Vettel wipes smile off Hamilton's face in Melbourne

A well-timed pit stop allowed Sebastian Vettel to win the Australian Grand Prix at the expense of world champion Lewis Hamilton for a second successive year on Sunday.

Hamilton teased Vettel on Saturday that he had been waiting to "wipe the smile off your face" before posting a record-breaking lap to secure a seventh Melbourne pole.

But the boot was on the other foot on Sunday, as Vettel's stop under the virtual safety car saw him re-emerge ahead of Hamilton to retain a lead he would not relinquish.

Hamilton's earlier stop had dropped him behind his Ferrari rival and Romain Grosjean's retirement on a promising yet ultimately disastrous day for Haas triggered the virtual safety car.

The frustrated Briton was unable to make up the gap to Vettel, whose faultless drive to the chequered flag was aided by a Hamilton lock-up with 10 laps to go, which lost the Mercedes man a couple of seconds.

Vettel's Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, who started second, completed the podium, ahead of home favourite Daniel Ricciardo in fourth and fifth-placed Fernando Alonso - a hugely encouraging result for Renault-powered McLaren after waking from their Honda nightmare.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen had to settle for sixth on a difficult afternoon that started with being overtaken by Kevin Magnussen into the first corner and featured a heartstopping spin, while Valtteri Bottas - starting 15th following a change of gearbox - was unable to elevate himself into podium contention, finishing down in eighth.

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