Vettel Wins Australian GP

Sebastian-VettelSebastian Vettel sent a strong message to the rest of the Formula One field on Sunday, as he easily won the season-opening Australian GP at the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit around Albert Park Lake.

Vettel, who started on pole position, thoroughly dominated the race that he finished 22.2 seconds ahead of second-placer Lewis Hamilton. Vettel’s Red Bull car ran the street circuit without any problems to allow the 23-year-old defending world champion to finish the Australian GP for the first time. “The car was quick but also reliable and that is the key,” Vettel said. “It’s the first time I have finished the Australian GP as well, so I am very, very happy.”

Renault’s Vitaly Petrov surprised perennial podium placers Fernando Alonso of Ferrari, hometown bet Mark Webber of Red Bull, and 2009 world champion Jenson Button of McLaren, to finish third, a result that even the Russian driver found unbelievable. “To be honest I can’t believe I’m sitting with these guys,” Petrov said during the usual after-race media interview.

Alonso finished fourth, while Webber, who came up short anew in his home race, settled for fifth place. Button, Felipe Massa (Ferrari), Sebastien Buemi (STR-Ferrari), Adrian Sutil (Force India), and Paul di Resta (Force India) rounded out the top ten.