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2012-03-19 07:51

NOT 'TWO' BAD: Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel leads McLaren's Lewis Hamilton and team-mate Mark Webber during Sunday's Australian F1 Grand Prix.

MELBOURNE, Australia - World champion Sebastian Vettel said his second place in Sunday's season-opening 2012 Australian Formula 1 GP proved that Red Bull is  in better shape than the cars’ poor qualifying suggested.

After dominating the 2011 season, Red Bull's Mark Webber and Vettel were knocked back to fifth and sixth on the Albert Park grid, but Vettel found the pace and was soon third when compatriot and seven-times champion Michael Schumacher was forced to retire his Mercedes.

Then he grabbed second when he took advantage of a pace car period to pass McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton of McLaren during the final pit stops.

UNEXPECTED SECOND

"I’m happy to come away with second. A lot of people did not expect it after qualifying. It was a positive race for us, one we knew would be difficult - so second with a lot of points is important.

"Now we need to address problems to make sure we give them a harder time next week (in Malaysia)."

Webber finished fourth - his best result in his home race – and said: "There are some positives to take out of today. Qualifying was difficult for us but the race pace was better. It was just that we didn't have track position.

Webber believes third was a realistic outcome but the lack of overtaking opportunities at Albert Park made the challenge too difficult.

"We had a bit of luck with the safety car and I was quicker than Lewis at the end but it's a difficult track on which to overtake - in Malaysia it would have been different."

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