Ferrari got lucky, admits Vettel

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Sebastian Vettel conceded he was the beneficiary of a slice of good fortune after beating Lewis Hamilton to victory at the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday.

The German's well-timed pit stop under the safety car, coupled with a Mercedes miscalculation, allowed him to re-emerge ahead of Hamilton, who had fallen behind his Ferrari rival during an earlier stop.

A faultless drive for the chequered flag kept Hamilton at bay, with the defending champion eventually abandoning his challenge and settling for second in the closing laps in a bid to preserve his tyres.

"We got a bit lucky obviously with the safety car," said Vettel, who started third behind Hamilton and team-mate Kimi Raikkonen. "I really enjoyed it.

"I hoped my start would be a bit better but it didn't really work, so I had to settle for third. At the end of the first stint I lost a bit of the connection to Lewis and Kimi ahead.

"I was praying for a safety car and then there was a car stopped in Turn 4 and then the Haas stopped in the exit of Turn 2 and when I saw it I was full of adrenaline.

"The race is frozen, but to come into the pits on the limit... when I got out ahead I knew it was difficult to pass. He [Hamilton] kept the pressure on, especially the beginning of the last stint, but the last five laps I could enjoy a little bit more.

"Lewis did a great lap yesterday and deserved pole and he drove a very good race, controlling in the beginning.

"We got a bit lucky but we will take it. We're not yet where we want to be, I don't quite feel the car, but it gives us a good start, good wind and fresh motivation."

Vettel had been second best to Raikkonen in the Ferraris all weekend and the Finn, who finished third, could also count himself unfortunate to lose out under the safety car.

"We didn't have the most luck but what can you do?" he commented. "Luckily it was Seb who got the luck and it was our team at least.

"I think I had decent speed all day long, it's just difficult to pass. The safety car is pure luck but we could hold onto third place.

"I'll take it, I've been happy with the car."