F1: Rosberg dominates in Melbourne for Mercedes

    The German made a superb start from third on the grid, passing Daniel Ricciardo's Red Bull and pole sitter Lewis Hamilton.

    Published On Mar 16, 2014 06:58:00 PM


    F1: Rosberg dominates in Melbourne for Mercedes

    Nico Rosberg dominated the first race of Formula 1's new turbocharged hybrid engine era to win the 2014 Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne for Mercedes.

    The German made a superb start from third on the grid, passing Daniel Ricciardo's Red Bull and the polesitting Mercedes of team-mate Lewis Hamilton to grab the lead.

    Rosberg made the most of the W05's pace advantage to streak away from the field at will and record the fourth grand prix victory of his career, despite an early interruption by the safety car when Valtteri Bottas clipped a wall and shed the right-rear tyre from his Williams.

    Rosberg's team-mate Hamilton slipped back to fourth on the first lap as he struggled with an engine problem in his Mercedes.

    After initial confusion as to whether he should soldier on, the 2008 world champion retired his W05 into the pits as early as the third lap of 57.

    Australian home hero Ricciardo completed a remarkable turnaround in fortunes for Red Bull by narrowly beating McLaren's Kevin Magnussen to finish second.

    The world champion squad looked to be in desperate trouble in pre-season testing, but made enormous strides with its Renault-engined car in Australia, allowing Ricciardo to score an unlikely maiden podium in his first race for the team.

    Things were less rosy for Ricciardo's world champion team-mate Sebastian Vettel, who started out of sequence on the medium tyre after a disappointing result in qualifying on Saturday consigned him to a row six start.

    His struggles with a lack of power from his Renault engine continued into the race and he joined Hamilton in retirement after only five laps.

    McLaren rookie Magnussen completed the podium on his F1 debut, after surviving a wild oversteer moment shortly after the start. The reigning Formula Renault 3.5 champion beat team-mate Jenson Button to third spot by 3.2 seconds.

    The 2009 world champion started down on row five after his final flying lap in Q2 was spoiled by yellow flags, but he used smart strategy to jump from the fringes of the top 10 to sixth as the safety car came out, then overhaul Fernando Alonso's Ferrari and Nico Hulkenberg's Force India at the second round of stops.

    Williams driver Bottas overcame Jean-Eric Vergne's wildly oversteering Toro Rosso and Hulkenberg in the closing stages to finish sixth, but will rue what might have been after a messy race.

    The Finn starred in the early stages as he worked the Williams through to the top six from 15th on the grid, but the Finn touched the wall coming out of Turn 10 on lap 11 and broke his right rear wheel.

    He avoided suspension damage and pitted for a replacement, before working his way back through the field. A decent points finish was at least some reward for the raid Williams after Felipe Massa was wiped out by Kamui Kobayashi's locked-up Caterham at the first corner on the first lap.

    Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari beat the Toro Rossos of Vergne and F1 rookie Daniil Kvyat as these three completed the top 10.

    Perez's Force India, both Saubers, and both Marussias also made the flag as 15 cars in total made the finish.

    Jules Bianchi finished eight laps down and unclassified after failing to make it off the grid, causing an aborted start and forcing him to start from the pitlane behind the Lotus of Romain Grosjean.

    Grosjean made it to lap 45 before retiring his troublesome twin-tusk E22, while team-mate Pastor Maldonado and Caterham's Marcus Ericsson also stopped out on-track shortly after half-distance.

    Result - 57 laps:
    Pos  Driver             Team/Car                  Time/Gap
     1.  Nico Rosberg       Mercedes              1h32m58.710s
     2.  Daniel Ricciardo   Red Bull-Renault          +24.525s
     3.  Kevin Magnussen    McLaren-Mercedes          +26.777s
     4.  Jenson Button      McLaren-Mercedes          +30.027s
     5.  Fernando Alonso    Ferrari                   +35.284s
     6.  Valtteri Bottas    Williams-Mercedes         +47.639s
     7.  Nico Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes      +50.718s
     8.  Kimi Raikkonen     Ferrari                   +57.675s
     9.  Jean-Eric Vergne   Toro Rosso-Renault      +1m00.441s
    10.  Daniil Kvyat       Toro Rosso-Renault      +1m03.585s
    11.  Sergio Perez       Force India-Mercedes    +1m25.916s
    12.  Adrian Sutil       Sauber-Ferrari              +1 lap
    13.  Esteban Gutierrez  Sauber-Ferrari              +1 lap
    14.  Max Chilton        Marussia-Ferrari           +2 laps
    15.  Jules Bianchi      Marussia-Ferrari           +8 laps*
    * Not classified
         Romain Grosjean    Lotus-Renault              43 laps
         Pastor Maldonado   Lotus-Renault              29 laps
         Marcus Ericsson    Caterham-Renault           27 laps
         Sebastian Vettel   Red Bull-Renault            3 laps
         Lewis Hamilton     Mercedes                    2 laps
         Kamui Kobayashi    Caterham-Renault            0 laps
         Felipe Massa       Williams-Mercedes           0 laps

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