Australian Formula One Grand Prix
Sebastian Vettel of Germany driving the (5) Scuderia Ferrari SF71H leads Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes WO9 on track.Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Formula One, the highest class of single-seater auto racing, has kick-started a brand new season at Melbourne's beautiful Albert Park circuit on Sunday (March 25). The 2018 Australian Grand Prix saw defending champion Lewis Hamilton triumphing during the free practices and qualifying Friday and Saturday, but losing the race Sunday.

The perfect season start dream of the Mercedes-AMG F1 team was further dented by the dismal performance of Valtteri Bottas, who crashed his car during qualifying. In the end, the Finn managed to finish the race in P8, behind Renault Sport F1's Nico Hulkenberg.

While it was not a weekend for Mercedes-AMG F1 to cherish, Scuderia Ferrari got a morale-boosting start with a double podium in the season opener. Some teams had the perfect outing over the weekend while some struggled. We have compiled a list of the top five talking points about the 2018 Australian Grand Prix.

Ferrari in fighting spirit

After the qualifying race, where Lewis Hamilton stormed to pole position, Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) said in the press conference he (Hamilton) could have the party Saturday and "we (Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari drivers) will celebrate it Sunday." That's exactly what happened.

Formula One F1 - Australian Grand Prix
Sebastian Vettel celebrates his win on the podium with Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen and Ferrari Race Strategist Inaki Rueda.REUTERS/Brandon Malone

Though Hamilton got a flawless start and pulled away from the rest of the cars in the initial laps, rotten luck struck his victory dreams in the form of safety-car intervention. Vettel took advantage of a pit stop during the safety car and re-joined the race just ahead of Hamilton. He retained the lead till the end of the race despite a fierce threat from Hamilton.

Raikkonen, who started from P2, finished P3, giving Ferrari a double podium. What an incredible result for Ferrari to start the season!

Alonso + McLaren + Renault engine, yes it works

The first race of Fernando Alonso switching from a Honda engine to a Renault engine showed the Spaniard's obvious talent in racing. After he struggled with sub-par cars for three seasons, the Renault powered McLaren car aided Alonso to secure the fifth position.

His teammate, Stoffel Vandoorne finished the race in P9, adding valuable points to the team total.

Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso of Spain and McLaren F1 gives the crowd a thumbs up on the drivers parade before the 2018 Australian Formula One Grand PrixCharles Coates/Getty Images

The MCL33 performed exceptionally well around Albert Park. If the British outfit showed its true potential in the first race of the season, it indicates they will gain some good points and even a few podiums in the new season.

Miserable Honda saga continues

What was McLaren's gain has become Toro Rosso's loss. The junior team of Red Bull Racing was forced to switch to Honda engines for 2018. Honda, which was struggling to provide a competitive engine for McLaren in the past three seasons, failed with the new partnership as well.

Toro Rosso Honda
Brendon Hartley of New Zealand driving the (28) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13 HondaRobert Cianflone/Getty Images

Brendon Hartley finished the race in 15th place as the last driver, while his teammate Pierre Gasly had to retire mid-way.

"After Turn 12 the engine just switched off, it came back on again but I was really slow and I couldn't upshift. I tried to return to the pits and then I was told to stop," Gasly was quoted as saying post-race by Planet F1.

The Haas fiasco

American Formula 1 team Haas was one of the surprises in Australia. The team had a dream run in the race with Kevin Magnussen performing brilliantly in the fourth position after passing both Red Bulls on the start.

His teammate Romain Grosjean was in the fifth position and it seemed Haas would register its best-ever result in Australia.

Haas F1 Team
Haas F1's Danish driver Kevin Magnussen climbs out of his car after his car failed during the Formula One Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 25, 2018.PAUL CROCK/AFP/Getty Images

Then the disaster struck as pit-stop mistakes saw both cars retiring within minutes of each other with cross-threaded wheels nuts. Haas could have been the dark horses of the race, but the twin DNFs mean they have to do more homework.

What happened to Force India?

Even though Force India F1 does not have the flamboyance of Ferrari and Mercedes, the Silverstone-based outfit was consistent in the past couple of years. However, the season opener didn't bring a healthy start for it.

Sergio Perez and teammate Esteban Ocon qualified in only the 13th and 15th spots, respectively, for the race. The duo bettered the result with 11th and 12th-place finishes while they failed to procure some valuable points to the table. The result indicates the new VJM11 cars need a lot of improvements.

Force India F1
Mechanics change the tyres of Force India's French driver Esteban Ocon during the second Formula One practice session in Melbourne on March 23, 2018GLENN NICHOLLS/AFP/Getty Images

"It's definitely behind where we expected to be," said Perez.

"We thought we were going to be a bit closer to the fight, but we simply were not. It's a shame, but the season is long, and hopefully we can recover the pace of the car," the Mexican driver was quoted by as saying.