Motorsport: Sebastian Vettel takes stunning Formula One win

Sebastian Vettel celebrates his win on the podium during the Australian F1 Grand Prix. Photo / Getty Images
Sebastian Vettel celebrates his win on the podium during the Australian F1 Grand Prix. Photo / Getty Images

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel has won the Australian Grand Prix as local hope Daniel Ricciardo failed to finish the race.

Four-times world champion Vettel won by almost 10 seconds from Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, to secure his 43rd Formula One race victory.

Ricciardo bowed out midway through the season-opening race at Melbourne's Albert Park when his car suffered engine failure.

The Australian endured a wretched home grand prix: he crashed in qualifying; copped a grid penalty; started the race from pit lane; then his car stopped on lap 29 of the 57-lap race.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said it appeared Ricciardo's car suffered engine failure.

"It has gone from bad to worse ... it's a shame for him," Horner said.

Vettel had no such problems in a commanding victory, which evidenced Ferrari's readiness to challenge the recent dominance of Mercedes, who have won the past three constructors' championships and also provided the past three individual world champs.

Mercedes' Hamilton complained via team radio of power issues during the race.

But his problems paled to those of Ricciardo, who began Sunday's race some two laps after the rest of the field - and from pit lane, rather than the grid.

Ricciardo's car suffered an electrical fault on a procession lap, which caused his vehicle to be stuck in sixth gear.

The problem followed Ricciardo crashing during qualifying on Saturday, and then being penalised five grid spots before Sunday's race.

After crashing when he spun and hit a barrier during a routine corner, repairs to Ricciardo's Red Bull car included a new gearbox, which incurs a five-spot sanction.

Ricciardo had qualified 10th fastest but slipped to 15th spot, though the penalty became redundant when his car suffered the fresh electrical issue.

Then his car's engine gave up completely half way through his race, capping a nightmare weekend for the Australian driver.

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen was fourth with Ricciardo's Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen fifth.

Felipe Massa in a Williams, Sergio Perez in a Force India, Toro Rosso duo Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat, and Esteban Ocon in a Force India rounded out the top 10.

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW
Stats provided by

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf04 at 28 May 2017 11:59:14 Processing Time: 481ms