Sebastian Vettel is set to start pursuing his fourth straight Formula One… (Josep Lago / AFP / Getty Images )
The Formula One season is set to start in Australia with Sebastian Vettel again the driver everyone else is chasing.
Vettel is seeking his fourth consecutive Formula One championship as the international racing series opens its 19-race season Sunday with the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.
The 25-year-old German, who drives for Red Bull Racing, became the youngest three-time champion last year when he edged Ferrari's Fernando Alonso by three points in the title standings.
"It's good that now we finally get to go racing" after a break of nearly four months, Vettel told Formula One's website.
Alonso, a two-time champion, is back with Ferrari along with Felipe Massa. Vettel's teammate Mark Webber, an Australian who will be racing on his home track Sunday, also returns with Red Bull.
But another former champion, Lewis Hamilton, is in a new seat this year. The British driver left his longtime team, McLaren, to join the Mercedes team this year.
"I can't wait to get to Melbourne, get out on the track and find out where we stand," Hamilton said.
Sergio Perez, 23, replaced Hamilton at McLaren, where he'll be teamed with 2009 champion Jenson Button.
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