Vettel wins Melbourne Grand Prix as Ricciardo suffers

The Red Bull driver had the best of the non-Mercedes cars in F1 previous year, placing third to eventual victor Nico Rosberg and three-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.

"Right now it looks like we have equal machinery", Vettel said.

"Just a long day and happy to move on". I'll try to have a bit of perspective on this.

What the global Formula One circuit and its new owners Liberty Media, which had clinched majority control in a $US8 billion deal in January, got was some exciting racing and some challenges to the dominant Mercedes team and its lead driver Lewis Hamilton.

Ricciardo admits that pole looks to be out of RBR's reach: "If Lewis does the ideal lap then that'll be a challenge to take the pole away from him, but we're not too far off".

At the conclusion of pre-season testing, there were suggestions that Red Bull was perhaps keeping its true speed under wraps but Sunday's performance clearly demonstrated that its gap to Ferrari and Mercedes is real.

Even the vanquished Hamilton welcomed Ferrari's first grand prix triumph in 18 months.

"I think Ferrari have done a great job on engine and on chassis, they have had a strong winter, but a season is 20 races and not one".

Red Bull Racing's Daniel Ricciardo says he was "caught by surprise" with the spin that caused his crash during qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix.

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His problems then continued when heading out on track as he could not get out of sixth gear, prompting him to stop on track shortly after the pit lane opened.

Red Bull only managed to get one auto, Max Verstappen's, to the finish line after a wretched home race weekend for Daniel Ricciardo ended in retirement.

To the cheers of the Melbourne crowd, Ricciardo joined the race from the pits as the rest of the field was on its third lap.

"It was still valuable track time".

Two other cars retired before Ricciardo stopped again, this time at turn three on the 28th lap, with a fuel pressure problem.

"Don't get me wrong, it's been fun, but I feel bad for everyone, bad for the fans.

For all these things to happen at my home race that's probably the most frustrating thing", said Ricciardo.

"If I'm going to look on the bright side ... maybe we can learn something from his race and look forward", Ricciardo said.

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