Formula 1: Round 1 review from Melbourne



Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Australian Grand Prix - Race Day - Melbourne, Australia
Mercedes dominated Sunday’s 2015 Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix, with Lewis Hamilton winning as he pleased from team mate Nico Rosberg. Behind them, however, there was drama aplenty as just 11 cars took the chequered flag.
Sebastian Vettel finished on the podium on his Ferrari debut, with Williams’ sole starter Felipe Massa taking fourth ahead of star rookie Felipe Nasr, who gave Sauber their first points since 2013 on his F1 debut.
With Williams’ Valtteri Bottas already ruled out of the race thanks to a back injury, and Marussia having failed to qualify, the 17 expected starters became 15 before the lights went out, after McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen and Red Bull’s Daniel Kvyat both experienced car failures en route to the grid.
There would be further casualties on the first lap. Vettel made a slow start, allowing team mate Kimi Raikkonen to pull alongside heading into Turn 1. But as the German clipped the inside kerb he was pushed across the road and inadvertently forced Raikkonen wide over the outer kerb. Delayed, the Finn came under attack from Nasr, who also had Lotus’s Pastor Maldonado alongside. The trio pinched together, pitching Maldonado into the barriers. Exit another car.
As Raikkonen fell to eighth, Vettel chased after Massa’s Williams for the first half of the race. The pair’s fight swung on the first round of stops, with Vettel pitting later and emerging ahead. Though Massa would come back at him, Vettel was never truly troubled on his way to the podium.

Nico was very quick throughout the race and it was really trying to manage the fuel and all that, and also the tyres, not really knowing where the limit of the tyres is in terms of how far they can go. But once you’ve got a two-second gap you try to manage that, there’s no need to eke out more. But when Nico turned up the heat I was able to react, which was good. Otherwise, it was a phenomenal race for both of us, Nico drove really well. Obviously Sebastian must have done a great job to be where he is today.

Lewis Hamilton

Well, it’s a nice feeling to be second today because it’s an awesome start to the season for us as a team. Absolutely stunning car they’ve given us – unbelievable. Lewis has done a fantastic job this weekend. He drove like a world champion all weekend, so couldn’t quite beat him but for sure I was trying every single lap, all the way to the maximum, and I will do all year. I will give him a big run for his money and hopefully beat him. Also thank you very much to the organisers, you’ve done an amazing job this weekend, I’m sure you’ll all agree it’s been a fantastic weekend for everybody. And also, all of you, you’ve been great and put on a great atmosphere. Thank you.

Nico Rosberg

I think this was a great race for us. Obviously the start was not ideal, I was very close, I did not succeed to pass Felipe straight away and then we had a great strategy and were able to save some tyres to, yeah, go the opposite of the usual strategy to overtake someone through the pitstop, so that worked very well. Generally it has been very calm, very professional, led by the pitwall throughout the race. Of course it’s not a victory but for us today it feels like a victory. Obviously it’s a great relief after a horrible season last year to know that the car in general is working. People have done a great job both on engine and chassis sides, so big compliments to Maranello obviously. I’ve secretly been a fan, now official I can be a fan of Ferrari and since the day I got there, there is something magic about the place. I feel very happy. I had a very good time with Red Bull and certainly was able to learn a lot, the experience I can now bring into the new project as well. So, as I said, people are fired up and we know where we want to go.

Sebastian Vettel

I am very happy with fifth position in my first ever Formula One race. It is such a big relief for the team and myself that we are able to score points, and I am very pleased about this achievement. It was a tough race. Right after the start it was quite messy in Turn 1, as another driver hit my wheel. I thought the car was damaged a bit, but after a few laps I noticed everything was fine. After that, the race went according to plan. There was pressure from behind during the whole race, which was not easy. That was an emotional race for me and everyone in the team.

Felipe Nasr


All materials are Courtesy of Formula 1 and Getty.