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.
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)