Sebastian Vettel's victory for Ferrari was the first time in the V6 turbo era, which started in 2014, that Mercedes has failed to win the opening race of the season. The Spaniard hinted during a pre-season press conference that he has only a few more years left in the sport. (Laughs ) Today felt very exceptional, especially after the difficult 2016 season, and a hard winter with a lot of heart and soul from all of us going into this vehicle.
The difference in tyre strategies then between them and Mercedes clouded the issue and made definitive comparisons hard, but Ferrari had been confident prior to the race stoppage following the huge accident that befell Fernando Alonso that they could win.
"I only saw a very small part of the preparation and it's nice to see the work has pulled off and we're fighting at the front".
Vettel appeared to be less concerned about the situation than anyone, but that's always going to be the case when you're the driver on the top step of the podium.
"Unbelievable! Thank you everyone", said Vettel.
While there is only so much that can be gauged from practice, with drivers operating varying fuel levels, the theory that this year's wider, faster and more aggressive looking cars would suddenly shake up the order and bring a dramatic halt to Mercedes' dominance is now under significant scrutiny. "If it's one second last year, it's two seconds this year".
Vettel took victory in Melbourne after jumping polesitter Hamilton during his only pit stop, with Hamilton held up behind Max Verstappen's Red Bull and losing touch with the Ferrari. But he also made sure to declare just how proud he was of his Ferrari team and crew, too. "They've obviously done a great job over the winter". Indeed at this point Bottas was catching Hamilton in third, right as Hamilton pointed out he had "power dropping in and out".
And in other ways, the new-look F1 is definitely better.
"It wasn't a disaster but I will have my points that I will take". And boy are the cars fast: the cornering speeds are blistering and the drivers are enduring higher g forces than ever. "All tyres will drop off but the combination of the tyres and cars is much more of what everyone wanted".
"It's a shame for Lance, who put in a good first drive with some overtakes in his first race in Formula One, so it is a shame that he then had to retire with a brake failure", Williams chief technical officer Paddy Lowe said. "But on the soft tyres you could push them hard and it was a really nice feeling".
One thing that was clear is that the cars are faster this season.
So Sebastian Vettel is the first F1 victor of 2017.
In that context, to complain that overtaking might be a bit harder feels churlish, to say the least.