Hamilton dropped back from his team mate after making his first pit stop early to cover off the threat of Sebastian Vettel behind. But Bottas was able to extend his first stint and pull out a lead of more than 20 seconds over Hamilton.
Max Verstappen also ran a long first stint and emerged from his pit stop on Vettel’s tail. He surprised the Ferrari driver with an attack into turn three, and claimed the final spot on the podium. Vettel then fell back into the clutches of team mate Charles Leclerc, who lost time early on when he went off at turn one.
Kevin Magnussen fought his way past Antonio Giovinazzi to take sixth for Haas. But in a parallel with last year’s race team mate Romain Grosjean dropped out with a wheel problem.
Home favourite Daniel Ricciardo also retired after a disastrous first race for Renault which began with him losing his front wing within metres of the start. Team mate Nico Hulkenberg claimed seventh.
Giovinazzi ran a very long first stint which aided Kimi Raikkonen’s progress to eighth place. Lance Stroll took points for ninth place in his first race for Racing Point.
The final point went to Daniil Kvyat despite the Toro Rosso driver a trip through the gravel at turn three. He held off Pierre Gasly after passing the Red Bull driver, who made a late pit stop.
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2018 Australian Grand Prix reaction
- McLaren can target Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull now – Alonso
- F1 drivers say overtaking is even harder this year
- Alonso took fifth off Verstappen by a tenth of a second
- Raikkonen explains angry radio exchange over Vettel tactics
- Bottas suspects Mercedes got its sums wrong with engine cooling
- Hamilton preferred a later pit stop in fight with Ferrari
- Vettel says he wasn’t a threat for the win before lucky break with VSC
- Haas didn’t experience “freak” wheel nut problem in testing
- Mercedes didn’t make a mistake, Ferrari got lucky – Horner
- Haas fined over pit errors which put both cars out