F1 Melbourne, Australia: Sebastian Vettel wins the 2017 podium finish for Ferrari
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel takes the podium amongst the pomp and pageantry of the 2017 Rolex Australian Grand Prix
The premier race of the 2017 Formula One calendar saw Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel claim the top spot on the podium on Sunday evening despite Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes finishing on pole in Saturday’s qualifying. The week leading up to the Grand Prix kicked off in style last Wednesday evening with the Glamour on the Grid party attended by several Australian celebrities including Brooke Hogan, this years’ Australian Grand Prix Ambassador with two stellar performances by Mario and Mya.
The parties continued on the next day with the official welcome by the Governor of Victoria, The Hon. Linda Dessau AM, at Government House. Set in the sprawling, ornately decorated grand hall of the residence with an orchestral performance on the lawn. With the Melbourne city skyline serving as the back drop, the governor hosted dignitaries and invited guests to an evening of champagne and canapés. Several government officials including the Hon John Eren, Minister for Sport, Tourism and Major Events were also present.
Other events held during the Australian leg of the Formula One weekend included the Ferrari GP Party. Held in The Lounge at the circuit the party it hosted an auction for Race Against Dementia, the charity founded by Formula One racing legend Sir Jackie Stewart. As the highlight of the evening, the auction helped the charity to raise money to fund breakthrough and innovative dementia research. Sir Jackie donated some of his prized collection for the auction including an original trophy he had won with Andy Buchanan in 1966 at the twelve-hour race in Surfers Paradise. He was a three-time Formula One World Champion, who went on to manage his own Formula One team, Stewart Racing, that also proved to be a winning team. The auction raised over AUD140,000.
In qualifying Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes came out on pole position with Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari in second and Hamilton’s new teammate Valtteri Bottas in third. Expectations throughout the weekend were high for the Silver Arrows and in all fairness, Bottas performed really well. However, Vettel was just that much quicker. Come race day, and with Lewis’s comments that he was in it to win it, everyone expected him to take home the prize. After coming out of the pits behind Max Verstappen’s Red Bull, the Brit simply could not pass Vettel in the prancing horse ahead of him and had to settle for second place. Ferrari meanwhile, was celebrating their first win in what seemed like forever. One thing is clear though both these teams are in for a stellar battle for the championship this year.
To end a great weekend of action, Valtteri Bottas, Sergio Perez, Nico Hulkenberg and Max Verstappen made their way down to Club 23 at the Crown in Melbourne to celebrate and party through the night.