Toto Wolff claims Mercedes will roar back from disappointment in Australia
Apr 12 2017
Victory in Australia was Vettel's fourth grand prix win since joining Ferrari for the 2015 season, and means he leads the drivers' standings for the Scuderia for the first time.
The first race of 2017, while somewhat lacking in overtaking, did prove there is not much separating Mercedes and Ferrari and Hamilton is relishing the opportunity to go head-to-head with Vettel all season long.
Vettel thus leads the drivers' points table with 25 points to Hamilton's 18, Bottas' 15, Raikkonen's 12, Verstappen's 10, Massa's eight, Perez's six, Sainz's four, Kvyat's two and Ocon's one. "It's going to be physically and mentally demanding but as Sebastian said, racing the best is what Formula One is all about".
"I want to be closer with cars, more close wheel-to-wheel battling". It is a lot of fun to race for victories and a lot of fun to race against the best. We stayed out, the tyres were still holding on and the pace looked alright.
The Briton topped a tight qualifying session Down Under and came out at the head of the grid as he finished 0.268 seconds ahead of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel - expected by many to be Hamilton's biggest competition for the 2017 Formula One title. "I am really grateful to have that fight with him (Vettel)", continued the 32-year-old, who won his first title with McLaren in 2008. And now finally at a period of time when we can actually have a real race.
After three years with the same Silver Arrow out in front you could argue having a different auto atop the podium is just what Formula One needs.
"I don't think Mercedes fans should be too anxious - they are going to have some great racing hopefully".
Hamilton replied: "I don't know how you expect me to do that". "It is something that is exciting for the fans and a new challenge for us".
"Grazie mille. You can't say much more", Vettel said to the Ferrari crew and fans after finishing in 1 hour, 24 minutes and 11.672 seconds, nearly 10 seconds clear of Hamilton.
Raikkonen came under pressure from Red Bull driver Max Verstappen in the latter stages of the race, but the Ferrari driver insisted this was down to him saving fuel. "Sebastian is a well-deserved race victor". And now it's about accepting that here Ferrari beat us. "But for sure today I'm just happy we take it as a team, and we saw the guys smiling and singing".