F1: Rosberg fierce in Australia and McLaren is back!

A new era of Formula 1 racing has begun

All of the F1 offseason speculation is over and the first race is in the books.

At the season opener in Melbourne, Nico Rosberg took the checkered flag, both McLaren machines finished in the points, and the 21 year old rookie Kevin Magnussen finished third but ended up in second.  Daniel Riccardio, the new Red Bull driver took second place on the track with a fantastic performance, but was disqualified for violating the new fuel flow rules.   That disqualification means that McLaren took two podium spots and leads the constructors cup after the first F1 race.

Nico Rosberg

Nico Rosberg takes the 2014 Australian Grand Prix

The two former champions driving for Ferrari had a good day, finishing in the top 10.   In one of the seasons great stories, fans are watching to see who will emerge as the #1 driver.  Round 1 goes to Fernando Alonso, who finished 7th, 3 spots ahead of teammate Kimi Raikkonen.

The tale of two Mercedes

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Pole winner Lewis Hamilton had a terribly disappointing day, but teammate Nico Rosberg made a brilliant move at the start of the race to take the lead and go on to dominate the day for Mercedes AMG.   Following a very successful offseason and practice rounds, Rosberg continued to master the new car in Australia.   Hamilton, on the other hand, had difficulties from the start and retired after lap 5, finishing 20th.

F1: Mercedes Hamilton and Rosberg poised for strong start

The exciting rookie finds the podium

isportsweb pointed out in the offseason that the environment was full of opportunity for the rookies, claiming it was “perfect timing for a new entrant.”  That turned out to be the case as the 21 year old rookie Kevin Magnussen from McLaren Mercedes found the podium in his first Formula 1 race.   What an amazing career start for the youngster.   Great for McLaren; great for the sport; and great for the kid.   We’ll be looking to see more from him in his first F1 campaign.

F1: perfect timing for a new entrant

Another rookie,  the Russian Daniil Kvayt, finished 10th, also gaining points in his first ever F1 race.   He demonstrated great poise beyond his years as he passed former champion and veteran Kimi Raikkonen late in the race.  We’re excited to see what Kvayt can do this year, especially in the inaugural race in Russia.  The third rookie in the field , Marcus Ericsson dropped out after 29 laps.

Red Bull has a disastrous day

Reigning four time champion, Sebastian Vettel retired one lap after Hamilton to finish 19th.   Similar to the Mercedes story, however, Red Bulls #2 driver Daniel Riccardio performed wonderfully, finished second, and celebrated on the podium.  Within moments, though, the FIA disqualified Riccardio for consistently exceeded the new maxiumum fuel flow rule.   Vettel was heard over the radio early on telling his team the new engine was not running smoothly.   So, following a very challenging set of offseason practices, Red Bull and Vettel’s early troubles continue.   Adrian Newey had told us in the offseason that they chose to focus on last years car, and likely got started on this years version a little later than everyone else.   It was a trade off that obviously paid off last year as Vettel took the last eight races and his fourth championship.  Now we’re seeing the downside of the tradeoff as they clearly have a lot to figure out.  One car failed to finish and the other was disqualified.

McLaren is back!

In contrast to the feast or famine results for Mercedes and Red Bull, both of McLarens drivers finished the race in the top 5, scored constructors points, and put themselves at the top of the team standings.   Due to Riccardio’s disqualification, McLaren’s day got even better and they officially took 2nd and 3rd.   McLaren’s last F1 constructors championship was in 1998, and everyone wants to see them compete.   With zero podium finishes in 2013, this was a fantastic start for fan favorite Jensen Button (3rd) and the exciting rookie Kevin Magnussen (2nd).   McLaren is back!

Brilliant coverage by the NBC team

As always, the NBC F1 coverage in the United States was phenomenal.    Leigh Diffey, Steve Matchett, Will Buxton, and the great David Hobbs were informative, exciting, and captured the essence of the excitement in Melbourne with their extended first race coverage.   A favorite moment was when Hamilton refused to bring the car in and the crew described it as a “ballsy” move.   They also revealed that Riccardio chose #3 because he was “a big fan of Dale Earnhardt”.   Thank you all for a great kickoff.  Your audience is looking forward to a season that matches the opener in energy and excitement.

We’ll see you in Malaysia on March 30th!

The full results were as follows:

2014   Australian Grand Prix    –  Formula One World Championship
Mar 16  –  Albert Park  –  58 laps  –  191 miles  (From Google)
Leaderboard – Final Points Time/Lag Avg. mph
1
 Nico Rosberg – Mercedes
25 1:32:58.710 195.058
2
 Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull
18 +24.525 Sec 194.204
3
    Kevin Magnussen – McLaren
15 +26.777 Sec 194.126
4
 Jenson Button – McLaren
12 +30.027 Sec 194.014
5
 Fernando Alonso – Ferrari
10 +35.284 Sec 193.832
6
 Valtteri Bottas – Williams
8
+47.639 Sec
193.407
7
 Nico Hulkenberg – Force India
6
+50.718 Sec
193.301
8
 Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari
4
+57.675 Sec
193.062
9
 Jean-Eric Vergne – Toro Rosso
2
+1:00.441 Sec
192.967
10
     Daniil Kvyat – Toro Rosso
1
+1:03.585 Sec
192.86
11
 Sergio Perez – Force India
0
+1:25.916 Sec
192.1
12
 Adrian Sutil – Sauber
0
-
191.357
13
 Esteban Gutierrez – Sauber
0
-
191.148
14
 Max Chilton – Marussia
0
-
187.463
15
 Jules Bianchi – Marussia
0
-
164.917
16
 Romain Grosjean – Lotus
0
-
188.967
17
 Pastor Maldonado – Lotus
0
-
183.506
18
     Marcus Ericsson – Caterham
0
-
181.792
19
 Sebastian Vettel – Red Bull
0
-
167.275
20
 Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes
0
-
184.974
21
 Felipe Massa – Williams
0
-
-
22
 Kamui Kobayashi – Caterham
0
-

Next, while the world’s eyes are on the search for the Malaysian airline plane that disappeared a week ago, F1 prepares for their next race there on March 30th.

 

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