‘Beautiful day’ for Sebastian Vettel as breaks Ferrari’s F1 drought with victory in Australia

An ecstatic Sebastian Vettel reflected on a “beautiful day” after winning the Australian Grand Prix, but suggested it was too early to start talking about a Ferrari world title challenge in 2017. Vettel claimed victory in Melbourne on Sunday, after crucially passing pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton when the Mercedes driver found himself stuck behind the Red Bull of Max Verstappen following his solitary pit stop. Success for Vettel will raise hopes that Ferrari can offer a stern challenge to Mercedes this year, following a raft of regulation changes.

It was a fantastic grand prix. I was coming back to the pits and there were people running on the track going wild with the Ferrari flags. It was unbelievable. The car is really behaving well, incredible fun to drive, so yeah - a beautiful day.

Sebastian Vettel

Hamilton appeared frustrated on team radio throughout the race, but offered an upbeat assessment after finishing second, ahead of new team-mate Valtteri Bottas. “Firstly a big congratulations to Ferrari and Sebastian - they did an amazing job this weekend. It’s been a great weekend for us as a team, but just in the race [I had] trouble with the tyres towards the end,” he said. “I had to stop a lot earlier … so I just ran out of grip. I pitted and I got stuck behind one of the Red Bulls, which is just sometimes the way it goes.”

Everything went nice and smoothly, just the red guys are a bit too quick, so that means we need to work harder.

Valtteri Bottas