2011 AUSTRALIAN GP: WORLD CHAMPION VETTEL UNTOUCHABLE


World Champion stay`s untouchable

Sebastian Vettel won the season-opening Australian Grand Prix with a comfortable lights-to-flag victory in Melbourne. He led home Lewis Hamilton, who took a solid second place, while an excellent drive from Vitaly Petrov secured third. Petrov was just 1.5 seconds ahead of Fernando Alonso, with Mark Webber fifth having lost out to Alonso in the final round of pit stops. Lewis Hamilton coped with a broken floor on his McLaren to take second, but the star of the race was Vitaly Petrov, who made the most of an excellent start and a fine race drive thereafter to take his maiden podium in third.

Jenson Button finished sixth, an impressive recovery after a drive-through penalty. The Sauber's finished seventh and eighth on the track but were later disqualified after a technical infringement on the rear wing. Sergio Perez delivered an outstanding debut performance on a one-stop strategy, but it will not be recorded in the history books and nor will Kamui Kobayashi's eighth place.

The Pirelli tyres held up surprisingly well, seeing the front runners complete only two stops during the race, while the DRS did see some moves take place in to turn one, but didn't appear to create the speed differential expected.

The Australian Grand Prix
Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia;
58 laps; 307.574km;
Weather: Sunny.

Classified:
Pos  Driver        Team                       Time
 1.  Vettel        Red Bull-Renault           1h29:30.259
 2.  Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes           +    22.297
 3.  Petrov        Renault                    +    30.560
 4.  Alonso        Ferrari                    +    31.772
 5.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault           +    38.171
 6.  Button        McLaren-Mercedes           +    54.300
 /.  Perez         Sauber-Ferrari             +  1:05.800DNF
 /.  Kobayashi     Sauber-Ferrari             +  1:16.800DNF
 7.  Massa         Ferrari                    +  1:25.100
 8.  Buemi         Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +     1 lap
 9.  Sutil         Force India-Mercedes       +     1 lap
10.  Di Resta      Force India-Mercedes       +     1 lap
11.  Alguersuari   Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +     1 lap
12.  Heidfeld      Renault                    +     1 lap
13.  Trulli        Lotus-Renault              +    2 laps
14.  D'Ambrosio    Virgin-Cosworth            +    3 laps

Fastest lap: Massa, 1:28.947

Not classified/retirements:
Driver        Team                         On lap
Glock         Virgin-Cosworth              50
Barrichello   Williams-Cosworth            49
Rosberg       Mercedes                     22
Kovalainen    Lotus-Renault                19
Schumacher    Mercedes                     19
Maldonado     Williams-Cosworth            10
Liuzzi        HRT-Cosworth                 1
Karthikeyan   HRT-Cosworth                 1


World Championship standings, round 1:                
Drivers:                     Constructors:             
 1.  Vettel        25        1.  Red Bull-Renault           35
 2.  Hamilton      18        2.  McLaren-Mercedes           26
 3.  Petrov        15        3.  Ferrari                    18
 4.  Alonso        12        4.  Lotus-Renault              15
 5.  Webber        10        5.  Toro Rosso                  4
 6.  Button         8        6.  Force India                 3
 7.  Massa          6       
 8.  Buemi          4       
 9.  Sutil          2       
10.  di Resta       1