Australian GP - Sunday - Race Notes
Nico Rosberg wins flag-to-flag win at Australian GP
Nico Rosberg won the Australian GP in Melbourne today in the Mercedes GP, 24.5 seconds ahead of Daniel Ricciardo in the Red Bull-Renault. Rookie Kevin Magnussen, in his first F1 race was 2.2 seconds further back in the McLaren-Mercedes in third place.
2013 World Champion Sebastian Vettel as well as pole sitter Lewis Hamilton both dropped out early on with engine problems.
Jenson Button finished in four place in the McLaren, followed by Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari in fifth, Valteri Bottas in his best career finish so far in the Williams-Mercedes in sixth place, Nico Hulkenberg in the Force India-Mercedes in seventh, Kimi Raikkonen in the Ferrari in eighth, Jean-Eric Vergne in the Toro Rosso-Renault in ninth, and his Russian rookie team mate Danii Kvyat taking the final point in tenth place.
With so much new with the introduction of the V6 engine era for the 2014 season Hamilton in the Mercedes will line up on pole position with Ricciardo in his first drive for Red Bull alongside for his first ever front-row start. Rosberg starts third, followed by Magnussen fourth and Alonso in fifth.= Vettel starts a lowly 12th place.
The weather was appearing stable before the start of the race, but in Melbourne we can never be sure what to expect throughout the afternoon.
With his troubles so far this weekend, Vettel looks unlikely to take his tenth consecutive race win stretching back to last summer.
On the formation lap Max Chilton stalls his car and will start from the pitlane. Vettel is complaining of a lose of boost pressure. Romain Grosjean will start from the pitlane as well.
The cars line up on the grid, but the start is aborted when Jules Bianchi stalls on the grid - and is being pushed to the pitlane to start from there as well. The field is sent around on another formation lap, and the race will be shortened by one lap.
The cars come around once again and line up on the grid.
The lights turn green and the race begins.At the start, and Rosberg flashes to the lead followed by Ricciardo and Hamilton. Kamui Kobayashi hits the back of Felipe Massa into the first corner, taking both out of the race.
Vettel complains, “still no K”, referring to his KERS system
Magnussen passes Hamilton for third place.
At the end of the first lap Rosberg leads Ricciardo, Magnussen, Hamilton, Hulkenberg, Alonso, Vergne, Raikkonen, Kvyat and Bottas.
On lap 2, Mercedes tells Hamilton to come in and retire and save the engine, but further around the lap the tell him to stay out. Vettel is still complaining about his engine. Grosjean returns to the pits.
On lap 3 Raikkonen passes Vergne for 8th place. Hamilton pulls into the pits and retires.
On lap 5 Bottas passes Vergne for 7th, while Vettel pulls into the pits and is pushed into the garage.
On lap 6 Bottas chases Raikkonen for sixth place, setting fast lap at 1m34.9s.
On lap 8 Rosberg leads Ricciardo by 5.0 seconds, taking fast lap at 1m34.5s. Bottas battles wheel to wheel with Raikkonen and passes his fellow Finn for sixth place.
Rosberg sets another fast lap at 1m34.2s.
On lap 10 Bottas suffers a tyre puncture after touching a wall, and limps around the track to get back to the pits. After changing the tyres, he rejoins the race.
At lap 11 Rosberg leads over Ricciardo (7.7s), Magnussen, Hulkenberg, Alonso, Raikkonen, Vergne, Kvyat Button and Sutil in tenth.
On lap 12 the safety car is deployed for debris on the track. Button pits. Rosberg pits from the lead. Rosberg stays on soft compound tyres. Most of the rest of the field pits as well fro soft tyres.
Mercedes reports that Hamilton retired due to a misfiring cylinder.
On lap 16 the race resumes and Rosberg continues in the lead followed by Ricciardo, Magnussen, Hulkenberg, Alonso, Button, Vergne, Raikkonen, Sutil and Kvyat in tenth.
On lap 18 Rosberg sets another fast lap at 1m33.1s.
Kobayashi reports that he was to blame on his first lap accident with Massa.
On lap 19 Bottas passes Pastor Maldonado for 11th place, charging back up through the field after his tyre puncture. Alonso is closing on Hulkenberg in fourth place. Rosberg sets another fast lap at 1m32.4s.
At lap 20 Rosberg leads Ricciardo by 5.2 seconds, Magnussen runs third (2.2s further back), Hulkenberg, Alonso, Button, Vergne, Raikkonen, Kvyat and Bottas in tenth place.
Bottas is told by the team to be careful using the DRS - that they are having problems with the software.
On lap 24 Ericsson pits and takes soft tyres. Chilton pits the next lap. Bottas passes Kvyat for ninth place. There are some concerns of dark clouds heading for the circuit. Rosberg is reporting that he is struggling with his rear tyres. He leads Ricciardo by 10.5 seconds.
On lap 27 Bottas is closing on Raikkonen in eighth place. Bianchi makes his first pit stop the next lap.
On lap 29 Marcus Ericsson pulls off the track in his Caterham and retires. Grosjean pits and stays on soft tyres.
At lap 30 Rosberg continues to lead Ricciardo by 11.6 seconds, with Magnussen in third 7.8 seconds further back, followed by Hulkenberg, Alonso, Button, Vergne, Raikkonen, Bottas and Kvyat in tenth.
Gutierrez pits. Maldonado retires at the side of the track at turn 12.
On lap 32 Gutierrez pits again. Alonso closes on Hulkenberg. Button pits and switches to medium tyres. Perez pits and stays on soft tyres.
On lap 34 Hulkenberg and Vergne both pit. Bottas closes on Raikkonen once again.
On lap 35 Raikkonen has a big lock-up and Bottas passes him for fifth. Alonso pits and comes out just ahead of Hulkenberg. Hulkenberg fights side-by-side, but Alonso has the line on the next corner.
Ricciardo, Bottas, Raikkonen and Kvyat all pit. Magnussen pits the nex lap.
On lap 39 Rosberg pits from the lead, taking on medium tyres and resuming at the front of the field.
At lap 40 Rosberg leads Ricciardo by 16.5 seconds, followed 1.2 seconds further back by Magnussen, Button, Alonso, Hulkenberg, Vergne, Bottas, Raikkonen and Kvyat in tenth place.
Kvyat is closing on Raikkonen, who is struggling on medium tyres.
On lap 43 Chilton pits and switches to medium tyres.
On lap 45 Rosberg leads Ricciardo by 18.5 seconds, followed 1.0 seconds behind by Magnussen.
Ferrari tells Alonso to not push too hard at the end in the name of reliability.
On lap 46 Grosjean pulls off the circuit and retires. McLaren tells Button they don’t believe they need to worry about fuel consumption.
On lap 47 Bottas takes advantage of a slide by Vergne and passes him for seventh place.
At lap 50, Rosberg still leads Ricciardo by 23.3 seconds, followed 0.9 seconds back by Magnussen, Button, Alonso, Hulkenberg, Bottas, Vergne, Raikkonen and Kvyat in tenth place.
On lap 51 Bottas is closely following Hulkenberg in sixth place. Magnussen is told by the team to use the overtake button.
On lap 52 Bottas passes Hulkenberg for sixth place.
On lap 55 Raikkonen passes Vergne for eighth place.
Rosberg holds on to win the first race of 2014 for Mercedes.