Australian Grand Prix: Race as it happened

Follow all the action from race day at the Australian Grand Prix live right here.

14:41 Thank you for joining us for today’s race, and until the cars hit the track in China in two weeks time,take care! Bye for now.

14:37 A final reminder of the finishing order for you…

14:34 It’s been a thoroughly entertaining opening race of the 2017 season. There was a genuine fight at the front, but it was Vettel and Ferrari who played it best, even on the strategy front.

14:31 Chequered flag! Sebastian Vettel wins for Ferrari! The crowd rise to their feet to applaud a truly exceptional effort by the four-time world champion. Hamilton holds on for P2, 10 seconds behind, with Bottas in P3.

14:29 Into the final few laps now…

14:26 And that will be that for the Spanish champion, he pits and retires the car.

14:24 Ocon aggressively charges past Alonso on the run down to Turn 1, and Hulkenberg, who had also joined the fight, gets past as well! Immediately, Alonso informs his team that his car is pulling to the left.

14:19 A trying debut weekend has come to an end for Lance Stroll. The Canadian took a trip through the gravel and pulled into the pits straight after.

14:15 An unhappy sounding Hamilton complains about power fluctuations. To be frank, the Mercedes man hasn’t sounded happy at any part of today’s race, even when he was leading. Vettel still holding a handy advantage…

14:09 A little further back, Esteban Ocon (P11) has crept his way to within a second of Fernando Alonso (P10). Could the youngster score points on his Force India debut? At the same time, a hard-charging Max Verstappen (P5) has just set the fastest lap of the race and is only 2.5 seconds behind Raikkonen’s Ferrari.

14:05 Things are hotting up at Mercedes, as Bottas closes to within 3 seconds of Hamilton…
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14:02 Bad news for Hamilton, he’s been informed that everybody’s tyres are holding up well, which makes it unlikely that Vettel will struggle at the end of the race. The Briton has fallen almost 8 seconds behind the German now.

13:58 Vettel leads the way by just over 6 seconds, Hamilton’s been told to go about closing the gap…

13:54 A miserable day for Daniel Ricciardo comes to an end as he loses power exiting a corner. The Red Bull man has pulled off the circuit and is out of the car.

13:49 Hamilton has been informed that Mercedes are considering Plan B, which is presumably a two-stop.

13:46 A little summary of recent events…

13:43 Vettel and Ferrari have done it! The Ferrari pits and emerges ahead of both Hamilton and Verstappen! Meanwhile the Sauber of Ericsson has stopped and pulled off the circuit.

13:41 Order update…

13:40 Hamilton has been informed that he MUST pass Verstappen, who is holding him up.

13:37 A frustrating day for Jolyon Palmer has ended. The Renault driver had been struggling prior to his retirememt

13:32 Hamilton pits from the lead and takes on the soft tyre, which may allow him to go to the end of the race. Vettel has continued on for another lap…

13:30 Oh no! Romain Grosjean pulls into the pits, with smoke pouring from the back of his Haas. The Frenchman was running in the points, but his day is over now.
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13:25 Vettel and Hamilton the class of the field at the moment…

13:22 Power problems for Stoffel Vandoorne, the McLaren man has come into the pits and spent a long time stationary. Back out now though.

13:19 A reminder of the order for you…

13:17 Replays suggest that the Haas of Magnussen drifted off the kerb and into the side of Ericsson’s Sauber.

13:13 Vettel within a second of Hamilton, the German is on the prowl and sets the fastest lap of this young race.
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13:11 As we start the second lap, Hamilton leads, but Vettel is on his tail. The pair have pulled away from Bottas in P3. Meanwhile, a big cheer results as Ricciardo exits the pits and joins the race, albeit two laps down.

13:08 Okay, for real this time…The lights go out! We’re racing! Hamilton hold the lead into Turn 1,but disaster at the back as a Haas and a Sauber spin into the gravel.

13:05 Aborted start, we’ll have another formation lap then.

13:00 The formation lap is underway, seems like everyone has gotten away well…

12:55 Still some hope of a pit lane start for Ricciardo, but there are only a few minutes left before the race gets underway…

12:49 Apparently not then…

12:42 It seems that Daniel Ricciardo just can’t catch a break this weekend! The Australian’s Red Bull RB13 has gotten stuck in sixth gear as he’s made his way to the grid. Hopefully for him the issue can be corrected quickly.

12:40 The cars have made their way to the grid, the last preparations are about to take place…

12:35 Some encouragement for home hero Ricciardo. The Honey Badger will need it, since he starts down in P15…

12:30 30 minutes until the lights go out! Some weather info for you: Track temperature is 39 degrees, air temperature is 24 degrees. By no means a scorcher, but nice and warm.

12:26 It’s worth remembering that Lewis Hamilton won the last four races of 2016. The Briton starts on pole today and will be eager to get his 2017 title bid off to a strong start.

12:23 Meanwhile, Antonio Giovinazzi did a solid job for Sauber yesterday, qualifying only two tenths behind his more experienced teammate Marcus Ericsson. The Italian was parachuted in at the last moment to replace Pascal Wehrlein, who is still bothered by a back injury suffered during the Race of Champions last year.
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12:18 Speaking of starts, Lance Stroll’s F1 career hasn’t gotten off to the best one. The Canadian rookie hit the wall coming out of Turn 10 during Qualifying yesterday, and the resultant gearbox change on his Williams FW40 means he’ll start last on the grid.
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12:12 It will be worth keeping a close eye on the start today. The first lap of the opening race of the season is usually rather eventful, with the drivers still rusty from the off-season. Furthermore, the cars and tyres are wider, which means that the drivers will have to play close attention to their positioning as they sweep through the Turn 1/Turn 2 chicane.

12:07 Qualifying took on a better-than-expected complexion for Romain Grosjean, after he piloted his Haas to an admirable P6 start. Given the superiority of the cars ahead of him, a third-row start was the best the Frenchman could have hoped for. Teammate Kevin Magnussen had a less enjoyable time of things, as he failed to progress from Q1.
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12:00 Bad news for local hero Daniel Ricciardo, his Red Bull team have been forced to change his gearbox after his accident at Turn 14 during Qualifying yesterday. The Australian, who was already due to start in tenth place, will now start in P15 after a five-place grid penalty.

11:55 A reminder for you of how qualifying played out yesterday.

11:50 Hello and welcome to FOX Sports’ coverage of race day at the 2017 Australian Grand Prix. After several months of agonizing waiting, the day has finally come: it’s time to go racing!

Experience the full coverage of the FIA Formula One season throughout 2017 on FOX Sports Play, where you can watch LIVE races from angles unlike any other, highlights, interviews, behind the scenes and many more. Don’t miss it!

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