Sebastian Vettel hails 'massive achievement' after win in Australia
- Author: Zachary Reyes Mar 30, 2017,
Mar 30, 2017, 18:11
Sebastian Vettel's Australian Grand Prix victory on Sunday was the team's first race win since September 2015.
Hamilton congratulated Vettel on his success, and said the result boded well for a close championship fight between Mercedes and Ferrari.
Arrivabene expressed satisfaction at the performance of Ferrari's new race auto, the SF70H.
So Sebastian Vettel is the first F1 victor of 2017.
Have F1's worst fears been realised and can they be fixed?
"Vettel has got the best possible start to a season he could have and Ferrari have got the pressure off their backs".
While qualifying showed that Mercedes still has the edge as far as outright pace is concerned, Sebastian Vettel demonstrated that the Ferrari is close. However, due to the hard nature of overtaking with the new generation cars, he felt it was not worth trying to push.
Mercedes motorsport head Toto Wolff was enraged, with television pictures showing him pounding his fist into a desk in the team garage.
"The way Sebastian held on to Lewis was simply surprising", Wolff said. "And if the roles were reversed and he was ahead he probably would have pulled away".
With Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, who won the title for them 10 years ago, finishing fourth in Melbourne, the Scuderia lead Mercedes by four points in the constructors' standings.
"I don't think Mercedes fans should be too anxious - they are going to have some great racing hopefully". At least we finished, after quite a few years where we didn't finish this race, but it's obviously not the ideal start. It's been a privilege to be racing in an era with him and now finally at a period of time when we can actually have a real race.
"For sure I would love to have a close battle", Vettel told reporters in the wake of his triumph at Albert Park.
"It was clear the moment was going to come where we needed to lose with humility, and accept that somebody else had done a better job, and that's what happened".
"It's been a great weekend for us and the team, but just in the race, I struggled with the tyres at the end".
The German cruised to his 43rd race victory with a 9.9 second gap to Mercedes' runner-up Lewis Hamilton, with the Briton's new teammate, Valtteri Bottas, finishing third.
Even though its cars were showing strong pace during this year's Australian Grand Prix, it seemed like the "Prancing Horse" was headed toward a similar fate.