Sebastian Vettel starts his title defence
Things could not have gone any better down under for Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel; he got his title defence off to the perfect start, comfortably claiming first place at the Australian Grand Prix.
The young German driver finished ahead of McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, who took second, and Renault's Vitaly Petrov, who took third and his first ever podium finish in Formula One. Although McLaren's good fortune hint towards a turnaround in form, Hamilton's team-mate Jenson Button could only manage to pick up a sixth place finish after being penalised for cutting a corner.
Red Bull team-mate and Australian native Mark Webber could only manage to equal his career best at Melbourne, picking up fourth place on his home turf.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner also divulged that neither Vettel or Webber were using the newly added Kers boost system, with Horner commenting: "We felt Kers was a potential risk, and we made a decision not to run it. It didn't look like we needed it.
"It was a fantastic day for Sebastian and the team, he was dominant in qualifying and totally dominant today," added the Red Bull boss.
Although Vettel led the Australian Grand Prix for the vast majority of the race, he displayed humility after it had finished, saying that events had not be as simple as they might have appeared from a spectator's point of view.
"It was not easy, the start was crucial," insisted Vettel.
"After my stop it was crucial to get past Jenson, which I could do immediately, so that was very, very important. There were a lot of things to learn today and we need to have another look at the race."
Meanwhile, Mercedes fortune's look to show no signs of changing anytime soon; both Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg were forced to retire from the race.
Following his performance in the Australian Grand Prix, Stan James, Paddy Power and BlueSQ offer 7/2 odds that Lewis Hamilton will go on to win the 2011 F1 drivers' championship.