Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas opened up their accounts the 2017 Formula One season with a double podium for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Team in the Australian Grand Prix.
The duo ushered in the new era of F1, with its wider and faster cars with a 2-3 finish around Albert Park, while Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel took the top step on the podium.
Before a long winter and an extensive testing programme, the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Team had already identified the Italian team as their main threat in Australia, and it now promises to be thrilling battle between the two this season for the Formula One Constructors' Championship.
Lewis, who came second, said: "We had a really good start, which is fantastic, it's great to have a good getaway but then we were struggling with the grip. Sebastian was able to always answer in terms of speed and the majority of the time do faster lap times.
"Towards the end I got a bit stuck in traffic and overheated the tyres and was struggling with grip, so it was to the point that I needed to come in for tyres, plus the gap was closing up and I was sliding around so it was my call, because otherwise he probably would have come by anyways.
"I came in and then I obviously got stuck in some traffic, which was unfortunate but that's motor racing. A big congratulations to Sebastian and Ferrari, I know it's been a long time coming to get a result like this.
"It shows we're going to have a race on our hands, which we're happy to have. I think it's great for the fans."
Meanwhile Valtteri earned an impressive third place in his first race for the team since he joined from Williams to replace World Champion, Nico Rosberg, who retired at the end of last season. The Finnish driver was pleased with his solid start to the season.
Valtteri said: "First of all I think it is a start and there's always things that could've gone better, but it is a good starting point for the journey for me driving for Mercedes. But there's a long season ahead and today I think the race was good.
"We as a team did a good job with the car but Ferrari were quicker today, there's no doubt about that but it was certainly not a disaster for a first race weekend with the team. I do have my points and I will be better next time."
The action continues with round two in Shanghai at the Chinese Grand Prix on the 7th - 9th April.
RESULT - 57 LAPS:
POS DRIVER CAR GAP LAPS
1. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1h24m11.672s 57
2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 9.975s 57
3. Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 11.250s 57
4. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 22.393s 57
5. Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 28.827s 57
6. Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m23.386s 57
7. Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1 Lap 56
8. Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Renault 1 Lap 56
9. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Renault 1 Lap 56
10. Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 1 Lap 56
11. Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1 Lap 56
12. Antonio Giovinazzi Sauber/Ferrari 2 Laps 55
13. Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Honda 2 Laps 55
- Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda Suspension 50
- Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari Suspension 46
- Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes Brakes 40
- Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault Power Unit 25
- Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari Collision 21
- Jolyon Palmer Renault Brakes 15
- Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari Water leak 13
- Pascal Wehrlein Sauber/Ferrari Withdrawn 0