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Vettel Dominent in Melbourne

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Lewis Hamilton lead the field from pole position and looked in reasonable shape in the opening few laps.  On the ultra soft tyres, Mercedes were forced to pit after 17 laps.  The strategy seemed to be forced on Hamilton, as he suffered premature tyre wear.

Hamilton rejoined behind Verstappen in 6th place.  Despite being on fresh rubber, the Mercedes could not overtake the Red Bull.

Vettel stayed out a few more laps, made his pitstop and emerged ahead of Verstappen and Hamilton to the delight of the Ferrari Tifosi.

Being behind Verstappen hurt the tyres of the Mercedes, which meant Vettel could pull ahead and control the gap to take the first victory of the season.

Bottas finished strongly behind Hamilton.  Given a few more laps, Bottas could have challenged his teammate for second place.

Raikkonen finished a lacklustre  fourth place, not having the pace of the sister Ferrari.  He came under pressure by fifth place Verstappen in the last few laps and decided to post the fastest lap of the race in the penultimate lap.

Felipe Massa finished in sixth place as the oldest and not quite retired driver.

 

 

 

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Circuit

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