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
1Lewis Hamilton HAMMercedes611:51:11.61125
2Max Verstappen VERRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer61+8.961s18
3Sebastian Vettel VETFerrari61+39.945s15
4Valtteri Bottas BOTMercedes61+51.930s12
5Kimi Räikkönen RAIFerrari61+53.001s10
6Daniel Ricciardo RICRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer61+53.982s8
7Fernando Alonso ALOMcLaren Renault61+103.011s6
8Carlos Sainz SAIRenault60+1 lap4
9Charles Leclerc LECSauber Ferrari60+1 lap2
10Nico Hulkenberg HULRenault60+1 lap1
11Marcus Ericsson ERISauber Ferrari60+1 lap0
12Stoffel Vandoorne VANMcLaren Renault60+1 lap0
13Pierre Gasly GASScuderia Toro Rosso Honda60+1 lap0
14Lance Stroll STRWilliams Mercedes60+1 lap0
15Romain Grosjean GROHaas Ferrari60+1 lap0
16Sergio Perez PERForce India Mercedes60+1 lap0
17Brendon Hartley HARScuderia Toro Rosso Honda60+1 lap0
18Kevin Magnussen MAGHaas Ferrari59+2 laps0
19Sergey Sirotkin SIRWilliams Mercedes59+2 laps0
NCEsteban Ocon OCOForce India Mercedes0DNF0

 

Drivers Standings

PosDriverFLAGCarPTS
1Lewis Hamilton HAMMercedes281
2Sebastian Vettel VETFerrari241
3Kimi Räikkönen RAIFerrari174
4Valtteri Bottas BOTMercedes171
5Max Verstappen VERRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer148
6Daniel Ricciardo RICRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer126
7Nico Hulkenberg HULRenault53
8Fernando Alonso ALOMcLaren Renault50
9Kevin Magnussen MAGHaas Ferrari49
10Sergio Perez PERForce India Mercedes46
11Esteban Ocon OCOForce India Mercedes45
12Carlos Sainz SAIRenault38
13Pierre Gasly GASScuderia Toro Rosso Honda28
14Romain Grosjean GROHaas Ferrari27
15Charles Leclerc LECSauber Ferrari15
16Stoffel Vandoorne VANMcLaren Renault8
17Lance Stroll STRWilliams Mercedes6
18Marcus Ericsson ERISauber Ferrari6
19Brendon Hartley HARScuderia Toro Rosso Honda2
20Sergey Sirotkin SIRWilliams Mercedes1

 

Constructors Standings

PosTeamPts
1Mercedes452
2Ferrari415
3Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer274
4Renault91
5Haas Ferrari76
6McLaren Renault58
7Force India Mercedes32
8Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda30
9Sauber Ferrari21
10Williams Mercedes7

 

 

 

 

 

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