Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany steers his car during the Australian Formula One Grand Prix in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, March 26, 2017. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

Vettel breaks Ferrari's F1 drought with victory at Aussie GP

March 26, 2017 - 2:40 am

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Sebastian Vettel broke Ferrari's Formula One drought with a victory over Mercedes pair Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas on Sunday at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

Ferrari hadn't won an F1 GP since Vettel's victory in Singapore in 2015, and Mercedes dominated in 2016.

With new regulations designed to make the cars faster this season, Vettel proved Ferrari's extra pace in pre-season testing was genuine.

For the second year running, Hamilton started on pole position at the Albert Park circuit and placed second. Last year, he lost to then Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg, who went on to edge him for the world championship before retiring. This time, four-time world champion Vettel took the lead when Hamilton pitted for new tires early and held on for most of the race.

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