Latest News / Feature

Australia analysis - Mercedes the masters of a hi-tech triumph

17 Mar 2014

F1 racing’s new era debuted in glorious fashion in Melbourne on Sunday, with its teams and drivers serving up a master class on how to combine cutting-edge hybrid technology with superb sporting spectacle. After scare stories suggesting few would finish, 15 of the 22 starters were running at the end of a thrilling and competitive Australian Grand Prix, won in some style by Nico Rosberg and Mercedes. We take a team-by-team look back on Sunday's action in Albert Park...


Nico Rosberg, P1

Lewis Hamilton, retired lap 3, engine

Rosberg pounced straight into the lead and never looked back, troubled only by a minor spell of front tyre graining during his middle stint and a recalcitrant left front wheel during his second pit stop. Otherwise, the Mercedes F1 W05 was in a class of its own and he won as he pleased without any undue fuel consumption concerns. Hamilton’s car, however, faded immediately after lapsing on to five cylinders, and he was an early retirement.

Red Bull

Daniel Ricciardo, disqualified

Sebastian Vettel, retired lap 4, engine

Ricciardo got the drop on the troubled Hamilton at the start and retained second place to the flag, challenged only by Magnussen at times. His performance underlined the terrific turnaround wrought by Red Bull and Renault since the Bahrain tests, and made him the only Australian ever to finish on the podium in his home Grand Prix. Vettel, meanwhile, lost boost on the grid formation lap and was an early retirement with engine problems after four laps. Sadly, late in the evening Ricciardo was disqualified as his car had been flowing fuel at an illegal rate.


Kevin Magnussen, P2

Jenson Button, P3

After a super-confident debut by Magnussen saw the rookie become the first Dane ever to stand on a podium, and great pit work which helped Button to climb from ninth to sixth, and then sixth to fourth at the flag, McLaren lead the constructors’ championship. They also cured their podium drought. They might not be as quick as Mercedes, but their pace was up there with all of the others.


Fernando Alonso, P4

Kimi Raikkonen, P7

Ferrari had another disappointing start to a season, with Alonso unable to do better than fifth and Raikkonen struggling to eighth on the road. The Spaniard had problems with his MGU-K in the first 10 laps before he was able to reset it, and later lucked in during his second pit stop when he was able to jump Hulkenberg. Raikkonen went off the road trying unsuccessfully to stay in front of Bottas, but was able to pass brake-limited Vergne in the closing stages.


Valtteri Bottas, P5

Felipe Massa, retired lap 1, accident with Kobayashi

The race promised so much for Williams, but the incident with Kobayashi removed Massa straight away, and Bottas spoiled his chances by tapping a wall on the 10th lap and having to pit for a fresh right rear tyre. His comeback drive from 16th was one of the race’s highlights.

Force India

Nico Hulkenberg, P6

Sergio Perez, P10

Hulkenberg again excelled, holding off Alonso for fourth for many laps and only losing out to the Ferrari driver in the final pit stops. Perez got tangled up with Gutierrez early on and had to creep pitward with a puncture, and could only recover to 11th at the flag.

Toro Rosso

Jean-Eric Vergne, P8

Daniil Kvyat, P9

Toro Rosso had a great race, with Vergne and Kvyat always in the fight for points. But for brake problems towards the end the Frenchman might have finished higher than his ninth on the road. Kvyat impressed greatly on his debut with a confident and quick run to 10th at the flag, making him the youngest F1 points scorer in history.


Adrian Sutil, P11

Esteban Gutierrez, P12

Sauber had a tough race, with Gutierrez being spun out early on by Perez, and the pair of them battling over 12th place during the second half.


Max Chilton, P13

Jules Bianchi, not classified

Chilton’s MR03 stalled as he tried to leave for the grid formation lap, due to a clutch fault. Then Bianchi’s car discharged its main batteries at the start, necessitating it being aborted. Both started from the pit lane, but the Frenchman lost six laps having his batteries recharged and was not classified.


Marcus Ericsson, retired lap 28, oil pressure

Kamui Kobayashi, retired lap 1, accident with Massa

Kobayashi made a great start and then a spectacular departure from the race in the space of a few metres, when he was caught out by rear brake failure as he ran alongside Bottas before brushing Raikkonen’s Ferrari and then ramming the back of Massa’s Williams. Ericsson at one stage ran 11th before the deployment of the safety car allowed faster but delayed rivals to haul him in. He retired when sensors warned Renault’s engineers of fading oil pressure.


Romain Grosjean, retired lap 44, MGU-K failure

Pastor Maldonado, retired lap 30, MGU-K failure

Grosjean started from the pit lane after some significant changes were made to his E22 in parc ferme. He and Maldonado began carving their way up through the field, but both were stopped by MGU-K failures.