Australian F1 Grand Prix 2014 Results: Winner, Standings, Stats and Reaction
Nico Rosberg won the opening race of the 2014 Formula One season with a dominant display in Melbourne, Australia.
The German driver took advantage of reliability issues that hampered his team-mate and pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton, taking the chequered flag well clear of Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo and McLaren's Kevin Magnussen.
But Ricciardo's joy at finishing in second place in his home grand prix was to be short-lived, as he was disqualified after breaching fuel consumption rules per BBC Sport.
McLaren lead the constructors' championship after week one, as Jenson Button was reinstated in third place following Ricciardo's disqualification. Fernando Alonso had to settle for a fourth place finish, whilst his Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen finished down in seventh on his second debut in Ferrari red.
World Champion Sebastian Vettel couldn't make it 10 race wins in a row, as he was lost power early on and had to withdraw.
Mercedes man Rosberg emerged in first place following a chaotic start to the grand prix. But once the 28-year-old German hit the front, his lead never looked in danger.
Here's the story of the race, including full results, updated standings and post-race reaction:
The Race Weekend, Results
The Race Weekend on Bleacher Report
The Australian Grand Prix live blog and report
Bleacher Report Australian Grand Prix expert predictions
Results In Full per Formula1.com:
|2||20||Kevin Magnussen||McLaren-Mercedes||58||+26.7 secs||4||18|
|3||22||Jenson Button||McLaren-Mercedes||58||+30.0 secs||10||15|
|4||14||Fernando Alonso||Ferrari||58||+35.2 secs||5||12|
|5||77||Valtteri Bottas||Williams-Mercedes||58||+47.6 secs||15||10|
|6||27||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||58||+50.7 secs||7||8|
|7||7||Kimi Raikkonen||Ferrari||58||+57.6 secs||11||6|
|8||25||Jean-Eric Vergne||STR-Renault||58||+60.4 secs||6||4|
|9||26||Daniil Kvyat||STR-Renault||58||+63.5 secs||8||2|
|10||11||Sergio Perez||Force India-Mercedes||58||+85.9 secs||16||1|
|11||99||Adrian Sutil||Sauber-Ferrari||57||+1 Lap||13|
|12||21||Esteban Gutierrez||Sauber-Ferrari||57||+1 Lap||20|
|13||4||Max Chilton||Marussia-Ferrari||56||+2 Laps||17|
|DQ||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing-Renault||58||N/A||2|
|Ret||17||Jules Bianchi||Marussia-Ferrari||50||+8 Laps||18|
|Ret||8||Romain Grosjean||Lotus-Renault||44||+14 Laps||22|
|Ret||13||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus-Renault||30||+28 Laps||21|
|Ret||9||Marcus Ericsson||Caterham-Renault||28||+30 Laps||19|
|Ret||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||4||+54 Laps||12|
|Ret||44||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||3||+55 Laps||1|
|Ret||19||Felipe Massa||Williams-Mercedes||0||+58 Laps||9|
|Ret||10||Kamui Kobayashi||Caterham-Renault||0||+58 Laps||14|
Updated Driver Standings
Here's the driver's standings after the opening race of the 2014 season, per Formula1.com:
Updated Team Standings
Here's how the constructors' championship looks after the opening race of the 2014 season, per Formula1.com:
Post-Race Reaction and Major in-Race Events
It's always vital to get off to a good start in the world title scrap, and Rosberg paid tribute to the work done by his team in the build-up to the Australian Grand Prix. He also made it abundantly clear he expects a big response from his rivals, per Andrew Benson of BBC Sport:
I'm over the moon really, everyone has worked so hard over the winter and to have such an amazing Silver Arrow. I'm really thankful to Mercedes for giving me such an amazing car.
There is a lot of work to do. We can still improve a lot and we must because the competitors are not going to be asleep.
A chaotic start to the race saw a major collision between Kamui Kobayashi and Felipe Massa on the opening lap. It'd be fair to say the Brazilian wasn't best pleased with the conduct of the Japanese driver:
Felipe Massa believes that Kobayashi deserves a race ban for the crash he caused at turn one #F1onNBC
— F1® Racing on NBC (@F1onNBCSports) March 16, 2014
The drama continued in the early stages, as both Vettel and Hamilton fell foul to reliability issues:
Update on @LewisHamilton: We were forced to retire his car due to a misfiring cylinder— MERCEDES AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) March 16, 2014
Sebastian has retired with an engine problem. More details after the race. #AusGP— Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) March 16, 2014
Vallteri Bottas started the race in blistering fashion, but he found himself back down the field after this unfortunate incident:
Despite all the carnage early on, Rosberg kept his head and eased the car home:
Whilst Vettel will have been disappointed to drop out, he admitted he was happy for his team-mate Ricciardo, who crossed the line in second place on his Red Bull debut:
But Red Bull's day took a turn for the worse, as BBC Sport broke the news that Ricciardo had been excluded from the race:
Meanwhile, McLaren showed off Magnussen's third place trophy via their official website:
Winners in Australia
With a tornado of drama, reliability issues and collisions puncturing the early stages of this race, Rosberg kept his head and emerged as the race leader. From that point on, the German’s victory was never in doubt; a winning margin in excess of 24 seconds a prime indicator of his dominance. The 28-year-old drove with incredible poise and precision, and he will be hoping a world championship challenge is on the cards after such a brilliant start to the season.
Despite his subsequent disqualification, Ricciardo put in a performance that suggests he is going to have a very bright future at current team champions. The 24-year-old Aussie impressed all weekend, following up his solid practice and scintillating qualifying session with a mature drive on race day. He will be devastated to miss out on the podium in such dramatic circumstances, but it was an exciting performance that bodes well for his Red Bull future.
The star of the day was 21-year-old Magnussen. The were shades of a rookie Lewis Hamilton in the Dane's performance, as he finished his first ever Formula One race in second place, jumping up two places up from fourth on the grid. Magnussen, who becomes the first Dane to finish on the podium in an F1 race, drove like a seasoned veteran and after a dismal 2013 season, the McLaren garage will be in great spirits following his stellar debut.
Losers in Australia
After an imperious qualifying session, many expected that Hamilton would romp to victory in Melbourne. Everything looked to be in order as the Brit managed a clean getaway but engine trouble saw him drop down the field and eventually out of the race. Despite this hiccup, both driver and car have shown plenty of promise this weekend. After Rosberg took the chequered flag here, Hamilton will be hopeful of bouncing back in Malaysia in two weeks' time.
Oh what a difference a new season can make! The four-time World Champion didn't look like a man chasing a 10th consecutive grand prix win. After failing to sparkle in qualifying, Vettel found himself in the thick of the field, starting in 12th on the grid. But things were to get even worse when he lost power early on and had to withdraw. Like Hamilton though, his team-mate sparkled and that will offer some comfort heading into the second race of the season.