WHERE THE RACE WAS WON
Lewis Hamilton started very well from pole – but Sebastian Vettel didn’t let his chance slip once it was presented to him. Ferrari’s pit-stop strategy outshone Mercedes’, and once the German hit the front he carefully built up his lead. He was assisted by Valtteri Bottas, Hamilton’s new team-mate, putting the pressure on the Brit from third place.
Three stars out of five. It was a grouchy start to the season for Lewis Hamilton, complaining even before the race began about his grip on the track. He then also took the time to whine about not being about to overtake Max Verstappen despite his team’s gentle urgings, responding: “How do you expect me to do that?” As always, the Mercedes radio reply was diplomatic and encouraging. They could do nothing to get him back past Vettel, though, so he'll have to make the most of his latest career achievement.
PIT RADIO EXCHANGE OF THE DAY
Daniel Ricciardo, usually the sunniest of souls, didn’t have a smile to spare this weekend after his crash in qualifying and then his enforced retirement during the race. His team bore the brunt over the radio.
MOVE OF THE RACE
Valtteri Bottas’s fine driving closed the gap between him and his new team-mate Hamilton in the final stages, making it a slightly more intriguing denouement than the procession to the podium that some might have expected. The Brit was not happy to be informed of his colleague’s speed over the radio.
Limited overtaking on view. Force India’s Esteban Ocon did brilliantly five laps from the end, intersecting Nico Hulkenberg and Fernando Alonso, bursting through the middle, sparks flying, and taking tenth place.
Read the full article on eurosport.co.uk: Australian Grand Prix: Vettel victorious, Ricciardo loses his smile