Rosberg wins season opener in Melbourne

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Updated: March 16, 2014

rosss

Nico Rosberg began his 2014 Formula 1 season with a dominant win in Melbourne at the Australian Grand Prix while there was heartbreak for Daniel Ricciardo in his first race for Red Bull and disappointment for Lewis Hamilton.

Rosberg took advantage of a superb start, storming to the front by the first turn and then promptly left the rest of the field in his wake on his way to a massive 25 second win and 4th career F1 victory.

Daniel Ricciardo in his first race with his new team Red Bull, steered his car to a brilliant second in front of his home fans only to be disqualified a few hours after the race by officials for allegedly infringing FIA fuel regulations. Official sensors showed Ricciardo’s engine was regularly consuming  more than the 100kg/h of fuel, a decision Christian Horner will appeal claiming the FIA regulation meter was inconsistent all weekend.

Ricciardo’s disqualification elevated F1 rookie Kevin Magnussen into second place, an impressive first outing for McLaren while team mate Jenson Button was promoted to the third podium position completing an encouraging first race for McLaren.

Magnussen’s second place earned him the distinction of being the first Dane to stand on the podium in Formula 1.

Lewis Hamilton’s weekend finished much like it started. In first free practice he failed to complete a lap due to oil pressure problems. The 2008 world champion put that right by taking his 32nd career pole in qualifying only to withdraw from the race after a few laps due to a misfiring cylinder.

Sebastian Vettel’s problems continued after the defending champion was forced to retire due to engine performance problems. Vettel was well off the pace in qualifying and started 12th on the grid, suggesting Red Bull has plenty of soul searching to do ahead of the next race in Malaysia.

Fernando Alonso made a solid start to his campaign with a fourth place finish with Valtteri Bottas underlining Williams improvement with fifth.

1. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1:32:58.710
2. Kevin Magnussen (Denmark) McLaren +00:26.777
3. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 00:30.027
4. Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 00:35.284
5. Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams-Mercedes 00:47.639
6. Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Force India – Mercedes 00:50.718
7. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 00:57.675
8. Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso – Renault 01:00.441
9. Danill Kvyat (Russia) Toro Rosso – Renault 01:03.585
10. Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India – Mercedes 01:25.916
11. Adrian Sutil (Germany) Sauber – Ferrari 1 lap
12. Esteban Gutierrez (Mexico) Sauber – Ferrari 1 lap
13. Max Chilton (Britain) Marussia – Ferrari 2 laps
r. Jules Bianchi (France) Marussia – Ferrari 8 laps
r. Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus – Renault 14 laps
r. Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus – Renault 28 laps
r. Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Caterham – Renault 30 laps
r. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) RedBull – Renault 54 laps
r. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 55 laps
r. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams-Mercedes 57 laps
r. Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) Caterham – Renault 57 laps
dq. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) RedBull – Renault