Sebastian Vettel’s odds on winning the World Drivers’ Championship have been cut after he won the opening Grand Prix of the season.
Lewis Hamilton started on pole and got away well, but Vettel was clearly the fastest car around Melbourne’s Albert Park.
Hamilton was forced to change his tyres on lap 17 and that allowed Vettel to undercut him and get ahead, a and he never looked back as he took the first chequered flag of the season.
Vettel is now rated as low as 5/4 to win the World Championship, following the win.
— Formula 1 (@F1) March 26, 2017
Hamilton took second place with his new team-mate Valtteri Bottas coming third, with fellow Finn Kimi Raikkonen in the second Ferrari coming fourth.
Home hero Daniel Ricciardo endured a torrid day with his car stopping on the way around for the formation lap. They got him going, but the race was already two laps old and he eventually retired on lap 30.
Red Bull did have some cheer with Max Verstappen looking competitive as he finished fifth.
Felipe Massa took sixth for Williams, whilst the final four slots in the points was filled by Force India and Torro Rosso.
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) March 26, 2017
Vettel has been cut from 5/1 to 5/4 after winning the first race of the season, with Lewis Hamilton drifting from 8/11 to 11/10.
“The result in Australia has come as a surprise and anyone who backed Vettel at 5/1 to win the title this season has got a great bet,” said William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams.
“In fact, Vettel could easily become the favourite in the next week.”
Ferrari are now 13/8 from 3/1 to win the Constructors this season.
F1 Drivers Championship: 11/10 Lewis Hamilton; 5/4 Sebastian Vettel; 8/1 Valtteri Bottas; 14/1 Kimi Raikkonen; 22/1 Max Verstappen; 33/1 Daniel Ricciardo; 500/1 Felipe Massa; 1000/1 Pascal Wehrlein 2000/1 Fernando Alonso; 2000/1 Carlos Sainz; 2000/1 Jolyon Palmer; 2000/1 Kevin Magnussen; 2000/1 Lance Stroll; 2000/1 Nico Hulkenberg; 2000/1 Romain Grosjean; 2000/1 Sergio Perez; 2000/1 Stoffel Vandoorne; 2000/1 Daniil Kvyat; 2000/1 Esteban Ocon; 2000/1 Marcus Ericsson
Constructors: 4/7 Mercedes, 13/8 Ferrari, 16/1 Red Bull, 500/1 Williams