Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany (C) celebrates alongside Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain (L) and team mate Valtteri Bottas of Finland. REUTERS/Brandon Malone
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With Sebastian Vettel ascending the top of the podium in his red Ferrari race suit, the new regulations for Formula One cars seemingly needed only one Grand Prix to produce one of the desired effects.Vettel's drought-breaking win for Ferrari was widely celebrated, with Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas having to settle for second and third.Kimi Raikkonen, who won for Ferrari a decade before, placed fourth Sunday as Ferrari earned a four-point cushion over Mercedes in the constructors' standings after the first of 20 rounds.It sets up a genuine contest this season between two of the dominant drivers of the past decade – three-time world champion Hamilton against Vettel, who won four straight drivers' titles with Red Bull from 2010-13 . Hamilton won back-to-back drivers' titles in 2014 and 2015, and narrowly lost last year to Rosberg, who then retired.With regulations designed to make the 2017 F1 cars faster and increase the competition at the front of the grid – wider tires, greater aerodynamics, bigger fuel loads and increased downforce – Vettel proved that Ferrari's extra pace in preseason testing was genuine as he picked up the team's first GP win since his last victory in Singapore in September, 2015 .It was Ferrari's first win in Australia since Raikkonen took the title in 2007 .
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