There were failures, surprises, and carnage at today’s Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix, but Nico Rosberg and the Mercedes-Benz AMG Petronas team were triumphant in the end. It was the beginning of the next turbo era in Formula 1 and the only predictable aspect was that reliability will be a problem. There were no spectacular engine failures, but both Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel had to retire early in the race due to engine issues. Lewis went into the pits after the fourth lap after his Mercedes turbo V6 was running on five cylinders. Sebastian retired to the pits one lap later with his Renault V6 firing on four.
There was a first corner accident where Kamui Kobayashi clipped the back of Kimi Raikkonen and then took out Felipe Massa. Kamui returns to F1 with Caterham team, and Felipe starts a new year at Williams.
Home favorite Daniel Ricciardo’s RedBull debut was a big success until he was painfully disqualified after the race and after his second place podium speech. Officials found his RedBull to have exceeded the maximum permitted fuel flow rate. That’s a new one! Once again, there are all kinds of regulations to make Formula 1 a true challenge.
Nico Rosberg took over the lead after the first corner and never looked back. He was able to pull away from Daniel’s and crossed the finish first and more than 24 seconds ahead of the RedBull. This race was a Formula 1 debut for Kevin Magnussen with McLaren, and the 21 year old driver put in a stellar performance by finishing in third and ahead of teammate Jenson Button. Fernando Alonso was patient and ended up in fifth. Kimi’s return to Ferrari was a difficult one as he struggle in the middle of the pack, but managed to finish in eighth.
Perhaps, the unsung star of the race was Valterri Bottas. He pushed his Williams from 15th to sixth, kissed the wall, destroyed the rear wheel, caused a safety car, came back out, and went through the field again to finish in sixth.
Pre-race Australian Grand Prix interview with Nico Rosberg
Checkout TFLcar experience from the 2013 US GP: