Lewis Hamilton wins Australian GP; Vettel 3rd on Ferrari debut

MELBOURNE: Lewis Hamilton joined Arnold Schwarzenegger on the top step of the podium at the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday and in unison they repeated the actor’s trademark phrase: “I’ll be back.”

Hamilton was back as the reigning world champion, back as a race winner, and gave every indication that he’ll be back on that top step many more times this season after sweeping to victory in Formula One’s season-opening race.

The Briton led Nico Rosberg in a one-two finish for Mercedes as the team extended it 2014 dominance into the new year.

Hamilton led from start to finish and beat his teammate by 1.3 seconds at the Albert Park circuit, with Sebastian Vettel finishing third in his first race for Ferrari.

“My team has done an awesome job and it is an incredible feeling to continue on winning from last year,” Hamilton said. “Nico was very quick throughout the race. It was really trying to manage the fuel and the tires, not knowing the limit in terms of how far they can go.

“Once you get a one or two-second gap, you manage that – there is no need to eke out more. When Nico turned up the heat I was able to react.”

Rosberg once again finished runner-up, which was a position he occupied far too often last year, but was both gracious and tenacious when referring to his teammate.

“Lewis drove like a world champion today, but I was driving to the max every lap and I will be doing my best to give this guy a big run for his money,” Rosberg said.

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