Sports

Hamilton welcomes "best against best" rivalry with Vettel

Hamilton welcomes

It was the worst possible scenario for the triple world champion, who could not find a way round the 19-year-old Red Bull driver.

The F1 Drivers Class of 2017 photo during the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park on Sunday.

"Right now it looks like we have equal machinery", Vettel said.

"It's obviously a lot of fun to race for victories and a lot of fun to race against the best".

"This year you are seeing the best drivers at the top. And ultimately [that] makes you work that much harder, having to raise the bar - and I'm looking forward to that". "Finally we can have an actual race". After 18 laps, he managed to get only 1.8 seconds ahead, and then Vettel started to edge back.

Recent seasons have been dominated by Mercedes with no other teams coming close. Aussie Daniel Ricciardo nearly didn't start after his vehicle stopped on the way to the grid.

Ferrari won its first grand prix since 2015 at the weekend's season-opening race in Australia, with Vettel finishing ahead of Hamilton, and they will likely be going head to head again in Shanghai two weekends from now. Pitted and I got stuck behind one of the Red Bulls and sometimes that's just the way it goes.

This allowed Vettel to take the number one spot, and the Ferrari driver never looked back. Raikkonen, in the second Ferrari, finished fourth this year. Ferrari last won in Australia with Kimi Raikkonen in 2007.

The new rules didn't have a positive spin for all the previous champions in the field.

India, Bangladesh sign 22 agreements in various sectors
The two prime ministers jointly inaugurated via video link the new bus service between Kolkata and Dhaka via Khulna in Bangladesh. Modi said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and he held productive and comprehensive discussions on the full range of our partnership.

Alonso's new McLaren team mate, Stoffel Vandoorne, was the last of the finishers - and lapped.

Verstappen took fifth, Brazilian Felipe Massa (Williams) took sixth and the Mexican Sergio Perez (Force India) finished seventh.

Mercedes' team principal Christian Wolff was philosophical about the result, describing it as "personality building".

Ferrari, celebrating the 70th anniversary this year of founder Enzo Ferrari's first race auto, have not won a championship since their constructors' success of 2008. It's a long championship and we just have to see how it goes.

"Sebastian and Ferrari were well-deserved winners", Wolff said.

"It's very straightforward: Ferrari were quicker".

Mercedes has won the last three championships and the clear bulk of the GP titles across that period, a dominance that had some observers concerned it wasn't good for the sport.

"It's going to be a tight fight, but I think that we can beat them". We did not have a great testing and we did not have a great Sunday, but we will leave no stone unturned in order to win.


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