Sizzling Seb still the one
WORLD champion Sebastian Vettel blazed to victory in the Australian Grand Prix then immediately urged the event be retained.
The 23-year-old won an incident-free season-opener in Melbourne by 22.2 seconds from the McLaren of Lewis H a mi l t o n w i t h R u s s i a n Renault driver Vitaly Petrov a creditable third.
Again there was heartache for local hope Mark Webber, who started from third on the grid and trailed home a disappointing fifth – still his best finish here – behind Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso.
‘‘ I wish it was already tomorrow, it was frustrating,’’ Webber said.
‘‘ I wanted to get more out of it and I think we could have got more out of it.’’
All weekend Vettel had b e e n a s e c o nd o r more quicker than the Australian and Red Bull boss Christian Horner said the team needed to look into the disparity.
Vettel sent out a clear warning he will not be surrendering his Formula One title without a fierce battle.
He began from pole position after a lightning run in qualifying on Saturday and led from the start apart from b r i e f l y when h e p i t t e d , executing his plan with precision.
After his victory Vettel, clearly dismayed at the continual debate over the value of the Australian race, made a point of throwing his support behind the event.
‘‘ It is really always very nice to come here,’’ Vettel said after clinching his 11th career win.
‘‘ The atmosphere is something special. You do the drivers’ parade and you see the people going crazy.
‘‘ It’s nice to see so many people coming and cheering