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Australia

Rosberg Rescues Active Australian Grand Prix for Mercedes

Result:

1 Nico Rosberg - 1:48.15

2 Lewis Hamilton

3 Sebastian Vettel

4 Daniel Ricciardo

5 Felipe Massa

6 Romain Grosjean

7 Nico Hulkenburg

8 Valterri Bottas

9 Carlos Sainz

10 Max Verstappen

11 Jolyon Palmer

12 Kevin Magnussen

13 Sergio Perez

14 Jenson Button

15 Felipe Nasr

16 Pascal Wehrlein

17 Marcus Ericsson    DNF

18 Kimi Raikkonen      DNF

19 Rio Haryanto          DNF

20 Esteban Gutierrez  DNF

21 Fernando Alonso   DNF

22 Daniil Kvyat            DNF

 

 

Nico Rosberg won the active 2016 season opener at Albert Park in Melbourne, Australia, helping Mercedes to continue where they left off in 2015.

Rosberg's teammate Lewis Hamilton began the race on pole position with Nico by his side. Red Bull's Daniil Kvyat delayed the start when his car stopped at the top of grid due to a gearbox failure. This led to a second formation lap while his car was removed and returned to his team in the pits.

When the race finally got underway, Sebastian Vettel got an incredible start, overtaking both Mercedes'. It got worse for Rosberg and Hamilton as they dropped to 5th and 6th. As Vettel began to pull away, Nico and Lewis attempted to get close to he and teammate Kimi Raikkonen but struggled.

Early pit stops mixed up the order and led to some exciting battles. Brit newbie Jolyon Palmer showed that he was a force to be reckoned with as he defended his position against the more experienced drivers. Fellow compatriot and F1 figurehead Jenson Button aimed to do the same on degrading tyres.

Lap 18 showed just how important safety is in F1. Everyone initially saw Esteban Gutierrez stuck in the gravel. It wasn't until the dust cloud cleared that Fernando Alonso appeared at the back of the gravel trap, sat next to his mangled McLaren. A red flag was deployed to remove the stricken cars and debris. Whilst sat in the pit lane, all drivers and teams were most concerned about Alonso's well being.

After almost a 30 minute delay, racing resumed. There were more great overtakes and defensive moves. Palmer was involved again, alongside Toro Rosso. Having been in a point scoring position for the majority of the race, Palmer was on for an excellent finish. He fought with all his might but couldn't hold off Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen.

Rosberg completed 57 laps and crossed the line to take the first victory of 2016 for he and the team. Nico was joined on the podium by Hamilton, Vettel and a shiny, champagne soaked Mark Webber.

The 2016 F1 has now began and will progress to the next location on the lengthy 21 race calendar; Bahrain, 1st - 3rd April.

 

Driver of the Day: Jolyon Palmer