Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Formula one news, 2017 Formula one season, Nico Rosberg, Formula One
Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.Reuters.

The first race of the 2017 Formula One season saw Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel come out on top and this win also marked Ferrari's first win in almost two years. Vettel finished 10 seconds ahead of Lewis Hamilton in the 2017 Australian Grand Prix and after failing to win a single race last season, Ferrari look set to take the fight to Mercedes this season.

Also read: Sebastian Vettel wins Australian GP 2017: Ferrari are fast, ready for Hamilton battle; Ricciardo suffers nightmare

Vettel and Hamilton are considered two of the best drivers in their generation and despite Nico Rosberg defeating Hamilton to the world championship last season, the Brit said that Vettel poses a much greater challenge than his former teammate Rosberg. Despite Vettel and Hamilton claiming seven of the last nine world championships, the two have never really squared off for a title challenge until this season.

"Definitely. This year you are seeing the best against the best with the best drivers at the top. We have a great driver in Sebastian winning four titles after his incredible surge into Formula One and he will continue to be a force for many years to come. It has been a privilege to be racing in an era with him and finally we are in a period of time when we can actually have a real race," The Express quoted Hamilton as saying.

A lot of Formula One fans have been eager to see Ferrari get back to their best and once again dominate the sport. They were able to match Mercedes for pace during pre-season testing and after the Australian Grand Prix, Mercedes team Chief Niki Lauda admitted that Ferrari were quicker.

"It's very straightforward: Ferrari were quicker. They dominated the race from beginning to end. Bringing in Lewis earlier or later wouldn't have made any difference," Lauda said.

Vettel's win over the weekend marked the first time a team other than Mercedes have won the opening race of the season since 2013. It also marked the first time that a non-Mercedes backed team have led both the drivers' and constructors' world championships since the V6 Hybrid era began in 2014.

The Ferrari driver admitted that he knew there was a lot of work to be done when he joined Ferrari back in 2015 but said a calm approach and a lot of hard work over the years is finally paying off. And despite winning the first race of the season and despite Ferrari proving to be a faster car than Mercedes, Vettel said Mercedes are still the team to beat.

Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton, sebastian vettel, formula one, Formula one news, Australian Grand Prix
Nico Rosberg.Reuters.

"I think in the end it was clear when we started off three years ago that there's a lot to do, a lot to reshuffle and we knew the team was at a low but the spirit was very good in the first year, in 2015, and I think last year was also a very good year, not in terms of the results but in terms of the team and it's good also to hit some lows and go through difficult periods even though they suck," Vettel said.

"I think the people always kept believing. As I said the last six months have been very calm, we've done our work and it's starting to pay off so I think obviously now it peaks and we're on top of this grand prix but that's a small achievement."

"If you look who we're up against I think Mercedes have been phenomenal in the last few years. Incredible effort, incredible with both drivers, and now Valtteri just fitted in and kept doing fantastic job for the team so [there's] no weak link from the outside, at least not one we can see, so they'll be the team to beat."