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
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.
|1||Valtteri Bottas BOT||Mercedes||52||1:21:46.755||25|
|2||Sebastian Vettel VET||Ferrari||52||+13.343s||18|
|3||Lewis Hamilton HAM||Mercedes||52||+13.858s||16|
|4||Alexander Albon ALB||Red Bull Racing Honda||52||+59.537s||12|
|5||Carlos Sainz SAI||McLaren Renault||52||+69.101s||10|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo RIC||Renault||51||+1 lap||8|
|7||Charles Leclerc LEC||Ferrari||51||+1 lap||6|
|8||Pierre Gasly GAS||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||51||+1 lap||4|
|9||Sergio Perez PER||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||51||+1 lap||2|
|10||Nico Hulkenberg HUL||Renault||51||+1 lap||1|
|11||Lance Stroll STR||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||51||+1 lap||0|
|12||Daniil Kvyat KVY||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||51||+1 lap||0|
|13||Lando Norris NOR||McLaren Renault||51||+1 lap||0|
|14||Kimi Räikkönen RAI||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||51||+1 lap||0|
|15||Romain Grosjean GRO||Haas Ferrari||51||+1 lap||0|
|16||Antonio Giovinazzi GIO||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||51||+1 lap||0|
|17||Kevin Magnussen MAG||Haas Ferrari||51||+1 lap||0|
|18||George Russell RUS||Williams Mercedes||50||+2 laps||0|
|19||Robert Kubica KUB||Williams Mercedes||50||+2 laps||0|
|NC||Max Verstappen VER||Red Bull Racing Honda||14||DNF||0|
|1||Lewis Hamilton HAM||GBR||Mercedes||338|
|2||Valtteri Bottas BOT||FIN||Mercedes||274|
|3||Charles Leclerc LEC||MON||Ferrari||221|
|4||Max Verstappen VER||NED||Red Bull Racing Honda||212|
|5||Sebastian Vettel VET||GER||Ferrari||212|
|6||Carlos Sainz SAI||ESP||McLaren Renault||76|
|7||Pierre Gasly GAS||FRA||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||73|
|8||Alexander Albon ALB||THA||Red Bull Racing Honda||64|
|9||Daniel Ricciardo RIC||AUS||Renault||42|
|10||Nico Hulkenberg HUL||GER||Renault||35|
|11||Sergio Perez PER||MEX||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||35|
|12||Lando Norris NOR||GBR||McLaren Renault||35|
|13||Daniil Kvyat KVY||RUS||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||33|
|14||Kimi Räikkönen RAI||FIN||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||31|
|15||Kevin Magnussen MAG||DEN||Haas Ferrari||20|
|16||Lance Stroll STR||CAN||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||19|
|17||Romain Grosjean GRO||FRA||Haas Ferrari||8|
|18||Antonio Giovinazzi GIO||ITA||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||4|
|19||Robert Kubica KUB||POL||Williams Mercedes||1|
|20||George Russell RUS||GBR||Williams Mercedes||0|
|3||Red Bull Racing Honda||323|
|6||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||59|
|7||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||54|
|8||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||35|
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