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Summary

  1. Vettel wins after leapfrogging Hamilton in pits
  2. Hamilton second, Bottas third
  3. Grosjean, Palmer, Ericsson out
  4. Ricciardo, Stroll, Alonso also retired

Live Reporting

By Gary Rose

All times stated are UK

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Bring it on

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The finger is back! And with it, the prospect of a fight between two teams for this year's title.

Is the era of Mercedes dominance at an end? Let's see what the next race brings.

That's in China in two weeks' time. Join us again then.

'I was expecting a little better'

Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas, who finished third:  "I was expecting a little better, but it was a decent start. The main question mark for me was the first stint where I didn't have the pace and was sliding about by the end. I was closing up on Lewis but when you get within a couple of seconds you lose the pace in the corners, more so that last year.

"It is going to be a big challenge from Ferrari."

'A massive achievement'

More from race winner Sebastian Vettel: "It is March, you know. All that matters now is we had a great race and it is a great relief for everyone. We did our job, we focused on ourselves and putting it together we had a good feeling driving it.

"It is massive for the team. A massive achievement but it does not stop there. It is just the beginning.

"The spirit is good inside the team."

'I'm not a liar or bluffer'

Just before we go, a final few words from Lewis Hamilton, who said in pre-season that he felt Ferrari are favourites for the title.

"I'm not a liar or a bluffer when I said that Ferrari were quick," he said. "I didn't know for sure how quick they were going to be in the race, but their pace on the super softs especially was great. 

"I executed the strategy only stopping a lap before I intended. I had used up all the money in those tyres.

"I don't know what it was like to watch, but I want to see the cars close up. It is really through strategy that we are racing which is a little..."

Just waking up? Here's what happened

Andrew Benson

Chief F1 writer in Melbourne

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel beat Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes in a straight fight as Formula 1's new era started at the Australian Grand Prix.

Vettel's first win since the Singapore GP in September 2015 was final proof Mercedes' domination is over after the introduction of faster cars.

Hamilton started in pole but Vettel had an advantage on pace and tyre wear.

The German pressured Mercedes into an early pit stop and benefited when Hamilton was held up by Max Verstappen.

Ferrari were simply quicker in Melbourne and the world champions were forced into a position where they had to make a decision that did not work out.  

Hamilton looking ---->

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Denislov Lietnev: Hamilton is a good sport and genuinely relishes the battles ahead with Vettel for the championship.

Natalie Crown: Vettel should have won last year and we should keep that in mind BUT this was a VERY impressive win that didn't rely on Merc failing 

The view from the top step

Vettel view
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I am sure Sebastian Vettel could get used to seeing this view.

'Last in terms of performance'

Fernando Alonso
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Fernando Alonso threatened to finish inside the points until retiring in the final couple of laps, and he's still not enthused about McLaren's prospects this season.

"We had suspension failure I think at the end," he told Sky Sports. "I was driving one of my best races so far and we were surprisingly in the points all race long.  

"We are last in terms of performance. We were 10th because the qualifying lap yesterday was good, at the start I managed to gain one position and then Grosjean's retirement gave us the other one. In normal conditions on a normal circuit we should be last and second last."  

Nico Rosberg certainly enjoyed watching the action unfold from the sofa.

View more on twitter

BBC Radio 5 live

One for Sebastian Vettel to savour. A first race win since Singapore 2015 for the German.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel takes victory in Melbourne ahead of Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton.

Tom Clarkson

BBC Radio 5 live commentator

Lewis Hamilton
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I think that Mercedes just need to keep calm. After last year, they are unused to the pressure from outside and Ferrari forced their hand.

The other question that they might be asking in the debrief is why Hamilton failed to put any heat under Vettel in the closing stages.

Was there a technical problem? Was Hamilton told just to ease it home to preserve the power unit for later in the season? Or did Hamilton lose heart?

'I can still win 19 races'

A day to remember for Sebastian Vettel, but one to forget for Daniel Ricciardo, who retired in his home race.

"The most frustrating thing was for all these things to happen at home," he said. "I don't put it down to anything other than the mistake I made in qualifying. We had an issue in the warm up lap and a separate issue in the race. Just bad luck I guess. I can still win 19 races, that's the plan.

"I think the car is better than we are showing but it is a bit of a puzzle we are trying to work out. I hope we can find the pace soon enough.

"Let's go to China!"

Ricciardo
AP

Celebration fail

Sebastian Vettel
Rex Features

It has been a bit of time since Sebastian Vettel last cracked open the winner's bubbly and it shows...

Drivers' standings

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F1.com

Ferrari top of the constructors' championship and drivers' championship.

It's been a while...

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David Tunnicliffe: Why are lots of people saying there is a championship battle in F1? Vettel should have won here last season too..

David Milner: What a race? One major position change thanks to single round of pits. Merc not winning doesn't instantly herald better things for F1 

Toto Wolff
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Some more from race winner Sebastian Vettel: "There is a long way to go, but we are just over the moon at the moment. I was not entirely happy with my start, there was a bit of wheelslip, but I was trying to keep the pressure on to give the message that we are here to fight. There was a bit of luck that Lewis came out in traffic.

"You can push these cars until the end. The tyres still degrade but you can still attack all the way."

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          #ForzaFerrari #F1isback @ScuderiaFerrari #bbcf1 @5liveSport @AppSupportTeam we're back! 🏆🥇🏁🏎🏁🇮🇹🏁🇩🇪🏁🇫🇮🏁

#ForzaFerrari #F1isback @ScuderiaFerrari #bbcf1 @5liveSport @AppSupportTeam we're back! 🏆🥇🏁🏎🏁🇮🇹🏁🇩🇪🏁🇫🇮🏁

Andrew Benson

Chief F1 writer in Melbourne

Podium
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Hamilton looks happy enough. He likes a fight and he's got one. Suspect he realises winning this might have been beyond him.

Ferrari 'too quick'

Bottas
BBC Sport

Valtteri Bottas, who finished third:  "First race with the team, thanks everyone. We have worked so hard to be ready. Everything went nice and smoothly but the red cars too quick for us today. We can improve from here." 

'Struggled with the tyres'

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F1.com

Lewis Hamilton, who finished second:  "A big congratulations to Ferrari and Sebastian, we struggled with the tyres and had to stop early as I was suffering with grip, but it is great to see everyone out here."

'Mad'

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F1.com

Race winner Sebastian Vettel: "Unbelievable. It is a fantastic grand prix. It was quite mad in a positive way with the people running on the track going wild with the Ferrari flags."

Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel's former team-mate is up to conduct the podium interviews.

Lewis Hamilton may have sound miffed on the radio during the race, but he's taking this very well. He is wearing a beaming smile as he sprays Sebastian Vettel with champagne. I reckon he's looking forward to the fight.

'We have to learn the lessons'

Mercedes executive director Toto Wolff speaking to BBC Radio 5 live:  "There is of course some frustration, but some you win and some you lose. Sebastian Vettel is a worthy winner. Perhaps we thought that the tyres was degrading faster than it was, you have to keep them in the right window and we have to learn the lessons."

Jack Nicholls

Radio 5 live Formula 1 commentator

It was not a classic race, but it is a change in the narrative from last season and that is what Formula 1 needed.

Sebastian Vettel gleefully leaps on to the top step of the podium, smiling from ear to ear. It's been a while.

Podium
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Australia GP - the rest

11) Hulkenberg 12) Giovinazzi 13) Vandoorne

Retired: Alonso, Magnussen, Stroll, Ricciardo, Ericsson, Palmer, Grosjean

Mark Gallagher

BBC Radio 5 live Formula 1 analyst

There are fans are pouring onto the track with cars still on the circuit. A single trip or fall and it could be a safety incident. 

It is great to seen the enthusiasm in the stands though.

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Dennis Ethan: Finally it wasn't a false dawn testing for @ScuderiaFerrari Fantastic job today! The red car is back in the business!!! 

Skylar: What a race! Congratulations on this long-awaited win  

Top 10

1) Vettel 2) Hamilton 3) Bottas 4) Raikkonen 5) Verstappen 6) Massa 7) Perez 8) Sainz 9) Kvyat 10) Ocon

Sebastain Vettel
Rex

Sebastian Vettel leaps out his car to celebrate a 43rd career win and first since Singapore in 2015.

Lewis Hamilton is straight over to congratulate his rival. "Next time," he says with a smile.

Oh am I looking forward to these two battling it out this season.

Jack Nicholls

Radio 5 live Formula 1 commentator

Fomula 1 is back and Formula 1 is different...

Mark Gallagher

BBC Radio 5 live Formula 1 analyst

That is a stunning result for Sebastian Vettel. He has had some tough times at Ferrari last year. It was a despondent 2016 for all of them in Maranello.

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Crikey. The fans are so thrilled at seeing a Ferrari win they're already on the track to celebrate. 

Brilliant from Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel. Got their strategy bang on.

Lewis Hamilton comes home second as Valtteri Bottas takes third. 

It's all about Sebastian Vettel and the red car he is driving, though. Ferrari are back.

Ferrari flags
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Chequered flag

SEBASTIAN VETTEL WINS THE AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX.

Vettel celebrates
Rex Features

FINAL LAP

The Ferrari fans are cheering as Sebastian Vettel starts the final lap. They're confident the win is in the bag.