By Ros Satar

  • Nico Rosberg wins the Australian Open Grand Prix
  • Lewis Hamilton 2nd, Sebastian Vettel 3rd
  • Rest of the Brits: Jolyon Palmer 11, Jenson Button 14

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – Nico Rosberg got Mercedes off to a winning start as he won a dramatic season opener in Albert Park.

Britwatch Formula 1: Full Fixtures, News & Standings

PITSTOP QUICK HITS

WHO: Rosberg to advantage of a mid-race stoppage to flip the race on its head. The start was all Ferrari, as Sebastian Vettel stole a march on Lewis Hamilton’s terrible start from pole position, but eventually had to settle for third. Hamilton made up ground to keep Ferrari at bay and put Mercedes at the head of the Constructor’s championship with their one-two finish.

Aussie home crowd favourite, the ever-smiling Daniel Ricciardo came in fourth for Red Bull while ‘Ferrari-Lite’ new boys on the block Haas came sixth on their debut.

 

 

WHAT: This terrifying crash between Fernando Alonso and Esteban Gutierrez was what caused the mid-race stoppage, giving Mercedes a chance to get back into the race. Both drivers were extremely lucky to walk away from the carnage, especially given some of the changes this season with the new ‘halo’ design

 

YouTube video via Canal Celebrivideos

 

WHERE & WHEN: Turn 3, lap 19 was where the race changed – Ferrari had made the most of a tardy start by both Mercedes to snatch one-two at the start of the race, with Hamilton slipping down the order as Max Verstappen and Felipe Massa also took advantage, eventually pushing him down to seventh from Pole.

HOW: Mercedes turned things around after a 20 minute break so that the debris from the crash could be cleared. Ferrari were still sticking to a two-stop strategy on the supersoft tyres, and Mercedes more conservative choice of mediums meant they could go on without another stop.

With Vettel needing a gap of at least 24 seconds to handle his final stop, as he came in on lap 35, the two Mercedes and Ricciardo jumped in. Hamilton snapped up the Red Bull but Rosberg was just too far ahead for him to make up ground, so instead he busied himself with keeping Vettel off his tail.

Ricciardo, now on supersofts, put up the fastest lap [time] and agonisingly just missed out on making the podium, and becoming the first Australian to claim a podium place on home turf.

WHAT ELSE HAPPENED – Toro Rosso were all at sea as their two drivers Carlos Sainz and Verstappen squabbled with the young Dutchman being very annoyed at the team’s decision to put Sainz before him, and then the pair having contact after Sainz was not asked to move aside.

 

 

Race Highlights via F1 TV Official YouTube

 

Race Standings

PosDriverCarLapsTime/RetiredPts
1Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer561:35:36.38025
2Valtteri BottasMercedes56+8.894s18
3Kimi RäikkönenFerrari56+9.637s15
4Lewis HamiltonMercedes56+16.985s12
5Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer56+20.436s10
6Nico HulkenbergRenault56+21.052s8
7Fernando AlonsoMcLaren Renault56+30.639s6
8Sebastian VettelFerrari56+35.286s4
9Carlos SainzRenault56+35.763s2
10Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari56+39.594s1
11Esteban OconForce India Mercedes56+44.050s0
12Sergio PerezForce India Mercedes56+44.725s0
13Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren Renault56+49.373s0
14Lance StrollWilliams Mercedes56+55.490s0
15Sergey SirotkinWilliams Mercedes56+58.241s0
16Marcus EricssonSauber Ferrari56+62.604s0
17Romain GrosjeanHaas Ferrari56+65.296s0
18Pierre GaslyScuderia Toro Rosso Honda56+66.330s0
19Charles LeclercSauber Ferrari56+82.575s0
20Brendon HartleyScuderia Toro Rosso Honda51DNF0

 

Drivers Standings

PosDriver CarPts
1Sebastian Vettel Ferrari54
2Lewis Hamilton Mercedes45
3Valtteri Bottas Mercedes40
4Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer37
5Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari30
6Fernando Alonso McLaren Renault22
7Nico Hulkenberg Renault22
8Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer18
9Pierre Gasly Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda12
10Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari11
11Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren Renault6
12Carlos Sainz Renault3
13Marcus Ericsson Sauber Ferrari2
14Esteban Ocon Force India Mercedes1
15Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes0
16Charles Leclerc Sauber Ferrari0
17Brendon Hartley Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda0
18Lance Stroll Williams Mercedes0
19Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari0
20Sergey Sirotkin Williams Mercedes0

 

Constructors Standings

PosTeamPts
1Mercedes85
2Ferrari84
3Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer55
4McLaren Renault28
5Renault25
6Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda12
7Haas Ferrari11
8Sauber Ferrari2
9Force India Mercedes1
10Williams Mercedes0

 

 

 

 

 

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