Australian Grand Prix – Sebastian Vettel won the season opener in Australia after a strategic battle with Mercedes.
Polesitter Lewis Hamilton led the field away, but Vettel was able to comfortably stay close to the Mercedes during the first stint.
Hamilton made his one and only pit stop on Lap 17 for soft tyres but, despite being quicker on fresher tyres, got stuck behind the Red Bull of Max Verstappen which allowed Vettel to create a gap up front.
That meant that when Vettel pitted on Lap 23, he came out just ahead of the Verstappen/Hamilton battle. On cold tyres, the Dutchman attempted to take full advantage on the run into Turn 3, but the Ferrari crucially defended to stay ahead.
Vettel ran in the lead until the end of the race, whilst Valtteri Bottas closed on his team mate for second place but was unable to mount a challenge.
Kimi Raikkonen had an uneventful race in fourth with Verstappen finishing in fifth, despite using the supersoft tyre for his second stint to try to challenge at the end of the race.
Felipe Massa also had a quiet race in sixth ahead of Sergio Perez, who made an early pass for the position on Carlos Sainz Jr. around the outside of Turn 3.
Sainz and team mate Daniil Kvyat came back at Perez later in the race, with Kvyat not making his pit stop until Lap 34 of 57. However, even on the fresher tyres the Russian could not pass the Force India, so Toro Rosso swapped the drivers around.
Esteban Ocon scored his first Formula One point in tenth ahead of Nico Hulkenberg for Renault. The pair enjoyed a late scrap with Fernando Alonso for the final points-paying positions, with the trio going three-wide into Turn 1 which saw Ocon and Hulkenberg fly past the Spaniard into Turn 1.
Shortly after the battle Alonso complained of a potential suspension issue as his car was pulling to the left. He quickly and unfortunately retired the car.
Late drop-in Antonio Giovinazzi, in place of Pascal Wehrlein, managed a fantastic 12th on his Formula One debut for Sauber.
Stoffel Vandoorne was the last of the cars to finish in 13th. It was a difficult day for the McLaren driver, suffering further reliability issues as he had to complete a manual engine recycle during his pit stop, costing him some 20 seconds.
Home favourite Daniel Ricciardo had a torrid day. After crashing in qualifying and receiving a 5-place grid penalty for a gearbox change, the Red Bull driver stopped on track on his way to the grid with an electronic sensor issue which meant his new gearbox was stuck in sixth.
The Red Bull mechanics were able to restart the car, but Ricciardo joined the race two laps down. Ricciardo still went out to experience a race in the new 2017 cars, but stopped on track again on Lap 29 with an engine failure.
Haas suffered a double retirement; a big blow to the team as Romain Grosjean was running in an impressive seventh when his engine went. Kevin Magnussen later retired with a suspected suspension failure. The Dane had drama at the start when he hit Marcus Ericsson on the opening lap at Turn 3. Ericsson also retired later in the race.
After an abysmal Saturday which saw Jolyon Palmer qualify last, the Renault driver hit further issues with a brake issue that meant he kept going off at Turn 13. After three consecutive laps of running into the same problem, the team pulled Palmer into the pits to retire.
Lance Stroll hit trouble when he was unable to slow down for Turn 13 which saw him run into the run-off area and have to run through the gravel to rejoin. The Canadian, however, shortly retired.