Just like he dominated proceedings all weekend at Albert Park in Melbourne, reigning Formula1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel continued to outpace rivals and was in a zone all to himself as he came home in first place at the Australian Formula1 Grand Prix 2011. Following the Redbull Renault of Vettel, who was on a two pit stop strategy was Lewis Hamilton of Mclaren who came second, and who never really looked like challenging Vettel all through the first race of the season.
Hamilton was followed by a surprise package in the form of Vitaly Petrov of Renault who managed to bring his car home in third place. Sebastain Vettel and the Redbull Renault team, incidentally did not use the KERS power boosting package for the race and the coming weekends could only make the Redbulls faster if they manage to set up the KERS just right, as they currently seem to be struggling with the KERS set up.
Vettel’s Team Mate Mark Webber managed a to bring the other Redbull home in fifth place after being overtaken by Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, who finished fourth. Both Alonso and Webber were on three pit stop strategies and Webber failed to capitalize on a change to softer compound tyres in the last set of pit stops of the race. It turned out to be a terrible day for Team Mercedes as both Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg retired after separate race incidents involving their cars which came out damaged after contact with other F1 cars.
Jenson Button meanwhile managed to bring home the second Mclaren in sixth place, caused primarily due to a drive through penalty, which he incurred for passing Ferrari’s Felipe Massa using a slip road. Massa finished in a lowly ninth place after looking out of sorts all weekend while the two Saubers of rookie Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi finished in seventh and eighth place respectively.
Remarkably, Mexican Sergio Perez pitted just once to finish seventh in his very first Grand Prix and must be pleased as punch with his result even as Sebastian Beumi of Toro Rosso took the last championship point on tenth place. Both the Force India cars of Adrian Sutil and the other debutant Paul Di Resta drove decent races but did not gain any championship points as they finished in 11th and 12th place which is quite creditable after qualifying many places lower.
Amongst the other retirements apart from the Mercedes’, both Rubens Barrichello and Pastor Maldonado of Williams, Timo Glock of Virgin Racing and Heiki Kovalainen of Team Lotus retired out of the race. Meanwhile, here is the complete race result of the 2011 Australian Formula1 Grand Prix!