F1 Australian Grand Prix: Valtteri Bottas cruises to victory in Melbourne ahead of Lewis Hamilton

Valtteri Bottas drove an exceptional drive to ensure he picks up the first victory of the 2019 Formula One season at the Australian Grand Prix. 

F1 Australian Grand Prix: Main Race – Full final lap, Valtteri Bottas wins

Lewis Hamilton looked favorite to win the race following a pole position finish during Qualifying, but a brilliant getaway from Bottas ensured he took the lead and never looked back.

F1 Australian Grand Prix: Main Race – First lap

Sebastian Vettel may have started well in his Ferrari, but the gulf in class and indeed speed was clear midway through the race, as the Prancing Horse struggled to keep up with the Mercedes’. Vettel needed team orders in the end to finish 4th and just ahead of his teammate Charles Leclerc in 5th.

F1 Australian Grand Prix: Main Race – Max Verstappen overtakes Sebastian Vettel

Hamilton himself struggled at times, and in the end, Max Verstappen nearly caught up with the defending F1 World Champion, only for the Brit to hold on in the end.

What put the icing on the cake for the Silver Arrows was that Bottas somehow managed to steal the fastest lap of the race from Verstappen right at the end, ensuring he gets an extra point as per the new FIA rules brought in this campaign.

Further down the order, hometown boy Daniel Ricciardo was forced to retire due to a front wing issue suffered on the first lap while Carlos Sainz retired due to a fire in his car.

Thai driver Alexander Albon finished in 14th place, but a podium of Valtteri Bottas (1st), Lewis Hamilton (2nd), and Max Verstappen (3rd) was the true highlight of the Grand Prix in Melbourne.