Good morning and welcome to Race Department’s live blog of the first race of the 2017 Formula one season. Outside the points are Hulkenberg, Giovinazzi, and Vandoorne. Only 13 finishers today in Melbourne... ... So, in the points are: Vettel, Hamilton, Bottas, Raikkonen, Verstappen, Massa, Perez, Sainz, Kvyat, and Ocon. That's Ocon's first F1 point. ... It's a Mercedes 2-3 as Bottas crosses the line just 1.275s behind Hamilton. ... And Vettel takes Ferrari's first win since the Singapore GP in September 2015. ... Vettel on the final lap now. ... Sainz on the back of Perez for P7. ... There's lots of brake dust coming off of Verstappen's car as he tries to catch up with Raikkonen. ... Alonso had said there might be something wrong with the suspension. He retires from the race. ... The battle for 10th sees the drivers run three wide. Ocon triggered the move as he tried to go around the outside, squeezing Alonso onto the grass. All three did a fantastic job to keep the race clean. Ocon emerges in 10th, ahead of Hulkenberg, and Alonso. Alonso comes into the pits. ... Order: Vettel, Hamilton, Bottas, Raikkonen, Verstappen, Massa, Perez, Sainz, Kvyat, and Alonso. ... Hulkenberg joins the battle for P10. That's now a three way fight between Alonso, Ocon, and Hulkenberg. ... Kvyat pits... ... Magnussen pulls off to the side of the circuit. It's like an F1 car graveyard at Melbourne today... ... Vettel's lead is now 6.6s with eight laps remaining. ... The battle for fourth is building. Verstappen on super soft tyres is just 1.4s behind Raikkonen. ... Hamilton says the power is dropping in and out, which explains his inconsistent lap times. ... Stroll retires for the first time in his Formula One career! ... Hamilton now less than 2 seconds ahead of Bottas. ... Big moment for Stroll as he goes deep at turn 14 and through the gravel trap to return to the track. ... Our order is now: Vettel, Hamilton, Bottas, Raikkonen, Verstappen, Massa, Perez, Sainz, Kvyat, and Alonso. Verstappen is closing in on Raikkonen. ... Vettel is eight seconds ahead of Hamilton, who is less than three seconds ahead of Bottas, who is lapping faster than his teammate. ... Kvyat pits for the first time after a huge stint for the Russian. He's out in P9. ... Hamilton losing time to both Vettel ahead of him and teammate Bottas behind him. Bottas is still a way behind Hamilton, but closing in. ... Hamilton told they're sticking on plan A. ... The big battle on track at the moment is between Alonso and Ocon. The pair are running nose to tail at the back end of the points. ... Horner says it looks like engine failure for Ricciardo. That's not great, seeing as Renault have reverted back to old engines due to reliability engines... ... Yellow flag to clear Ricciardo's car. It's been a tough day for the Australian. He stopped on track on his way to the grid. The pick up truck took him back to the pits and the team did a fantastic job to get the car ready. He started a few laps down but was racing. He stopped on track, and the team has told him the car is done. ... Hamilton closing in on Vettel, but he's still more than five seconds behind Vettel. Thanks to Verstappen, really... ... Lap 28, the order is Vettel, Hamilton, Bottas, Raikkonen, Verstappen, Kvuat, Massa, Perez, Sainz, Alonso, Ocon, Hulkenberg, Stroll, Giovinazzi, Vandoorne, Magnussen, and Ricciardo (who is many laps down and has just stopped on track...) Out, Ericsson, Palmer, and Grosjean. ... Hamilton told the team is thinking about a plan B, which could mean a two stop race... ... Stroll fastest in the speed trap. We could make a joke about... you know what the joke would be. But we won't, because the joke is about as old as Stroll... ... Bottas and Verstappen both pit, releasing Hamilton, who's now 6 seconds behind Vettel. ... "There's nothing left in these tyres." - Hamilton. Strange. He's only been on them for 8 laps. ... Ericsson has pulled over to the side of the track. The reason is not quite clear yet. ... Vettel comes out ahead of Verstappen with soft tyres. Verstappen has Vettel under pressure as the Ferrari twitches in a way the German wishes it hadn't, but he stays ahead, and now he's disappearing up the road. ... Vettel comes into the pits whilst leading by more than 23.5s. ... Hamilton saying there's no way he can get past Verstappen, but Verstappen says he's struggling with the tyres. ... Hamilton told it's critical to get past Verstappen. His reply? "I don't know how you expect me to do that" It's not going to be easy. ... Perez battling to get ahead of Sainz. The Mexican tried a move around the outside, and cuts infront of Perez. There's not much room between them and they may have touched, but Sainz stays ahead. ... Hamilton says he's got a lot of oversteer, and he's asking if the floor is ok (the car floor, we imagine, not the garage floor...) ... Ferrari didn't react to the Mercedes pit stop, and Vettel now has a 9.5s gap back to Bottas. ... Palmer pits and he's out of the race due to the brake problems. ... Hamilton pits a little earlier than would be expected for a one stop race. They put on soft tyres for the Mercedes driver, who comes out in fifth, behind a Sauber (which is a lap down), and Verstappen (who isn't). ... Turn 14: Palmer has had the same problem lap after lap, with the brakes locking. ... The order on lap 16: Hamilton, Vettel, Bottas, Raikkonen, Verstappen, Massa, Sainz, Perez, Kvyat, Alonso Grosjean pulls into the pits with blue smoke coming out the back of his Haas. He's out of the car and out of the race. ... Stewards have decided there will be no further action over the incident between Magnussen and Ericsson at the start of the race. ... Lance Stroll and Antonio Giovinazzi battling for P18. Stroll had DRS, but a misjudged overtaking opportunity opens the gap a tad. ... Palmer is in trouble. The Renault came to a complete stop with brake issues, but he's managed to get going again. ... Vandoorne comes into the pits. The rookie appears to have trouble, told to do a "power cycle" in the pits. ... Whilst Vettel is setting fastest laps, Hamilton is saying he's struggling for grip. ... Vettel is less than 0.7s behind Hamilton. ... It was Ericsson that span. The Sauber is in the gravel, along with Kevin Magnussen, who has a puncture. ... Hamilton keeps the lead with a good start, with Vettel holding off Bottas. There's a spin at the back of the pack - one of the Saubers. ... We have a second formation lap, as people appear to be confused due to the absence of Ricciardo. ... The race hasn't even started and there's more bad news for Ricciardo. His Red Bull stopped on track on the way to the grid, apparently stuck in 6th gear. He wasn't able to get the car started again. And that's his race over. ... In overnight news, Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo has been handed a five place grid penalty after the team changed his gearbox. The home hero crashed in the final part of qualifying, damaging the rear of the car. Grid: 1 – Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes 2- Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari 3 – Valtteri Bottas – Mercedes 4 – Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari 5 – Max Verstappen – Red Bull 6 – Romain Grosjean – Haas 7 – Felipe Massa – Williams 8 – Carlos Sainz – Toro Rosso 9 – Daniil Kvyat – Toro Rosso 10 – Sergio Perez- Force India 11 – Nico Hulkenberg – Renault 12 – Fernando Alonso – McLaren 13 – Esteban Ocon – Force India 14 – Marcus Ericsson – Sauber 15 – Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull 16 – Antonio Giovinazzi – Sauber 17 – Kevin Magnussen – Haas 18 – Stoffel Vandoorne – McLaren 19 – Jolyon Palmer – Renault 20 – Lance Stroll – Williams To remind yourself just how qualifying went down, catch up with our qualifying report.