Formula 1, Australian GP: Sebastian Vettel quickest in first practice


Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel was quicker than Ferrari's Felipe Massa in the first practice session of the new Formula 1 season at the Australian Grand Prix. The reigning world champion was just 0.078 seconds quicker than the Brazilian in a very tight session that might indicate a fierce season ahead. Ferrari's Fernando Alonso was third, 0.366secs off Vettel, with Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton in fourth. Red Bull's Mark Webber was fifth ahead of Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen.

Pre-season testing indicated that McLaren were still unable to find the right pace and the first session in Melbourne's Albert Park seemed to confirm those suggestions. Jenson Button was only ninth fastest, behind the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg and Adrian Sutil's Force India and a whole 1.229secs off the pace. Button's new team-mate Sergio Perez wasin 11th place, with Lotus's Romain Grosjean between the two McLarens. The Sauber of Nico Hulkenberg was 12th, ahead of Paul di Resta, who was nearly half a second slower than Sutil.

The forecast for qualifying on Saturday is for rain, which could provide a fairly mixed-up grid ahead of an expected dry race on Sunday. You can already bet on the outcome of the race at Bet365, here are the odds for the top five favourites:

Sebastian Vettel - 6/5
Fernando Alonso - 9/2
Lewis Hamilton - 8/1
Mark Webber - 9/1

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