Vettel victorious in Melbourne

Published: 26 March 2017 Image credit: Getty Images

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel started 2017 in the best way possible, by taking out the Australian Grand Prix - while Aussie Daniel Ricciardo failed to finish after multiple car failures.

This win was Ferrari's first victory in Melbourne since Kimi Raikkonen took home the trophy in 2007, and was Vettel's first win since 2015.

Vettel crossed the chequered flag almost 10 seconds ahead of his Mercedes rivals Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas who completed the podium.

The race started with some controversy - as a false start saw the drivers reset their positions, while Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo was forced to start the race from the pits after encountering car troubles on the warm-up lap.

Once the race got underway, Hamilton snagged the lead on the opening corner - and looked to have control of the field, while Vettel closely followed behind.

After 17 laps, Hamilton made his first stop of the race - but emerged from pit lane behind Red Bull's Max Verstappen, who slowed down the Mercedes and gave Vettel an opening.

Some clever strategy from the Ferrari team saw Vettel exit the pits in front of Hamilton - and allowed him to take the race lead, which he would maintain until he crossed the chequered flag.

Behind Vettel, it was a battle between the Mercedes drivers for the final two podium positions - but it was Hamilton who took home bragging rights in the team garage, while Bottas finished in third.

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen finished the race in fourth position - narrowly edging out Red Bull's Max Verstappen, who put a lot of late pressure on his Finnish rival, but ultimately finished in fifth.

Things were not quite as good for Verstappen's team-mate Daniel Ricciardo - who ran into even more trouble later in the race and was forced to retire from his home Grand Prix.

Felipe Massa returned from a brief retirement to steer his Williams to sixth, while Sergio Perez finished in seventh - narrowly ahead of the Toro Rosso pair of Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat.

Force India rookie Esteban Ocon rounded out the top ten, after a late incident with McLaren's Fernando Alonso forced the former world champion to retire with five laps remaining.