Lewis Hamilton has made a perfect start to his world championship title defence with a seemingly easy win at Albert Park yesterday.
It was a funny week for Formula 1, with the Giedo van der Garde v Sauber saga dominating headlines, the return and then no show of Manor, Valtteri Bottas’ injury withdrawal and the failure of Kevin Magnussen and Daniil Kvyat to start after their cars died on the out lap before the race.
Only 13 cars started the grand prix and it seems a miracle that 11 of them finished. The expectations were that more cars would run into reliability problems.
In the end Hamilton defeated his teammate Nico Rosberg by 1.3 seconds. You sense Hamilton would have been able to hold off Rosberg if a serious challenge for lead was mounted. It wasn’t.
Sebastian Vettel claimed the final podium step in his Ferrari debut, a few seconds ahead of Felipe Massa.
The real winners, though, were Sauber who had their two preferred drivers finish strongly. Felipe Nasr marked his F1 debut with a fifth place and Marcus Ericsson came home eighth. Last year Sauber didn’t manage a single championship point, now they have 14 after just one race. Who knows what the courts will dictate for them in Malaysia and beyond, but after a terrible week that’s one team party that would have been a blast last night.
The Toro Rosso kids had a fun time with the grown ups too. Sadly for Max Verstappen he was forced to retire, but Carlos Sainz finished in a credible ninth place.
Jenson Button did finish the race in his McLaren. But he was stone motherless last, two laps off the pace, and the only finisher who didn’t score a championship point. It was valuable testing time for the struggling McLaren-Honda outfit.
It’s easy to tell how boring this race was when the highlight was the post-race podium interviews conducted by Arnold Schwarzenegger. Yes, that Arnold Schwarzenegger!
I had a shiver of horror go down my spine when Arnie was announced for fear that this interview would end in high farce. Fair dues to the Hollywood icon because either he has a clue or is a genuinely good actor and thankfully he handled the role well.
So, who knew Arnie was a Formula 1 fan!
There will be more exciting times ahead in this 2015 F1 season, but save from the sunny weather and mostly clean racing this was as dull as it gets for a season opener.
Well done Lewis, well done Nico, well done Mercedes, you were just too damn good.
2015 Australian Grand Prix final placings
- Lewis Hamilton Mercedes – 58 laps; 1:31:54.067 (25 pts)
- Nico Rosberg Mercedes – +1.36 (18 pts)
- Sebastian Vettel Ferrari – +34.523 (15 pts)
- Felipe Massa Williams – +38.196 (12 pts)
- Felipe Nasr Sauber – +95.149 (10 pts)
- Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull – +1 lap (8 pts)
- Nico Hulkenberg Force India – +1 lap (6 pts)
- Marcus Ericsson Sauber – +1 lap (4 pts)
- Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso – +1 lap (2 pts)
- Sergio Perez Force India – +1 lap (1 pt)
- Jenson Button McLaren – +2 laps
Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari DNF 0
Max Verstappen Toro Rosso DNF 0
Romain Grosjean Lotus DNF 0
Pastor Maldonado Lotus DNF 0
Daniil Kvyat Red Bull DNS 0
Kevin Magnussen McLaren DNS 0
Lewis Hamilton Mercedes – 1:30.945 (lap 50)
2015 F1 world championship – Drivers
- Lewis Hamilton Mercedes – 25
- Nico Rosberg Mercedes – 18
- Sebastian Vettel Ferrari – 15
- Felipe Massa Williams – 12
- Felipe Nasr Sauber – 10
- Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing – 8
- Nico Hulkenberg Force India – 6
- Marcus Ericsson Sauber – 4
- Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso – 2
- Sergio Perez Force India – 1
2015 F1 world championship – Constructors
- Mercedes – 43
- Ferrari – 15
- Sauber – 14
- Williams – 12
- Red Bull Racing – 8
- Force India – 7
- Toro Rosso – 2
- McLaren – 0