Ferrari sprang a surprise on the opening weekend of the 2017 season as they threatened Mercedes' dominance of the sport with Vettel winning in just under 10 seconds from Hamilton.
[AUSTRALIA GP BLOG: Vettel victorious]
Mercedes new boy Valtteri Bottas was third but it was a chastening home GP for Daniel Ricciardo, who was forced to retire.
Formula 1
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Lewis Hamilton (2nd, Mercedes)

I didn't really know how quick they were going to be in the race. The pace they showed in testing was obviously true. Today, their speed particularly in that first stint on the ultrasoft tyres was fantastic. To be honest my real strength wasn't until right at the end of the race, but it was far too late by then. It's always been tough to follow in Formula 1. It's definitely for me a lot worse, as I'd anticipated. I hope that doesn't mean that for the rest of the year it's more of a train. I don't know if it was exciting for you guys to watch. But for me personally I want to be closer up with cars and more close wheel-to-wheel battling. It's really with strategy through pit stops that we're racing right now. It's really just set-up and things we'll be able to change for next time to make things better. Just got to make sure you stay up in front. But it's great - we've got a race on our hands!

Sebastian Vettel (1st, Ferrari)

For all of us, it is a positive surprise. The big difference was being able to deliver a really good car... I think the new car in general obviously is fantastic and is a great reward, a big relief for everyone.

Valtteri Bottas (3rd, Mercedes)

The team has been so welcoming. We've worked really hard for this first race to be ready. Everything went nice and smoothly. Just the red guys, they are a bit too quick. We need to work harder and we are definitely ready for that. I'm ready for that. This is a start, starting with the podium and if we improve on this I look forward to the next few races. This track has never been fantastic for me in qualifying, but today the race was good. As a team I think we did a good job with the car we had. Ferrari was quicker today, no doubt about that, so they did a better job this weekend.

Kimi Raikkonen (4th, Ferrari)

Obviously for the team it was a great start winning the race. From my side a bit not ideal. But it's a good foundation and we have a strong package. Obviously especially here it's all about qualifying and the start and it's hard to overtake on this circuit. I suffered a bit with the same tyres than in qualifying with the ultrasofts. When I moved to the soft tyres I was good. It's not an ideal start but at least I got points and fourth place is far from a disaster. Comparing to past years I think we have a very strong foundation to build on.

Sebastian Vettel of Germany celebrates after winning the Australian Grand Prix.

Image credit: Reuters

Daniel Ricciardo (DNF, Red Bull)

Obviously I was lapping a few laps down. But we were getting some information which was better than nothing. I think the more laps we get with this car the more we're learning. It was still valuable track time. That was a separate issue [to the start]. At the end we believe it was something to do with fuel pressure - basically it just switched off. There was nothing - it was just instant. No procedure I could do to stay out there. I feel bad for everyone, bad for the fans. Obviously I believe there's more people here supporting me than the others. I'm sure they would have loved me to get out there and race, but it just kind of snowballed I guess from yesterday.

Fernando Alonso (DNF, McLaren)

It was probably the best race of my life until that moment [retiring with seven laps left]. [There are] few times I've had such a an uncompetitive car, without any winter preparation, having to save fuel in a brutal way - I think we had to lift about a second per lap - and even so we were in the points. It was a pretty big surprise what we were doing, but in the end we couldn't complete it. But it was probably one of the best races I've had. As I said, there'll be few times with a weekend like this: 13th in qualifying and running in the points I think it's something that's going to be basically impossible in the next races. This track is difficult, very narrow, very bumpy, where you need experience. On normal tracks our position will be a bit lower so we we need to improve immediately because otherwise we are going to have very frustrating races.
Formula 1
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Formula 1
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