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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 BOTMercedes521:21:46.75525
2Sebastian Vettel VETFerrari52+13.343s18
3Lewis Hamilton HAMMercedes52+13.858s16
4Alexander Albon ALBRed Bull Racing Honda52+59.537s12
5Carlos Sainz SAIMcLaren Renault52+69.101s10
6Daniel Ricciardo RICRenault51+1 lap8
7Charles Leclerc LECFerrari51+1 lap6
8Pierre Gasly GASScuderia Toro Rosso Honda51+1 lap4
9Sergio Perez PERRacing Point BWT Mercedes51+1 lap2
10Nico Hulkenberg HULRenault51+1 lap1
11Lance Stroll STRRacing Point BWT Mercedes51+1 lap0
12Daniil Kvyat KVYScuderia Toro Rosso Honda51+1 lap0
13Lando Norris NORMcLaren Renault51+1 lap0
14Kimi Räikkönen RAIAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari51+1 lap0
15Romain Grosjean GROHaas Ferrari51+1 lap0
16Antonio Giovinazzi GIOAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari51+1 lap0
17Kevin Magnussen MAGHaas Ferrari51+1 lap0
18George Russell RUSWilliams Mercedes50+2 laps0
19Robert Kubica KUBWilliams Mercedes50+2 laps0
NCMax Verstappen VERRed Bull Racing Honda14DNF0

 

Drivers Standings

PosDriverNationalityCarPTS
1Lewis Hamilton HAMGBRMercedes338
2Valtteri Bottas BOTFINMercedes274
3Charles Leclerc LECMONFerrari221
4Max Verstappen VERNEDRed Bull Racing Honda212
5Sebastian Vettel VETGERFerrari212
6Carlos Sainz SAIESPMcLaren Renault76
7Pierre Gasly GASFRAScuderia Toro Rosso Honda73
8Alexander Albon ALBTHARed Bull Racing Honda64
9Daniel Ricciardo RICAUSRenault42
10Nico Hulkenberg HULGERRenault35
11Sergio Perez PERMEXRacing Point BWT Mercedes35
12Lando Norris NORGBRMcLaren Renault35
13Daniil Kvyat KVYRUSScuderia Toro Rosso Honda33
14Kimi Räikkönen RAIFINAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari31
15Kevin Magnussen MAGDENHaas Ferrari20
16Lance Stroll STRCANRacing Point BWT Mercedes19
17Romain Grosjean GROFRAHaas Ferrari8
18Antonio Giovinazzi GIOITAAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari4
19Robert Kubica KUBPOLWilliams Mercedes1
20George Russell RUSGBRWilliams Mercedes0

 

Constructors Standings

PosTeamPTS
1Mercedes612
2Ferrari433
3Red Bull Racing Honda323
4McLaren Renault111
5Renault77
6Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda59
7Racing Point BWT Mercedes54
8Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari35
9Haas Ferrari28
10Williams Mercedes1

 

 

 

 

 

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