The inaugural race of 66th Formula One Championship is won by Lewis Hamilton. He made the perfect start to the defence of his Formula One world championship with one of the straightest win of his career in Albert Park, Australia. It was Hamilton 34th win and first wins in Albert Park since his championship year of 2008. He led from start to finish, driving well within himself to push team-mate Nico Rosberg into second place, followed by Sebastian Vettel from Ferrari, Felipe Massa from Williams, debutant Felipe Nasr from Sauber, and Daniel Ricciardo from Red Bull.
Lewis Hamilton won with +1.360 seconds from Rosberg who came second. Hamilton average speed was 200.80 MPH. But this was the race totally dominated by Mercedes, who didn’t even flex their considerable muscle for a one-two result. With Red Bull and McLaren looking in disappointing form, it will be up to Ferrari and Williams to make this a competitive season. Apart from Mercedes the happiest team was Sauber, with Felipe Nasr finished fifth and Marcus Ericsson eighth after the team’s very difficult week fighting legal problems.
It was also an encouraging day for Force India after their recent financial problems, with both drivers finishing among their points. There were only 11 finishers, with most of the causalities falling before or at the start of the race. Last man Jenson Button was the only driver to finish out of the points. Valtteri Bottas, who had qualified for sixth place on the grid, was ruled unfit by an FIA medical delegate because of a tear in his lower back, and had to withdraw.
With Manor not taking part this reduced the official starting grid to 17 cars. But there were only 15 at the start because both Kevin Magnussen and Daniil Kvyat failed to survive their reconnaissance laps. Magnussen came to a halt between turns five and six with a plume of smoke coming out of his car and Kvyat spun into gravel with suspected transmission trouble. After second lap there were only 13 cars left. Meanwhile, Hamilton had to go off to a good start ahead of his team mate Rosberg and won the first race of 2015.
Next Formula One race will be in Petronas Malaysia from 27-29 March.