Ferrari boss Marchionne: 'It was about time'

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne said it was "about time" the famous Italian team put an end to its victory drought by winning Sunday's Australian Grand Prix in Formula One.

After a winter of cautious optimism in Maranello, Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel kicked off the first race of F1's new aerodynamic era with a convincing victory. Race strategy was key to securing the win on the day, but Marchionne praised the progress the team has made following a winless campaign last year.

"It was about time," he said. "I am delighted for the team and for our tifosi who stood by us throughout this whole period. We've been waiting for this victory for almost a year and a half. Hearing the Italian national anthem again was very moving.

"Sebastian delivered a great race and I am sure Kimi will be soon up there battling alongside his team-mate. Of course, this victory is something to share with the entire team, both at the circuit and back in Maranello, because teamwork is the only way to achieve major goals."

Marchionne said the team's first win since the 2015 Singapore Grand Prix is just the starting point for further progress over the coming season.

"Now, however, it is absolutely essential to remember that this is not the destination but the first step on a long road that must see us all focused on improving each and every day."