Australian Grand Prix: Race Report



With no big surprise, Mercedes' Nico Rosberg won the first race of the 2014 Formula One season with ease. The German's comfortable win of over 25 seconds achieved engine manufacturer - Mercedes' 100th 1st place finish. Tables turned around for Rosberg on the first lap of the race with polesitter and teammate Lewis Hamilton's reliability woes saw him pull out of the race. Surviving a safety car period and other numerous yellow flags, Rosberg took the lead and never looked back.

The original second place finisher - suprisingly Daniel Ricciardo -was disqualified from the race for exceeding the fuel flow rate of 100kg/h. The disappointed Aussie's disqualification not only saw the precious 18 points taken away from him and RedBull in the championship, but also leaving Australia with no native driver to have ever been on the home podium. In his place, with brilliant pace and temperament, young Danish Rookie Kevin Magnussen made a podium appearance, grabbing valuable 18 points to McLaren and himself. By default, his teammate and 2009 world champion, Jenson Button filled in the podium position with a strategic drive from P10. 

The Ferrari of Fernando Alonso made no improvement in positions from where it started in P5(promoted to P4 because of RIC's dsq). Rumors has it both the Ferraris of Alonso and Teammate Raikkonen suffered graining on the tires which prevented them from challenging for podium positions. After spending majority of the race struggling for pace, Raikkonen could only reel in a decent P8 (P7). 

Williams generally proved to be a very fast car during testing, notching up very competitive laptimes during the winter testing and had it not been for Kamui Kobayashi's first lap nightmare which threw the new member, Felipe Massa out, there would have been a greater chance of seeing the Mercedes powered Williams cars in the top ten than not. Valltteri Bottas' race from good to bad after a brief brush on the wall saw his tire come off its belt and straddle across the circuit, causing the safety car period. After an immediate pitstop, Bottas joined back in P10 and made up for lost ground while showcasing some of the best overtaking manouvres this race to ultimately finish P5 (P6)

Force India, despite showing potential to even win a race, managed no better than a P6 (Nico Hukenberg) and P10 (Sergio Perez).

Coming to the dubious Renault engines fitted onto 8 cars- Though the engine worked fine on RedBull's sister team, Toro Rosso where Daniil Kvyat and Jean-Eric Vergne finished P9 and P8 repectively, all the other teams including the reigning world champions retired (RIC was disqualified). The RedBull of Sebastian Vettel barely lasted 5 laps before it having to be pushed back into the garage while Ricciardo's RedBull was disqualified.

The Caterhams of Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson too retired after the former causing a first lap accident and the latter failing to run due to stoppage by increased oil pressure.

The Marussia team is much closer to scoring a point this season with the new Ferrari engne fitted to it. Despite a bad start for both the Marussias, Jules Bianchi managed to finish (not classified) merely for the data while his teammate Max Chilton pulled in a solid 13th position for the team. The cars didn't look too bad in qualifying either. So a reliable marussia might as well be the point winning Marussia!

1
Nico Rosberg
Mercedes
1:32:58.710
2
Kevin Magnussen
McLaren-Mercedes
+26.7 secs
3
Jenson Button
McLaren-Mercedes
+30.0 secs
4
Fernando Alonso
Ferrari
+35.2 secs
5
Valtteri Bottas
Williams-Mercedes
+47.6 secs
6
Nico Hulkenberg
Force India-Mercedes
+50.7 secs
7
Kimi Räikkönen
Ferrari
+57.6 secs
8
Jean-Eric Vergne
STR-Renault
+60.4 secs
9
Daniil Kvyat
STR-Renault
+63.5 secs
10
Sergio Perez
Force India-Mercedes
+85.9 secs
11
Adrian Sutil
Sauber-Ferrari
+1 Lap
12
Esteban Gutierrez
Sauber-Ferrari
+1 Lap
13
Max Chilton
Marussia-Ferrari
+2 Laps
NC
Jules Bianchi
Marussia-Ferrari
+8 Laps
Ret
Romain Grosjean
Lotus-Renault
ERS
Ret
Pastor Maldonado
Lotus-Renault
ERS
Ret
Marcus Ericsson
Caterham-Renault
Oil pressure
Ret
Sebastian Vettel
Red Bull Racing-Renault
Power unit
Ret
Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes
Engine
Ret
Felipe Massa
Williams-Mercedes
Accident
Ret
Kamui Kobayashi
Caterham-Renault
Accident
DSQ
Daniel Ricciardo
Red Bull Racing-Renault
+24.5 secs

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