F1 Australia: Mercedes hits twice

Australian Grand Prix, Melbourne
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Lewis Hamilton starts his defending world champion title campaign, by mastering the Australian Grand Prix. Nico Rosberg follows not far behind, while Vettel makes a perfect debut for Ferrari, coming in the 3rd spot.

As every year, the moments prior to the first race of the season are governed by various questions. How spectacular will the new season turn out to be? Who stepped up during the winter break? Who will get the world title? Will there be many teams running at the top of the ranking? After the race in Melbourne, we find answers if we ask the people in Mercedes. The German squad is playing in a whole different league and the hope of others trying to bottle them up was shattered just after a few laps.

Of all the 18 racing cars qualified for the race, only 13 of them managed to go through the first lap. If Valtteri Bottas did not toe the line due to some health problems, Magnussen and Kvyat were bound to withdraw during the reconnaissance lap. The Dane was once more betrayed by the Honda power unit, while Kvyat suffered a gearbox failure. The start was nevertheless free from incidents. Hamilton and Rosberg broke in and the rest of the bundle endeavours to gain ground in the first corner. Raikkonen has a minor contact against Nasr, who also bumped into Maldonado. The Venezuelan smashes into the guardrail and the race prematurely comes to an end for him. Grosjean retires due to technical reasons during the first lap, rounding up this workmanship of disaster for Lotus.

MP Australia

At the other end, Hamilton breaks loose, managing to set more than a 2-seconds gap between him and Rosberg. The two of them switch places for a short while, at the time of the tire change, but Lewis smartly manages his advantage and the first spot only seems natural. Rosberg was to state that Hamilton had driven like a true champion and it truly was like that. The German could by no means cause him any trouble at any time given during the race and Lewis starts as the top-seeded driver running for a brand-new world title.

Sebastian Vettel marks the first podium for Ferrari, in a race during which he certified that his new squad made huge progress, up against last year. His goal of outrunning Massa was achieved during the pit stop time. The Brazilian goes in first and Vettel brought home a lap stint that laid him in the third spot, right behind the Mercedes drivers. Things did not turn out just as good for the other driver of Scuderia. If the first pit-stop was a very sluggish one, the second one proofed to be catastrophic for Raikkonen. His mechanics did not screw the rear left wheel nut properly and Kimi was bound to stop at the first corner.

MP Australia

After a troublesome weekend start, the people in Sauber ran an excellent race. On his debut in Formula 1, Felipe Nasr finishes 5th, while Ericsson come in the 8th position, after he manages to get by Carlos Sainz on his final laps. Daniel Ricciardo, the local favorite, was bound to make do with the 6th spot, 12 seconds behind Nasr.

Force India scores points with both cars, as Nico Hulkenberg came in 7th and Sergio Perez finished 10th. The Mexican’s race was hit up by a spin and by a failed attempt to overtake Button, that ended up into damaging both cars. Their compact prolonged all the way to the end, as Perez eventually managed to get the last point on the go.

For McLaren, the 11th spot acquired by Button marked the first time they managed to cover a race-long distance with a new car, but things don’t look good for them. Their performance doesn’t even come close to top 10 and it looks like it is going to be quite a fastidious season for the Woking squad.

After the first stage hall-marked by a short grid, Formula 1 schedules the upcoming race in Malaysia, on March, 29th, when we all should take shares in some better stage play and some more action on the racetrack.

Pos Driver Car Gap
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1h31m54.067s
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1.360s
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 34.523s
4 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 38.196s
5 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1m35.149s
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1 Lap
7 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1 Lap
8 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1 Lap
9 Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso/Renault 1 Lap
10 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1 Lap
11 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 2 Laps
Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari Retirement
Max Verstappen Toro Rosso/Renault Retirement
Kevin Magnussen McLaren/Honda Not started
Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes Withdrawn
Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/Renault Not started
Romain Grosjean Lotus/Mercedes Retirement
Pastor Maldonado Lotus/Mercedes Collision
Will Stevens Marussia/Ferrari Withdrawn
Roberto Merhi Marussia/Ferrari Withdrawn