Sebastian Vettel leapt off the line into the lead, while the Mercedes faltered at Melbourne’s Australian Grand Prix. But Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton recovered to finish first and second, followed by Vettel’s Ferrari.
Nico Rosberg continued his winning run from the end of 2015 at Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix, winning the 57-lap race ahead of Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton.
“Yeah! Awesome, guys, awesome. Great start to the season,” Rosberg yelled down the team radio after crossing the line to claim the first 25 points of the 2016 season.
Sebastian Vettel, who blasted by the Silver Arrows off the line, had to settle for third position in the end. He was pressuring Hamilton for second in the closing laps, but ran wide late on, ending his push to split the Mercedes at Albert Park.
Vettel’s early advantage – especially over Hamilton, who dropped down to seventh place from pole position – was eroded at around the one-third mark. A huge crash involving McLaren’s Fernando Alonso and Haas F1’s Esteban Gutierrez led to the race being stopped for around a quarter of an hour – cancelling out the early lead Vettel had built on track.
Alonso had sought to overtake Gutierrez around the outside into Turn 3, but caught the rear end of the Haas, launching himself into the wall. The Spaniard was quickly out of his crumpled car, despite the dramatic-looking damage.
“It was a scary moment, a scary crash,” Alonso said after getting the medical all-clear. “For the safety of those cars is why I’m alive – and the safety wall. I think it was a racing thing and sometimes we forget we are going 300km an hour.”
More to follow…