The race in Albert Park was perhaps not as chaotic as we might have imagined, but it delivered a fascinating start to the season with Sebastian Vettel returning to the top step of the podium for the first time in over a year. Ferrari navigated their one-stop strategy well, timing it right to jump Lewis Hamilton for the lead midway through the race. Lewis came in for some late pressure from his teammate Valtteri Bottas, but held him off for a double Mercedes podium.
Further back, Romain Grosjean was the first retirement, kicking off Haas’s double DNF. Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen both succumbed to damage picked up during a first lap incident between the pair – which, incidentally, was the only action the stewards looked into, and even then decided not to issue any sanctions. Jolyon Palmer, Daniel Ricciardo, Lance Stroll, and Fernando Alonso all also failed to see the chequered flag.
Meanwhile, Esteban Ocon finished in the top ten to pick up his first points in Formula One, whilst Antonio Giovinazzi put in a solid, if unspectacular debut, to finish 12th.