Hamilton eases to Australia victory

By on Sunday, March 15, 2015
Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes AMG Petronas

World Champion Lewis Hamilton claimed victory in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in a race which had only 15 starters.

Hamilton kept team-mate Nico Rosberg at bay throughout as the Mercedes pair dominated proceedings, with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in third.

Hamilton retained the lead into Turn 1 but behind him the two Ferrari drivers made contact, with Felipe Nasr forced to take evasive action, in turn pitching Pastor Maldonado into the barriers on the outside of Turn 2. It was a dismal opening lap for Lotus, with Romain Grosjean slow away off the line before returning to the garage to retire.

Hamilton stormed away at the restart to open up a two second lead on Rosberg as the Mercedes pair pulled comfortably clear of the pack.

Hamilton began to edge away as the pit stops approached and he stopped first for the Medium tyres, with Rosberg following suit a lap later, emerging three-and-a-half seconds behind his team-mate.

Vettel trailed Felipe Massa across the opening stint of the race but stayed out longer than the Brazilian across the pit stop phase and emerged ahead of his rival.

Vettel pulled clear of Massa while fifth place went to the outstanding Nasr, who drove a professional race on his debut in the sport to return Sauber to the points after their terrible 2014 season.

Daniel Ricciardo was a lapped sixth for Red Bull as the team had a quiet race, ahead of Force India’s Nico Hülkenberg and Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson, who scored his first points in Formula 1.

Carlos Sainz ran well early on but lost a huge amount of time in the pits before recovering to ninth.

Sergio Pérez claimed the final point while Jenson Button got the McLaren to the finish, albeit two laps down in 11th.

Kimi Räikkönen endured a difficult race as he had problems at both pit stops, the latter proving terminal. Räikkönen was on a two stop strategy and when the Primes were fitted the left rear wasn’t fitted properly, forcing him out of the race. The stewards investigated Räikkönen for an unsafe release but deemed that no further action was required.

Max Verstappen completed the opening stint of the race on the Prime tyres and was running in sixth when he stopped for Options, emerging in ninth.

But on his out lap smoke trailed from the back of his STR10, bringing his impressive debut to an early end.

With Manor not qualifying, the 18-car grid was reduced to 15 before the race even began.

Kevin Magnussen stopped on his installation lap with smoke pouring from the engine, while Valtteri Bottas also did not start the race on medical advice after injuring his back on Saturday.

Daniil Kvyat was another non-starter after he shot wide at Turn 3 before crawling to a halt on his installation lap with a suspected gearbox failure.

26RosbergMercedes+1.3 secs218
35VettelFerrari+34.5 secs415
419MassaWilliams+38.1 secs312
512NasrSauber+95.1 secs1110
63RicciardoRed Bull+1 Lap78
727HulkenbergForce India+1 Lap146
89EricssonSauber+1 Lap164
955SainzToro Rosso+1 Lap82
1011PerezForce India+1 Lap151
1122ButtonMcLaren+2 Laps17
Ret33VerstappenToro Rosso12
Ret26KvyatRed Bull13

If you liked this post then share it with your friends on social media websites. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with the latest F1 news.