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
1Valtteri Bottas BOTMercedes551:34:14.06225
2Lewis Hamilton HAMMercedes55+3.899s18
3Sebastian Vettel VETFerrari55+19.330s15
4Kimi RÌ_ikk̦nen RAIFerrari55+45.386s12
5Max Verstappen VERRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer55+46.269s10
6Nico Hulkenberg HULRenault55+85.713s8
7Sergio Perez PERForce India Mercedes55+92.062s6
8Esteban Ocon OCOForce India Mercedes55+98.911s4
9Fernando Alonso ALOMcLaren Honda54+1 lap2
10Felipe Massa MASWilliams Mercedes54+1 lap1
11Romain Grosjean GROHaas Ferrari54+1 lap0
12Stoffel Vandoorne VANMcLaren Honda54+1 lap0
13Kevin Magnussen MAGHaas Ferrari54+1 lap0
14Pascal Wehrlein WEHSauber Ferrari54+1 lap0
15Brendon Hartley HARToro Rosso54+1 lap0
16Pierre Gasly GASToro Rosso54+1 lap0
17Marcus Ericsson ERISauber Ferrari54+1 lap0
18Lance Stroll STRWilliams Mercedes54+1 lap0
NCCarlos Sainz SAIRenault31DNF0
NCDaniel Ricciardo RICRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer20DNF0

 

Drivers Standings

PosDriverNationalityCarPts
1Lewis Hamilton HAMMercedes363
2Sebastian Vettel VETFerrari317
3Valtteri Bottas BOTMercedes305
4Kimi RÌ_ikk̦nen RAIFerrari205
5Daniel Ricciardo RICRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer200
6Max Verstappen VERRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer168
7Sergio Perez PERForce India Mercedes100
8Esteban Ocon OCOForce India Mercedes87
9Carlos Sainz SAIRenault54
10Nico Hulkenberg HULRenault43
11Felipe Massa MASWilliams Mercedes43
12Lance Stroll STRWilliams Mercedes40
13Romain Grosjean GROHaas Ferrari28
14Kevin Magnussen MAGHaas Ferrari19
15Fernando Alonso ALOMcLaren Honda17
16Stoffel Vandoorne VANMcLaren Honda13
17Jolyon Palmer PALRenault8
18Pascal Wehrlein WEHSauber Ferrari5
19Daniil Kvyat KVYToro Rosso5
20Marcus Ericsson ERISauber Ferrari0
21Pierre Gasly GASToro Rosso0
22Antonio Giovinazzi GIOSauber Ferrari0
23Brendon Hartley HARToro Rosso0

 

Constructors Standings

PosTeamPts
1Mercedes668
2Ferrari522
3Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer368
4Force India Mercedes187
5Williams Mercedes83
6Renault57
7Toro Rosso53
8Haas Ferrari47
9McLaren Honda30
10Sauber Ferrari5

 

 

 

 

 

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