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Vettel joins circumstance to win in Australia

Vettel joins circumstance to win in Australia
The German driver Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) won the Australian Grand Prix and surprised the British Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), allied with the safety car caused by the Haas team drivers, in a race in which the Spanish Fernando Alonso ( McLaren) was fifth.
The four-time German world champion celebrated for the second consecutive year a triumph in Melbourne, the number 48 of his career and the third in Albert Park (2011, 2017 and 2018) achieved in a surprising way, since not even ‘Seb’ would have imagined it in the first third of the race. Much less Hamilton.
A double error by the American Haas team when changing the tires of its pilots, with a failure of one of the pistols that screwed the wheels, cost the Danish Kevin Magnussen, who was fourth, abandoning first; and then Frenchman Romain Grosjean, who was fifth and stopped between turn two and three, which caused the interruption of the race with the virtual safety car.
At that moment Vettel, who was first circumstantially having not yet changed his tires, took advantage of the neutralized race to change his wheels and drive until the end, which put an end to Hamilton’s career, which had made an immaculate start to the race. test, from the ‘pole’ and with an impeccable start.
Vettel achieved the first victory of the season escorted by Hamilton and Finn Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari), who retained the podium despite the final harassment of Australian Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull), who signed a great race starting from the eighth final.
Behind them, a surprising Fernando Alonso (McLaren) who demonstrated that the Renault engine gives another life to his car, took advantage of the abandonments of the Haas and knew how to expertly endure the harassment of the Red Bull by the Dutch Max Verstappen, who was a victim of his own mistakes and ended up harassing the two-time Spanish world champion without success.
The German Nico Hülkenberg (Renault), the Finn Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes), the Belgian Stoffel Vandoorme (McLaren) and the Spaniard Carlos Sainz (Renault) completed the points area, a highly valuable first goal from the Spanish, who was for two thirds of the race with nausea due to a problem with the water pump that hydrates the pilots, but he managed to finish and score.
Nobody expected this ending when the race started. Hamilton came out well, looking for the center of the track from the start and closing well to Raikkonen when he looked to overtake him on his left at the second corner. Verstappen lost his place, overtaken by the Haas of Danish Kevin Magnussen.
Not only Raikkonen was trying to overtake his predecessor, but also the first corners allowed us to see a nice attempt to overtake from the outside of the Spanish Fernando Alonso to his compatriot Carlos Sainz, who knew how to close the Asturian with solvency and maintain his ninth position.
Soon, in the first six laps, you could see how a first leading group formed with Hamilton, Raikkonen and Vettel, distanced by about five seconds from the rest of the drivers, in which Magnussen’s Haas-Ferrari caused a slower pace and subtracted the options to fight for the victory of Verstappen.
At that time, the Russian Sergey Sirotkin (Williams) was stopped in a loophole of the track causing a brief yellow flag, and the Swede Marcus Ericsson (Sauber) took the car to the workshops to retire due to a mechanical problem.
In his obsession to attack Magnussen, Verstappen made a mistake and spun in the second corner, which made him lose four places, up to eighth, and brought together the two Haas de Magnussen and the Frenchman Romain Grosjean, in fourth positions and fifth; although 12 seconds, one world, of the leading trio.
With Hamilton settled on a comfortable cushion for several seconds and doing fast laps, the race strategies began. Raikkonen stopped on lap 18 to put on soft tires with the aim of finishing the race on them.
He was followed by the Briton on the next lap, called on by Mercedes engineers to put on the same tires, allowing him to easily get out ahead of Raikkonen. At that time Vettel was a circumstantial leader, still on the tires from the start.
While the carrousel of stops began, Carlos Sainz went out in a curve and Alonso took the opportunity to overtake him. A quick reaction from Renault sent the Madrilenian to change tires.
In those wheel changes there was an unexpected victim: the Danish Kevin Magnussen, who was curdling an extraordinary race with fourth place, but who an error by his team when changing the tires made him leave with a loose wheel, which forced him to stop the car after leaving and it ended in its abandonment.
The drama for Haas did not end there, because the Frenchman Romain Grosjean also stopped after making his wheel change and the virtual safety car was decreed, since the Haas had been stopped in a difficult area, between turns 2 and 3. One of the guns with which the wheels are screwed was at fault.
Haas’s misfortune meant another for Hamilton and the great beneficiary of all was Vettel, who took advantage of the moment of controlled racing to change his wheels, and left the workshops ahead of Hamilton, something that under normal conditions would have been impossible.
Ricciardo, fourth, and Fernando Alonso, who also stopped during the virtual safety car and placed fifth in front of the Renault of the German Nico Hülkenberg, also benefited. Verstappen tried to overtake him, but being during the controlled race, his maneuver was invalidated by the judges.
It was on lap 28 when Grosjean’s car was hauled off the track with a tow truck, the actual safety car came out to regroup the cars before relaunching the race three laps later.
Vettel, thanks to the circumstances, had everything in his power to try to win the race; while Hamilton was forced to attack to regain the position of privilege.
They were also trying to attack the Red Bulls: Ricciardo stalked Raikkonen in the fight for the podium, and Verstappen stalked Alonso; both unsuccessful with 18 laps remaining in the race.
Hamilton was becoming anxious when he saw that he could find no way to attempt to overtake Vettel, and was trying to pick up his pace, with the result that he misdirected a corner and went momentarily to the grass as he went off the track.
The person who suffered from behind was Carlos Sainz, who reported that he was suffering from nausea 8 laps from the end, caused by a problem with the hydration system. The brave Spanish pilot, however, remained in place to preserve the point obtained
With a couple of laps to go, Hamilton surrendered his options and let Vettel go to more than 4 seconds, who drove to the checkered flag, his 48th victory and the first round in this duel of four world champions in pursuit of the fifth Crown. EFE
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