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From the Marbles

Defending champions roll in F1 and IndyCar openers

It was same old, same old in Formula 1 and the Izod IndyCar Series on Sunday.

While most everyone was asleep in the United States, last year's F1 champion Sebastian Vettel dominated the field in Melbourne to win the Australian Grand Prix. Vettel qualified three-quarters of a second faster than Lewis Hamilton on Saturday and jetted out to over a two-second lead on the first lap of the race.

Yes, the Red Bull Renault driver was that dominant.

There was more action on the first turn of the first lap in the IndyCar race at St. Petersburg, but then again, it wouldn't have taken much to top the F1 race in the first place.

Helio Castroneves misjudged his braking point as the field hit the first corner and sent Marco Andretti into Scott Dixon. Andretti ended up (again) on his roof, and the accident killed the chances of the three, Ryan Briscoe and Mike Conway.

2010 champion Dario Franchitti won the race while Will Power (who finished second in last year's title race) was second. Simona de Silvestro finished fourth.

Danica Patrick was docked a spot on the final lap for what was deemed "avoidable" contact with JR Hildebrand when Hildebrand spun around. Patrick finished 12th.

And that wasn't the only time that the front of Patrick's car was involved in an incident. On Sunday, the nose of her car got fixed more times than Heidi Montag's. Patrick's nose had to be replaced and repaired after contact with Ana Beatriz and Justin Wilson.

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