Sebastian Vettel dominated at the opening of the Formula 1 season and won the Australian Grand Prix. He maintained his lead from the pole position until he got to the end of the Albert Park Circuit. Vettel proved his capabilities as he led at the qualifying last Saturday and on the next day, he didn’t disappoint as he set a very quick pace early on in the race.
After the first corner, Vettel stayed on first position the entire race, except of course when he went on the initial pitstops. Coming in second place was Lewis Hamilton who finished the race only 22 seconds behind. In the first half, Hamilton was able to maintain the gap between him and Vettel to less than 10 seconds.
But midway through the running, he incurred a run-off visit damage to the floor of his McLaren MP4-26. Nevertheless, he took second place – very impressive considering that he wasn’t one of the forerunners.
The real surprise came from the podium finish for Renault’s Vitaly Petrov, who is the first Russian driver to achieve this. In fact, he was faster than Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso by a second. In Melbourne, Petrov set out to use two pitstops. This was a risky move but he was able to fend off the cars chasing him in the last two laps.
Alonso had a poor start and was at 9th place but he eventually recovered and finished the race at 7th place after the first two laps. He later made gains from a drivethrough penalty given to McLaren’s Jenson Button for having cut a corner when going past Felipe Massa.
With this move, he leaped two spots to snag fifth place. The Ferrari driver went through two rounds of pit stops before he can overtake Red Bull’s Mark Webber. He got close to Petrov but his efforts weren’t enough and he settled for 4th place, right before Webber.