Melbourne, March 17 (IANS) Mercedes team Formula One (F1) driver Valtteri Bottas won his first champion in the Australian Grand Prix held in Melbourne on Sunday afternoon.
“Everything felt so good, I had everything under control and it was so good today. I’m going to enjoy today,” said the 28-year-old Finn after beating his teammate and pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton by 20.886 seconds.
It was the fourth time in as many years that Hamilton has taken pole position in Australia only to finish second, reports Xinhua news agency.
Bottas rocketed out of his grid slot to head Hamilton by the time they reached Turn 1 and kept the advantage till the end of the game. Melbourne’s emphatic victory witnessed his fourth F1 winning since he joined the Mercedes in 2017. He also claimed a bonus point for the fastest lap of the race to come away from Albert Park with a full 26 points.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen rushed to the third, the first time for him to stand on the podium at Albert Park. It is also the first time that a non-Mercedes or Ferrari driver has appeared on the podium since 2015.
Carlos Sainz failed to score in Melbourne for the first time in his career on his McLaren debut due to engine fire. Local favorite Daniel Ricciardo on his Renault debut went off the track just seconds after the start and had to go to the pits for a first stop. With a suspected issue, he team retired him later on.