Hamilton was able to perform the hat trick at the first race back with Pole, Win and Fastest Lap. Rosberg followed his team mate at a gap between 1.2-4 seconds during the race but wasn’t able to get anywhere near striking distance of the Brit. Rosberg’s best chance was at the re-start but a sleepy and rusty Rosberg missed when Hamilton bolted.
On the podium Rosberg by his own admission said that Hamilton had “Driven like a World Champion”, but the worry was there that the Double World Champion could dominate in 2015, providing Mercedes’ reliability holds firm.
However Vettel’s team mate and friend Kimi Raikkonen endured a tough day back at the track after a turn 1 incident with rookie Felipe Nasr and Pastor Maldonado dropped the fin down the field. Then to compound the 2007 World Champion’s woes 2 slow pit stops ultimately led to his DNF after his right rear wasn’t secured at his 2nd stop.
Williams had hoped for better in Australia but Valtteri Bottas failed the FIA Medical Test after hurting his back in qualifying. The failure meant the Fin had to sit out the race leaving Williams with only 1 car on track and with another missed opportunity in Melbourne.
Red Bull had a big wake up to 2015 after Daniil Kvyat had a gearbox failure on the parade lap to the grid. His team mate and 3 time race winner Daniel Ricciardo had a tough race and with a substantial lack of pace to the Ferrari and Mercedes powered cars found himself going backwards after then start.
Post race Team Principle Christian Horner again criticised the V6 Turbo Hybrid Power Units and called for engine equality ASAP. Red Bull have since threatened to pull out of F1 despite having signed a contract to stay till 2020. However Horner wasn’t complaining when they dominated in 2010-13 with Sebastian Vettel.
Force India realised how much work they have to do this year but their solid reliability saw Nico Hulkenberg once again impress with an impressive 7th place finish. His team mate Sergio Perez also managed to bring home 1 point in 10th after a scrappy race with Jenson Button. The Mexican also over took Ericsson under the Safety Car dropping him to the back of the field.
Lotus saw a missed opportunity in Melbourne as Romain Grosjean had engine issues meaning he limped round the first lap before retiring his Lotus. While team mate Pastor Maldonado kept his 100% DNF rate in Melbourne after first lap contact at T1 saw him spin into the barrier.
So 2015 is underway and once again Mercedes are the team to beat. But although Australia didn’t meet 2014s bench mark the Malaysian GP in 2 weeks time usually throws up a good race and a bit of rain too. But it was Lewis Hamilton and Sauber who stole the headlines at Albert Park.
1. Lewis Hamilton 1:31:54.067
2. Nico Rosberg
3. Sebastian Vettel
4. Felipe Massa
5. Felipe Nasr
6. Daniel Ricciardo
7. Nico Hulkenberg
8. Marcus Ericsson
9. Carlos Sainz
10. Sergio Perez
11. Jenson Button
Kimi Raikkonen DNF
Max Verstappen DNF
Romain Grosjean DNF
Pastor Maldonado DNF
Daniil Kvyat DNS
Kevin Magnussen DNS
Valtteri Bottas DNS