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Nico Rosberg left the field for dead at the first grand prix of Formula One’s new turbo era, leading Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo to the chequered flag by 24.5s on a day when Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel failed to make the finish.

Mercedes’ display of strength sent a clear message to its rivals letting them know that they will be a force this year. However the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton retired on lap three when one of his engine’s six cylinders gave up. It was a reminder that reliability will be as important as outright pace this year. Vettel was struggling with engine problems as early as the warm-up lap and parked his Red Bull on lap four, getting his title defence off to a stuttering start.

Nevertheless, Ricciardo’s second place will represent a significant victory for Red Bull, which had not completed a race distance at any point during pre-season testing. However Ricciardo is now under investigation by the stewards for exceeded the maximum fuel flow allowed under the regulations.

“During the race car number 03 exceeded consistently the maximum allowed fuel flow of 100 kg/h,” read a statement issued by FIA Technical Delegate Jo Bauer. “As this is not in compliance with Article 5.1.4 of the 2014 Formula One Technical Regulations, I am referring this matter to the stewards for their consideration.”

Kevin Magnussen kicked his F1 career off to an impressive start with a third place finish ahead of McLaren team-mate Jenson Button, who fought through the field from tenth on the grid. The controversial decision has paid off for McLaren and can now show why the move was made to put Magnussen in the hot seat this year.

Fernando Alonso finished fifth, underlining the hard work Ferrari has ahead of it with its new car but also limiting the damage to his points tally at this early stage of the season. Valtteri Bottas was among the quickest drivers on the track for much of the race but ruined his chances of a podium on lap 10 when he touched the wall and suffered a puncture at Turn 9. He recovered to finish sixth, but there is little doubt Williams has yet to show its potential.

Nico Hulkenberg finished seventh ahead of the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen, who struggled under braking all afternoon. The final points on offer went to the two Toro Rossos of Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniil Kvyat.

 

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Hi, I have been a Formula 1 fanatic since 1987 when my family took me to the Adelaide GP. I now enjoy close friendships with team members at Ferrari and within the Holden Racing Team (V8Supercars).
  • gsprings

    kobayashi should have took that ferarri sportscar offer,because there is nothing he can do to help this team,looks like marussia are handling the reg changes better than caterham,will be interesting to see if tony f. pulls the plug before the season is over

    • peterriva

      If you listen to the BBC live, you would have heard them postulating that Kobi had a stuck throttle… and and interview after confirmed this. Massa was angry, wanting Kobe punished but Kobi was angry the throttle jammed open.

      • The report I read said the team reviewed data and it was a braking issue.

  • peterriva

    BBC announced that he was disqualified.

  • gsprings

    Ouch! That has to hurt, after all the high emotion of getting up there on the podium, and handing over that cool trophy

  • Gerald

    Ricciardo,even though he was disqualified seems to be the real deal

  • jeff

    Poor Ricciardo; no sympathy at all for the team, but the poor guy drove lights out all weekend.

    As to the race, some have commented on it being boring, but I found it very entertaining. Many different lines being taken by the drivers, slightly better engine sounds in Quali and Race vs Practice, cars dancing in the drivers’ hands. The young gun drivers showing up also and making a real imp ace is also a positive, bodes well for compelling inter-team rivalries.

    And Williams showing legitimate pace; right on!

  • Tom

    Wow, Mercedes seems to be as dominant as Red Bull in their best days. Rosberg wasn’t even trying and he still built up a large cushion whenever he needed it.

    Ferrari seems to have some more power in hand as they weren’t able to run at 100% in Australia and obviously Red Bull has a great car once it’s all balanced out and functional. The fact that Mercedes can cruise at the beginning of the season might prove crucial later on if it’s easier on the PU.