Mercedes' Nico Rosberg wins the first race of the new Formula One season in Melbourne, while Hamilton and Vettel suffer with engine trouble

Nico Rosberg has won the opening round of the 2014 Formula One World Championship in Melbourne. The Mercedes driver lead for much of the race, in a start to the season which saw many of his top-team rivals plauged by reliability issues.

After an excellent start the German driver quickly moved past the second-place car of Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo to sit directly behind his team mate Lewis Hamilton. Having qualified in pole position, many expected Hamilton to quickly run away with the lead, however the British driver was forced to retire early on during the race with engine troubles. 

Defending World Champion Sebastian Vettel also had a poor start to the season, combined with a qualifying position which left him starting on the sixth row of the grid. The Red Bull driver quickly found engine troubles, and was forced to retire after just five laps.

Elsewhere in the pack, and Kamui Kobayashi only managed a short first race for his return to Formula One, crashing out on the first corner after locking up his front brakes. Kobayashi's Caterham also took out the Williams of Felipe Massa. 

One of the real success stories of today came from McLaren's Kevin Magnussen, who edged out team mate Jenson Button to claim third position on the podium on his F1 race debut. Magnussen recovered from an oversteer situation early on in the race to finish just two seconds behind Daniel Ricciardo. Australian-born Ricciardo became Red Bull's saving grace, finishing some 24 seconds behind Rosberg to take second place.

Williams driver Valterri Bottas weaved through much of the field in the opening stages of the race, working his way up to the leading pack from well down the grid, but suffered a rear puncture on lap 11 after coming into contact with the wall. He was able to re-join the field, eventually finishing in sixth position.

The race also saw early retirements from the twin Lotus' of Jean-Eric Vergne and Pastor Maldonado and the Caterham of Marcus Ericsson.

The next round of the Formula One World Championship takes place in Malaysia on 30 March.

Update: Daniel Ricciardo has since been disqualified from this race due to breaching rules on fuel mass flow. The decision means Jenson Button now moves up to third position.

Results (provisional)

Australian Grand Prix, 16 March 2014

1. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)

2. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) (Disqualified)

3. Kevin Magnussen (McLaren)

4. Jenson Button (McLaren)

5. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)

6. Valterri Bottas (Williams)

7. Nico Hulkenberg (Force India)

8. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)

9. Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso)

10. Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso)

Join the debate


17 March 2014
Yep, another boring,uneventful F1 race,even Kimi got bored and fiddled with his brake balance,then,5 hrs after the race was done, Ricciardo's Fuel rate per hour was too high and of course he got disqualfied!,so, my fellow F1 fans(?) ,what's your take on, race?

Peter Cavellini.

17 March 2014

17 March 2014
But it would be interesting to learn more about Red Bull's disqualification and subsequent appeal. Seems like another season is about to begin with off track squabbles which does the image of the sport no favors.
Watching the race wasn't quite the same with the new generation of quiet powerplants. Maybe they could synthesize some some more exciting engine noises for the TV audience. Practically everything in F1 is artificial anyway - who cares if the engine noise isn't real...

17 March 2014
I can't see Red Bull's appeal working, either. Apparently they were contacted during the race and told that their fuel flow rate was above the allowed amount and given the opportunity to reduce it but chose not to. Red Bull had decided the sensor was faulty and used their own figures to determine fuel amounts but this has to be agreed, ratified etc. and they didn't bother so bye-bye 2nd place.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • First Drive
    21 March 2018
    The new Vantage has been developed as a Porsche 911 beater, and our first taste on UK roads suggests it can live up to that bold claim
  • Nissan Leaf Tekna
    The is the new Nissan Leaf
    First Drive
    21 March 2018
    The new version of the world's best-selling electric car gains a bigger battery and more power. How does it compare to rivals such as the Volkswagen e-Golf?
  • Range Rover p400e
    First Drive
    20 March 2018
    The original luxury SUV is now available as a plug-in hybrid, promising lower emissions and the capacity for silent electric motoring
  • BMW i3s
    Car review
    20 March 2018
    Revised hatchback sets out its range-extended electric stall in a new, sportier tune
  • BMW X2
    This is the new BMW X2
    First Drive
    20 March 2018
    Doesn’t deliver many typical crossover selling points but looks perky, handles keenly and is well capable of winning over your latent cynic