Melbourne – From before the start, or rather before the start, this year’s Australian Grand Prix was one not to miss. After a false start resulting from Frenchman Jules Bianchi’s Marussia dying on the starting grid, the race began with a crash at the first corner caused when Caterham’s Kamui Kobayashi (JPN) ran into Brazilian Felipe Massa’s Williams, forcing both of their retirements from the race.
Kobayashi retired at Turn 1 on Lap 1 after crashing into Felipe Massa of Williams. / Photo Credit: AP, from BBC Sport
Further along, mechanical issues forced Mercedes’ British driver Lewis Hamilton, who had started off at pole, to retire, whilst a couple of laps after that Red Bull’s 4 time world champion Sebastian Vettel (GER) retired due to software trouble with his car.
From those two bombshells, the race continued onwards, surprising the world with each passing lap. Williams’ Valtteri Bottas (FIN) had a bit of a scare after hitting the wall at the exit of Turn 10, which caused his right rear tyre to puncture and fly off, but thankfully for him and for Williams, Bottas was able to return to the box and get a new tyre on the back of the car in time that he finished 6th.
More excitement was to follow as Bottas’ countryman, Kimi Räikkönen of Ferrari, had an issue with his tyres locking up fairly often throughout the race. In turn, this caused Räikkönen, last year’s winner in Australia, to finish 8th. His teammate, Spanish driver Fernando Alonso, did fairly well for himself in the first weekend of the new season, finishing in 5th just behind McLaren’s Jenson Button (GBR).
Today was by far a race for the drivers who either didn’t perform as well last year, or were new to the sport in general. McLaren’s rookie Danish driver Kevin Magnussen finished in 3rd today in his first ever Formula 1 race. Likewise in firsts, Russian Daniil Kvyat of Toro Rosso finished in 10th, making him at 19 years of age the youngest driver to ever win points in Formula 1.
Daniel Riccardo on the podium in Melbourne / BBC Sport
The two biggest names at the end of the day in Melbourne were by far race winner, Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg (GER), and second place, Red Bull’s Daniel Riccardo who’s first Formula 1 podium came happily in his home country of Australia. Unfortunately for Riccardo, the FIA revoked his 2nd place finish after the race because his car, “exceeded the required fuel mass flow of 100kg/h.” (Source: F1.com).
According to the article on F1’s website, the Red Bull team decided to use a different fuel sensor on Riccardo’s car starting on Saturday after finding that the original one was unreliable. The stewards ordered the team to replace the new sensor with the old one in the parc ferme on Saturday evening, but Red Bull decided not to do so, “considering the sensor unreliable.” Rather they used their own internal measurement models, which was “in violation of the procedure outlined in the technical regulations,” according to the stewards. Red Bull Racing is appealing the steward’s decision, and good on them for that. Following Riccardo’s disqualification, the results stand as follows:
01. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes (GER): 1:32:58.710
02. Kevin Magnussen, McLaren (DEN): +26.7 sec
03. Jenson Button, Mercedes (GBR): +30.0 sec
04. Fernando Alonso, Ferrari (ESP): +35.2 sec
05. Valtteri Bottas, Williams (FIN): +47.6 sec
06. Nico Hülkenberg, Sahara Force India (GER): +50.7 sec
07. Kimi Räikkönen, Ferrari (FIN): +57.6 sec
08. Jean-Éric Vergne, Scueria Toro Rosso (FRA): +60.4 sec
09. Daniil Kvyat, Scuderia Toro Rosso (RUS): +63.5 sec
10. Sergio Pérez, Sahara Force India (MEX): +85.9 sec
11. Adrian Sutil, Sauber (GER): 1:45.6 +1 lap
12. Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber (MEX): +1 lap
13. Max Chilton, Marussia (GBR): +2 laps
NC Jules Bianchi, Marussia (FRA): +8 laps
Ret. Romain Grosjean, Lotus (FRA): ERS
Ret. Pastor Maldonado, Lotus (VEN): ERS
Ret. Marcus Ericsson, Caterham (SWE): Oil pressure
Ret. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull (GER): Power unit
Ret. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes (GBR): Engine
Ret. Felipe Massa, Williams (BRA): Accident
Ret. Kamui Kobayashi, Caterham (JPN): Accident
DSQ: Daniel Riccardo, Red Bull (AUS): +24.5 sec
For more information on today’s race, I recommend these articles from the BBC, NBC Sports, and F1.com.