Ten years on from Kimi Raikkonen’s victory at Albert Park, the Scuderia Ferrari team made their return to the top step of the rostrum in the first race of the season.
Sebastian Vettel crossed the finish line in first place after 57 laps, in a race whose key moment came on lap 23, when a perfectly executed pit stop for fresh tyres saw him rejoin the track ahead of Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes.
This is Scuderia Ferrari’s 225th Formula 1 victory, Seb’s 43rd and his fourth with the Maranello team.
“It’s been a great day for us. The team has been working so hard at the track as much as back at the factory. It’s a great feeling. “Grazie mille”, you can’t say much more. The last months have been really intense, it’s been tough to get into the rhythm. It’s just the beginning and there’s still a lot of work going on,” Seb said. “This is one of many steps and we have to enjoy what we do. It’s great to see people smiling. Now we have to reset to go to China and try to do a good job.”
Thanks to his fourth place finish, Kimi Raikkonen brought home a further 12 points, so that Scuderia Ferrari now has a total of 37 points in the Constructors’ Championship.
“In the first stint I struggled a bit with the Ultrasoft tires, but once I switched to the Soft compound the car was behaving really nicely,” Kimi said. “It was not the most exciting race for me, most of the time I was fuel saving, but when I was pushing the car was fast and I got a really good feeling. Fourth place is a bit disappointing, but we scored some points and Seb’s win is a great result for the whole team. We learned a lot from this weekend: we start from here, with a good package and we pretty much know what we have to do to make the car better.”
“A good result today that could have been a great one if we’d managed to get Kimi on the podium too,” added Maurizio Arrivabene. “When we launched the SF70H we referred to it as “Our Ferrari” and indeed today’s win reflects all the effort and hard work put in over the past few months, both in Maranello and at the track. As for Sebastian, he did a great job, as did the whole team in fact. It’s a shame that Kimi struggled in the early stages to get into the right rhythm."
" Our car went very well on track: it was well balanced and consistent performance from the tyres meant we were able to adopt an aggressive strategy. This is only the first race of the championship: there are still 19 to go and we must maintain a high level of concentration at every Grand Prix, avoiding distractions and, already as from today, we are looking ahead to the next Grand Prix in China.”