7. Nico Hulkenberg (Renault)
8. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)
9. Stoffel Vandoorne (McLaren)
10. Carlos Sainz (Renault)
Wurz: 'Tension in Red Bull driver lineup' >