MELBOURNE, Australia – Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel captured the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday, holding off his hard-charging Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton in a dramatic start to the new Formula One season.
It was the 100th podium of Vettel's career and it came in his 200th Formula One race. The German becomes the fourth driver to claim 100 podium finishes, joining Hamilton, Michael Schumacher and Alain Prost.
Vettel finished the race a full 5 seconds ahead of Hamilton, who had made several late attempts to catch the Ferrari, but fell just short for the victory.
Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen finished third, denying Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo a chance to become the first Australian driver to stand on the podium at the Australian GP.
McLaren's Fernando Alonso made a surprisingly strong run to finish in fifth place, holding off a spirited challenge by Red Bull's Max Verstappen, who was sixth.