PITSTOP: Rosberg wins F1 opener in Australia

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


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

1Lewis Hamilton HAMMercedes531:27:31.19425
2Max Verstappen VERRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer53+1.211s18
3Daniel Ricciardo RICRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer53+9.679s15
4Valtteri Bottas BOTMercedes53+10.580s12
5Kimi Räikkönen RAIFerrari53+32.622s10
6Esteban Ocon OCOForce India Mercedes53+67.788s8
7Sergio Perez PERForce India Mercedes53+71.424s6
8Kevin Magnussen MAGHaas Ferrari53+88.953s4
9Romain Grosjean GROHaas Ferrari53+89.883s2
10Felipe Massa MASWilliams Mercedes52+1 lap1
11Fernando Alonso ALOMcLaren Honda52+1 lap0
12Jolyon Palmer PALRenault52+1 lap0
13Pierre Gasly GASToro Rosso52+1 lap0
14Stoffel Vandoorne VANMcLaren Honda52+1 lap0
15Pascal Wehrlein WEHSauber Ferrari51+2 laps0
NCLance Stroll STRWilliams Mercedes45DNF0
NCNico Hulkenberg HULRenault40DNF0
NCMarcus Ericsson ERISauber Ferrari7DNF0
NCSebastian Vettel VETFerrari4DNF0
NCCarlos Sainz SAIToro Rosso0DNF0


Drivers Standings

1Lewis Hamilton HAMMercedes306
2Sebastian Vettel VETFerrari247
3Valtteri Bottas BOTMercedes234
4Daniel Ricciardo RICRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer192
5Kimi Räikkönen RAIFerrari148
6Max Verstappen VERRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer111
7Sergio Perez PERForce India Mercedes82
8Esteban Ocon OCOForce India Mercedes65
9Carlos Sainz SAIToro Rosso48
10Nico Hulkenberg HULRenault34
11Felipe Massa MASWilliams Mercedes34
12Lance Stroll STRWilliams Mercedes32
13Romain Grosjean GROHaas Ferrari28
14Kevin Magnussen MAGHaas Ferrari15
15Stoffel Vandoorne VANMcLaren Honda13
16Fernando Alonso ALOMcLaren Honda10
17Jolyon Palmer PALRenault8
18Pascal Wehrlein WEHSauber Ferrari5
19Daniil Kvyat KVYToro Rosso4
20Marcus Ericsson ERISauber Ferrari0
21Antonio Giovinazzi GIOSauber Ferrari0
22Pierre Gasly GASToro Rosso0


Constructors Standings

3Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer303
4Force India Mercedes147
5Williams Mercedes66
6Toro Rosso52
7Haas Ferrari43
9McLaren Honda23
10Sauber Ferrari5






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