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Australian Grand Prix 2017: Ferrari’s return to victory route and other talking points

Here are some highlights from the Australian Grand Prix 2017.

Akash Khanna | New Delhi |

Formula One fans across the globe rejoiced a treat on Sunday as the opening Grand Prix of the year, Australian GP started on an exciting note at the Albert Park, Melbourne.

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel clinched the crown, outclassing Mercedes’ duo Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, who finished second and third respectively.

For those who missed the action today, here are some highlights from the Australian Grand Prix 2017.

Ferrari re-emergence

German driver Sebastian Vettel, who has won four F1 championships so far, shone for the Italian motorsport giants Ferrari after a long time. He gave them a sigh of relief after a drought of 18 months.

The 29-year-old driver last won the Singapore Grand Prix with Ferrari in September 2015.

The unexpected victory gave Ferrari’s fans a hope that the team, which struggled in past, is now equipped to face up to Mercedes' dominance.

Force India off to a promising start

Force India started the F1 championship on a positive note as their drivers Mexico’s Sergio Perez and France's Esteban Ocon secured a double points finish.

Starting from 11th position on the grid, Perez finished seventh, while Econ secured 10th place on his Force India debut.

Econ, 20, enjoyed the 57-lap race to the fullest as he surpassed the two-time World Champion Fernando Alonso to finish tenth.

In all, Force India earned seven points from the Australian GP, just one point less than Williams.

Home favourite fails to impress

The home crowd that came to cheer Daniel Ricciardo in Melbourne had to return home disappointed as the 29-year-old witnessed a horror day on Sunday.

Ricciardo conceived a grid penalty and started the race two laps behind from the pit lane. And to make matters worse, he suffered an engine failure that halted him midway on the race.

It was the second heartbreak for the local hero as earlier in 2014, Ricciardo finished second but was disqualified for a technical hiccup.

Alonso continues to falter

Spanish driver Fernando Alonso, who won two consecutive F1 championships in 2005 and 2006, was forced to abandon three laps from the finish line due to a mechanical problem.

The 35-year-old started 10th in the season-opener, though was surpassed by Ocon and Nico Hulkenberg before eventually pulling into retirement.

F1 pundits have said well before the start of the championship that the McLaren-Honda's engine is going to hamper Alonso's aspirations, and their predictions seem to be ringing true, for the moment at least.