Hamilton cruises to victory

Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton should have kick-started his season with a victory at the opening rubber in Australia before a strategy mix-up by his Mercedes team gifted Vettel the win.

Hamilton, however, was in cruise control, as he made his one and only trouble-free stop on lap 25.

After edging out Bottas for pole, Hamilton roared off the line to retain his lead on the 200mph charge to the opening bend, while Vettel got the jump on Bottas after a gutsy move around the outside of the Finn. One revolved around a change in the tyres for this race, Pirelli choosing to bring tyres with a thinner tread depth to avoid the blistering some teams suffered from in pre-season testing. But it's unclear what impact the upgrades have had on the competitive order, beyond Ferrari seeming to fall behind Mercedes in qualifying pace and also fall behind Merc and Red Bull on race pace.

"It just still is very, very surreal to think that every now and then I keep coming up against Michael in terms of records and it just reminds me of what a great he was", said the Briton, now 27 races short of the German's all time tally of wins. They changed but they changed for everyone. "So our ambition has to be that we're better off rather than worse off", reasoned Vettel.

"I think, as a team, this weekend we have been ideal, and we just need to continue like that and for me also the wins are going to come", Bottas said. Kimi (Raikkonen, Vettel's team-mate) had an issue with the engine (on Saturday) and had to change it.

Whether it marks a definitive shift in form at the front, where Ferrari had until this weekend appeared to have the fastest auto of the year, remains to be seen. If it's cold, like it has been in the coolest days here, it could be hard, but we definitely go there on a high note - and we definitely don't take for granted the fact that we still have a mountain to climb.

Fulham take a step closer to EPL promotion
The teen is often centre of attention but said: 'I just try to play my own game. Tonight, we gave everything but it just wasn't quite enough.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen celebrates on the podium with his trophy after finishing in third place.

Despite the Ferrari driver's fresher tyres, and the fact that Verstappen had damaged his front wing when he hit the rear of Lance Stroll's lapped Williams at the VSC restart, Vettel was unable to dislodge the Dutchman from the final step of the podium. With 16th, 13th, 17th and 15th place finishes in his first four races, it has not been a bright start to the season for the Haas driver. "It's a good feeling".

The other Red Bull Racing driver, Daniel Ricciardo, finished 5th but a scary 50 seconds behind race leader Hamilton. All three cars suffered heavy damage and the race was immediately brought under the control of the safety auto.

Kevin Magnussen claimed sixth place to underscore Haas's position as one of the leading contenders in the midfield.

Charles Leclerc has put a slow start to the season behind him and followed up his P6 in Baku with P10 in Barcelona, while showing brilliant racecraft in battling the likes of Sergio Perez and Alonso.

Vettel said he remained upbeat heading into the Monaco Grand Prix in two weeks.

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