Nico Rosberg has won the opening grand prix in australia after seening off the challenge from teammate Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel who finished second and third respectively on the podium. The first grand prix weekend of the season has produced so much with new qualifying rules coming in and getting scrapped to terrible accident, surprising start but in the end normal order resumed with last year’s top three making it to the first podium of the season.
Lewis Hamilton who started in pole position lost his place to Vettel who overtook him at the start of the race while Kimi Raikonnen also made a superb start taking Ferrari to early lead. But Fernando Alonso’s crash changed the theme of the day as the race was halted with a the red flag and Mercedes took full advantage of that getting back in front after the race was resumed.
The highlight of the race was the start and of course the terrible accident in 18th lap when Fernando Alonso hit Esteban Gutierrez from behind resulting in Alonso’s car going haywire and flipping couple of times in air before crashing into hoardings. Thankfully he escaped injury free and race was resumed after a short delay.
Although red flag break pretty spoiled Ferrari’s chances who lost their advantage once the race got underway. Kimi Raikonnen had to quit with a mechenichal failure while he was making a pit stop to change tyres and in the mean time Lewis Hamilton now on medium-soft tyres raced to second place behind Rosberg.
In the end Mercedes were too strong and too dominant as both Rosberg and Hamilton took control of the race and completed first one-two for Mercedes this season. Sebastian Vettel will be disappointed after such a great start having taken the lead but could only finish third.
Below are the official classification from Australia Grand Prix. Rosber, Hamilton and Vettel taking the podium positions while Ricciaddo finished fourth in his home grand prix followed by Massa and Grosjean into 5th and 6th place respectively.
There have been a few changes ahead of the new season, Teams are allowed to use separate exhaust for Turbine and waste gate after lack of car noises in last couple of seasons. Every driver has been allocated 5 power egines for the course of the season unlike the previous years where drivers had access to 4 engines in a season the changes comes after more grand prixs are added into the F1 calendar.
Australian F1 Grand Prix – Schedule & Time Table:
Its all gets underway on Friday, 18th March with the first of three practice sessions. SkyF1 will have live coverage of each and every sessions throughout the weekend and here is the schedule.
- Practice 1: 18th March @ 1:00 am uk
- Practice 2: 18th March @ 5:15 am uk
- Practice 3: 19th March @ 2:45 am uk
- Qualifying Sessions: 19th March @ 5 am uk
- The Race: 20th March @ 4:30 am uk
Eliminations in qualifying rounds: The biggest change however comes in qualifying sessions where although three qualifying sessions remains but now drivers will be eliminated after every 90 seconds. for example in Qualifying session 1, after 16 minutes last driver will be eliminated followed by another after 90 seconds and so on until 16 driver make it to the Q2.
Title Hopefuls ?: Lewis Hamilton is bookies favourite to go on and win his third successive F1 title, while Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel are the other two who has realistic chance of winning 2016 F1 title. Ferrari has improved alot compared to last season and they will surely give more competition to Mercedes this time around.
Who to watchout for ?: Toro Rosso has been widely tipped to surprise a few people with their incredibly talented driver linup of Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jr. They might be able to break into the top 5 having finished 7th last year. While McLaren with Alonso and Button have the most experience drivers in the lineup and after struggling badly in last two years they might just get back on track and fight on the front rows for most part of this season.