Hamilton wins as Mercedes clean up in Melbourne

2015 Australian Grand Prix summary

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Lewis Hamilton won the opening race of the 2015 in Melbourne ahead of team mate Nico Rosberg with what few of their rivals finished a long way behind.

By the end of lap one just 13 cars were left in a race which 18 drivers had qualified for.

A back injury prevented Valtteri Bottas from starting, and two more drivers failed to reach the grid after problems on their way to the grid. Kevin Magnussen’s McLaren failed spectacularly, and Daniil Kvyat stopped with a gearbox fault.

Lotus’s race ended within moments of the lights going out. Romain Grosjean got away slowly from the grid and then pulled into the pits to retire. Meanwhile Pastor Maldonado lost out in a first-corner tangle and was dumped into the barriers.

Following a brief appearance from the Safety Car, Hamilton quickly re-established his lead as Rosberg reacted slowly to the resumption of the race. A single mid-race pit stop was the only time Hamilton lost the lead, and any time Rosberg drew close he appeared to have the pace in hand to stay ahead.

Sebastian Vettel jumped ahead of Felipe Massa in the pit stops to claim third on his debut for Ferrari. But the other red car’s race was ruined by his two visits to the pits. A slow left-rear tyre change hampered his first stop, and at the second the wheel failed to attach properly and Raikkonen had to park shortly after rejoining the track. The stewards are investigating whether his car was released unsafely.

Following a difficult start to the weekend there was some cheer for Sauber as Felipe Nasr came home fifth on his debut and Marcus Ericsson took eighth off Carlos Sainz Jnr in one of the race’s few passing moves. Sainz collected ninth, team mate Max Verstappen having retired shortly after his pit stop.

Both Force Indias also came home in the points, Sergio Perez taking tenth after scrapping with Jenson Button. The McLaren made it to the chequered flag, albeit two laps down and as the only finisher not to score a point.

2015 Australian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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28 comments on “Hamilton wins as Mercedes clean up in Melbourne”

  1. Hamilton toyed with Ros lol, and surely it is much easier to have a carrot dangling to chase. Great drive Hamilton. Feel so sorry for Alo man…

  2. Last years race there was boring, the year before that weren’t that great either, and with the lack of starters, was anyone expecting a thriller?? There will be better races. No need to lose our heads now. Hamilton was playing though.

  3. I’m sure they could have stretched the gap even further to the rest of the field. That Mercedes is a beast!

  4. Great drives from Hamilon, Vettel and Nasr. Also from all the new rookies. I like how this season looks and feels. Especially the great new atmosphere in Williams and Ferrari, such a breath of fresh air.

    If Rosberg were less webberish and did something to challenge Hamilton it would be amazing.

    1. This Filipe Nasr guy seems to be a great talent!

      1. We were saying that about Magnussen this time last year too…

  5. Bit of a classic, bringing back memories of when races were boring. Seems more DF and tyres that last longer really hurt the ability to race. I really hope Ferrari learn to run two cars soon, Williams learns not to mess up their strategy, Bottas gets back, Red Bull manage to map their engine to work and get some pace out of it and that McLaren comes on stong in the second half of the year.

    Rosberg seemed to have given up on winning after qualifying yesterday and just take the points. Lets hope he will give it more in Malaysia to give some tension for the win.

    1. Hahahaha great comment! I love it

  6. Congratulation to Lewis Hamilton, Put up a calm, matured and measured drive. I think he was toying with Nico, only going faster only when Nico got closer. Well done son. Onwards and upwards. On we go to Malaysia

    1. Without coaching from the team, seems hard for Nico to figure out why Lewis is so fast.

      Yet he’s sooo smart….

      1. Anyone who thinks Rosberg STILL has the edge on Hamilton in terms of smartness and calmness is totally deluding themselves.

        All of Rosberg’s smartness went away halfway through last year, and Hamilton is not way smarter. Not to mention more experienced (which he always was) and more confident.

        Hamilton is in what is called a “roll”. And it’ll take more than talent and speed from Rosberg’s side to break it.

  7. Mercedes built a car even better than the last one. Unbelievable.

    Ferrari looked good, but Williams seems a little better. De havê to remember that Massa never did anything good on this track, and only lost position cuz of poor timing on his pit stop.

    1. I do think that Vettel had a better pace than Massa, just not enough to pass him on the track. So he backed up a little and waited for the pit stop. Once he was ahead, he built a comfortable gap and managed from there. If Vettel had started 3rd and Massa 4th, it probably wouldn’t have been a battle. At least that’s how it seemed to me.

      1. Agree entirely.

      2. + 1

        Spot on, I watched trackside, and thought he gave it about ‘X’ amount of laps of putting the pressure on, and then after he had a whoopsie oversteer moment from riding too much kerb at the swimming Pool complex, he played the smart tyre management waiting game. Was impressed.

  8. Well, Mercedes have given my hopes for things to be a bit more competitive this season a real kicking.

    Hamilton never looked under any real threat and that doesn’t bode too well for the championship. It looked like they were very much controlling the pace too, so the advantage they had over the field will take a hell of a lot to overcome.

    Great to see three solid performances from the rookies on debut. While the sport has got serious off-track problems to deal with, I do feel the future of the sport in terms of its talent pool is very promising indeed.

    I’m still looking forward to the rest of the season even despite how woeful and predictable this first round was, but it’s such a shame that it looks as though Mercedes’s dominance has been enhanced rather than decreased.

  9. Well the race wasn’t particularly spectacular. It was interesting to note that Hamilton was just responding to Rosberg when he needed to, just ensuring that he kept him at arm’s length outside DRS range. On average Nico spent the race 2s or so behind Lewis. Now that is managing the gap. I suspect Lewis doesn’t want to show his hand given that Rosberg would be downloading data as much as he can. Still, I believe Nico needed a win today to start on the front foot and help him psychologically after the past two years. Surprised Ferrari had the legs on Williams, even though Vettel was fuel saving heavily towards the end. Mclaren Honda… Oh dear. What a shambles. Fernando what have you done. Jenson must be wishing he’d retired at the end of last year.

  10. Kudos to all the rookies, they did great.

    We’re not going to see a lot of interesting racing between the different teams this season, so I have my hopes high for the various intra-team battles.

    1. Yeah right, amidst all the engine saving and all the other shenanigans…

      The V6s killed F1, as professed. Or will kill it or whatever. I’m not halfway as interested in it as I was two or three years ago, and certainly not interested enough to pay for it.

  11. So HOW is Bernie going to get Alonso into Rosberg’s car? Don’t go out alone, Nico…

    1. Seriously if this was Webber we would see Webber 20 secs down the road. Nico is doing just fine. Alo is not getting any younger, he can work with Mclaren with his 3 year deal.

      1. Matthew Coyne
        15th March 2015, 10:42

        The only reason for that is because Vettel used to drive the balls off the car every weekend. Lewis paced himself for the whole race he clearly had several tenths in the bag to use at his will – the gap could easily have been massive if Lewis had wanted to make it so.

  12. I’m still not sure why the FIA left Verstappen’s car on the inside of the final turn. The velocities there are low, but still I would say it was in a dangerous location. With Bianchi’s accident in mind, this would have been the perfect opportunity to throw in a virtual safety car.

    1. I was more concerned that the marshall asked him to return to the garage by walking down the pit entry.

      1. They waved yellows for him whilst he returned to the pits.

        Also, not shown on tv, but if the camera man zoomed out a tad more you’d see the slip lane only a few metres away where the V8Sc pit lane is. He walked down that, no cars go there.

    2. @andae23 the same goes for Raikkonen’s Ferrari.

  13. As much as I love to see Ferrari performing great, I restrain myself from being too optimistic!

    First, I believe that Vettel’s Ferrari was no more faster than Massa’s Williams! It wasn’t slower, but not fast enough to overtake (actually on the first stint before the pit stop Massa seemed to have the upperhand) and Vettel had to use a very wise pit-stop strategy to get ahead.

    And we all know that Bottas had a problematic qualy yesterday and was unable to start the race today. Red Bull’s pace is currently disastrous, but you can never count Red Bull out, if Renault finds a way around their reliability issues then Red Bull will be back in the race.

    Even though there are great positive signs for Ferrari like Kimi would have finished 5th if it wasn’t for the second unsafe-pit-release (even after the disastrous 1st pit stop Kimi was still able to make a solid 5th), I expect better fights coming their way

    1. The Ferarri seemed to suffer behind the ‘dirty’ air of the Williams. but you’re right, not much to separate the 2

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