Skip to content

Rosberg rules Down Under to win memorable Australian GP

Mar 16, 2014, 3:42 AM EDT

Kamui Kobayashi, Niko Rosberg AP

Nico Rosberg has won the opening round of the 2014 Formula 1 season in Australia today with a sparkling performance that saw him trounce the field in one of the most memorable races in years.

The German driver took the lead at the start of the race and managed to keep himself out of trouble to win his fourth grand prix as pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton was forced to retire after just three laps. Sebastian Vettel’s title defence started with a whimper as he too had to retire, but teammate Daniel Ricciardo kept the Red Bull flag flying to finish in second place at his home race, marking his first podium in Formula 1.

However, the stars of the day were Kevin Magnussen – who finished an incredible third on debut for McLaren – and Valtteri Bottas, who fought back from a grid penalty and a puncture to finish sixth for Williams by virtue of some incredible overtakes.

The 2014 Formula 1 season got off to something of a false start as both Marussias stalled on the grid, warranting an extra formation lap. When the race did get underway, Nico Rosberg made an incredible start to launch past teammate Lewis Hamilton and take the lead of the race, whilst Daniel Ricciardo stayed steady in second place.

Further back, Sebastian Vettel reported that he was losing power and began haemorrhaging places, and he quickly fell towards the back of the field. Kamui Kobayashi and Felipe Massa got tangled at turn one and both crashed out, whilst Hamilton’s race lasted just three laps as he was told to retire due to an engine problem.

The start to Vettel’s championship defense went from bad to worse as he was forced to retire from the race after just four laps due to an engine problem. Adrian Sutil was also reporting problems, and six cars were already out of the race after just six laps. Valtteri Bottas was having no such issues though, moving up to sixth place from P15 on the grid with some great passes on the likes of Daniil Kvyat, Jean-Eric Vergne and Kimi Raikkonen.

However, Bottas pushed too hard for his own good and hit the wall at turn ten, losing the tire on his left-right wheel. All of his hard work was undone as he was forced to pit for repairs before being sent on his way again. The safety car was soon sent out in order to pick up the debris from Bottas’ tire, bunching the pack and allowing some of the drivers to make a pit stop. Having stopped, Rosberg still led from Ricciardo and rookie Kevin Magnussen whilst Bottas was forced to start his fight back all over again from P16.

Off the restart, Rosberg quickly put his foot down and pull out a two second lead over Ricciardo as the Australian’s mirrors were filled by Kevin Magnussen. Bottas’ fightback began in earnest as he worked his way back into the top ten, whilst Alonso and Button set their sights on Hulkenberg’s fourth place. However, neither could find a way past the Force India to begin with, but a huge lock-up for the German driver allowed Alonso to close. Bottas’ next victim was Kvyat for P9, marking the second time the Finn had passed the Russian in the race, and he soon set his sights on compatriot Kimi Raikkonen in P8.

Having seen both cars stall on the grid, Marussia fought back well with Max Chilton leading the team’s charge. Jules Bianchi spent the race over six laps behind the leader after having extensive repair work done, but Chilton went into battle with Caterham rookie Marcus Ericsson. However, the Swede was forced to retire from the race, ending the team’s day early. Pastor Maldonado also retired due to a problem with his power unit, leaving Romain Grosjean to fight on as the sole remaining Lotus. The Frenchman eventually had to stop with twelve laps to go, ending a disastrous weekend for the team.

At the front, Rosberg continued to push and saw his lead grow to over ten seconds. In second place, Ricciardo did well to drop Magnussen and set into a gentle rhythm on his Red Bull debut. Hulkenberg finally released Alonso by pitting in order to cover Button’s stop, but the Briton was able to pass the German driver by virtue of his earlier stop. When Alonso pitted two laps later, he split the two drivers. Bottas’ fight continued at Raikkonen’s expense, seeing him move up into fourth place before stopping.

As the final round of stops came about, the front three remained unchanged, but Magnussen did manage to cut the gap to Ricciardo with a quick pit stop. The Dane continued to push and closed to within two seconds of the Red Bull as he looked to make it a Mercedes-powered one-two. Rosberg’s lead stood at 16 seconds after stopping, but there was a minor bit of damage to his left front wheel caused at his final stop. Both Toro Rossos were running well in the top ten as Kvyat chased Raikkonen, but Vergne was under pressure from Bottas for seventh place. A mistake from the Frenchman at the final corner finally allowed the Finn past with ten laps to go, and he was soon on Hulkenberg’s tail for sixth place. The German driver couldn’t stop the Williams driver’s charge though

Having run in P2 for the entire race, Ricciardo finally came under some pressure from both McLarens in the closing stages. Magnussen managed to close on the Australian driver and get within DRS range, but he opted to save his rich fuel setting for the final two laps of the race. This allowed Ricciardo to pull away and ensure that he stayed in P2 come the checkered flag, but both drivers performed admirably to finish on the podium.

At the head of the field though, it was all about Nico Rosberg. The German driver proved that Mercedes is definitely the team to beat in 2013 by producing a near-perfect display, keeping his head whilst all around him lost theirs. He crossed the line over 20 seconds ahead of Ricciardo, and dominated proceedings from start to finish.

Latest Posts
  1. FIA WEC: Another Audi win at COTA

    Sep 22, 2014, 10:21 AM EDT

    Le Mans 24h Race Getty Images

    Audi 1-2 leads FIA WEC winners at COTA.

  2. Can Hamilton take this momentum all the way to Abu Dhabi?

    Sep 22, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT

    Singapore F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    Reliability woes have left Nico Rosberg reeling. If he doesn’t respond at Suzuka, it could be game over.

  3. Rosberg: I felt helpless in Singapore (VIDEO)

    Sep 22, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

    Singapore F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    German driver does well to keep his anger in check in his post-race video blog.

  4. Force India owner heaps praise on Sergio Perez after Singapore fightback

    Sep 22, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    Singapore F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    Vijay Mallya delighted as Force India makes 2014 its most successful season since entering F1 back in 2008.

  5. Singapore GP Weekend: All Posts, One Place

    Sep 22, 2014, 7:00 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Singapore Getty Images

    Lewis Hamilton has put himself back in control of the 2014 F1 world championship after a great win in Singapore as teammate Nico Rosberg retired.

  6. Red Bull GRC: Rhys Millen wins Race 2 in L.A.; Ken Block takes championship lead

    Sep 21, 2014, 8:43 PM EDT

    GRCLogo

    Millen scores his second win of 2014, while YouTube icon Block takes an 18-point lead in the championship with two races left in the season.

  7. Schumacher (TF), C. Force (FC), Connolly (PS), Hines (PSM) are NHRA winners at Texas

    Sep 21, 2014, 7:51 PM EDT

    (Photo courtesy NHRA) (Photo courtesy NHRA)

    Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel), Courtney Force (Funny Car), Dave Connolly (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were the winners in Sunday’s final rounds of the NHRA FallNationals in Ennis, Texas.

  8. Kyle Larson steady at New Hampshire in runner-up effort

    Sep 21, 2014, 7:00 PM EDT

    Sylvania 300 - Practice Getty Images

    The talented rookie continues to duel with the Chasers at New Hampshire before finishing second to Joey Logano.

  9. Chase’s version of musical chairs: nine drivers to battle for five advancement spots at Dover

    Sep 21, 2014, 6:36 PM EDT

    Aric Almirola was much happier at Loudon, with a sixth-place finish Sunday. But he's still ranked last in the Chase chances with one race left to stave off elimination. (Photo: Sean Gardner/Getty Images) Getty Images

    As the Chase for the Sprint Cup moves to Dover for next Sunday’s third race of the playoffs, nine drivers will be fighting elimination by vying for five advancement spots there.

  10. Keselowski overcomes adversity to still finish 7th, maintains Chase points lead

    Sep 21, 2014, 6:09 PM EDT

    (Photo: Will Schneekloth/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Brad Keselowski started from the pole, led the second-most number of laps in the race (78), overcame a late wreck and still almost won Sunday’s Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

  11. Harvick comes up short of Chase win, but continues run of great consistency

    Sep 21, 2014, 5:49 PM EDT

    (Photo: Jerry Markland/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Prior to last week’s opening race of the Chase for the Sprint Cup, Kevin Harvick said it would take wins and uncanny consistency to advance to the final four, winner-take-all battle in the season-ending race at Homestead.

  12. Joey Logano avoids “yellow fever,” wins at N.H. to advance in Chase

    Sep 21, 2014, 5:36 PM EDT

    GoBowling.com 400 - Practice Getty Images

    The Connecticut native joins Penske teammate Brad Keselowski in the Contender Round with his victory at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

  13. Another Chaser finds trouble in N.H., and this time, it’s Matt Kenseth

    Sep 21, 2014, 5:13 PM EDT

    Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 - Practice Getty Images

    Kenseth was running in the Top 10, when Paul Menard washed up into him and sent him spinning into the wall with 31 laps to go at New Hampshire.

  14. Kurt Busch wrecks, yet another Chase driver to suffer problems at New Hampshire

    Sep 21, 2014, 4:38 PM EDT

    (Photo: Will Schneekloth/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Kurt Busch had a tire rub on his Haas Automation Chevrolet when the right front tire appeared to blow on Lap 222 of the 300-lap Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, sending him hard into the wall and suffering right front end damage.

  15. Wreck involves several Chase drivers; Keselowski spins, suffers minor damage

    Sep 21, 2014, 4:20 PM EDT

    (Photo: Will Schneekloth/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Several drivers in the Chase for the Sprint Cup suffered damage to their respective race cars in a wreck that involved Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne and Ryan Newman with just over 100 laps to go in Sunday’s Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

  16. UPDATE: Denny Hamlin’s bad day at New Hampshire gets worse with Lap 180 crash

    Sep 21, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT

    (Photo: Jerry Markland/Getty Images) Getty Images

    4 p.m. ET – Already several laps down, Hamlin was caught in a multi-car crash that also involved Martin Truex Jr., David Ragan, and Cole Whitt.

  17. Kevin Harvick is halfway leader at Loudon, Denny Hamlin suffers strange mishap

    Sep 21, 2014, 3:42 PM EDT

    (Photo: Jerry Markland/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Kevin Harvick is the halfway leader of Sunday’s Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Joey Logano is running second, followed by Jeff Gordon, Brian Vickers and Jamie McMurray.

  18. Safety car period costs Alonso possible podium finish

    Sep 21, 2014, 3:00 PM EDT

    Singapore F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    Spanish driver still pleased with the race weekend in Singapore, feeling that Ferrari has made a step forwards.

  19. Wisconsin driver killed in wreck, 3rd short track fatality in less than 2 months

    Sep 21, 2014, 2:31 PM EDT

    (Image courtesy Beaver Dam Raceway) (Image courtesy Beaver Dam Raceway)

    Less than a week after a track flagman was killed at a Florida short track, a Wisconsin sprint car driver was killed following a wreck on Saturday night.

  20. Tire degradation costs Bottas five places on final two laps

    Sep 21, 2014, 2:30 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Singapore - Qualifying Getty Images

    Bottas finishes outside of the points for the first time in 2014, with his only other non-score the result of a DNF at Monaco.

Top 10 NASCAR Driver Searches
  1. B. Keselowski (1907)
  2. J. Gordon (1313)
  3. K. Harvick (1271)
  4. M. Crafton (1051)
  5. K. Busch (1009)