Melbourne: Red Bull`s Daniel Ricciardo labelled the Australian Grand Prix "boring" on Sunday after dominant Mercedes claimed first and second spots more than 30 seconds ahead of the field.
Winner Lewis Hamilton and his team-mate Nico Rosberg lapped all but three drivers in Melbourne in an ominous sign for the season ahead.
"I feel a bit for the fans," said Australia`s Ricciardo, who finished sixth in his Red Bull. "It was a boring race. It was frustrating. It wasn`t the most exciting race.
"We finished the race and got some points which was positive, and there are things we can learn. I think on paper sixth was the best for us today."
Hamilton, from pole position, and Rosberg, from second on the grid, were never challenged by a field reduced to just 15 cars -- the lowest number for a season-opener since 1963.
With new team Manor unable even to take part in qualifying, Valtteri Bottas pulled out with a back injury and Daniil Kvyat and Kevin Magnussen withdrew before the start with mechanical problems.
"For sure it`s not great for the people," Vettel said of the sparse field, of which only 11 cars reached the chequered flag.
"(Formula One) is a difficult challenge. It is complicated -- maybe it got a bit too complicated."
Mercedes last year ran away with the drivers` and constructors` titles and won a record 16 races.
Hamilton won 11 times as Mercedes also set a new record of 11 one-two finishes in a season. The team also equalled Red Bull`s 2011 record for most pole positions with 18.
On the evidence of Sunday`s season-opening race, little has changed.