RACING NEWS

Hamilton wins 2015 F1 season opener in Australia

Hamilton wins 2015 F1 season opener in Australia image

Text: Marcus De Guzman / Photos: Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team press | posted March 16, 2015 07:24

Mercedes leads 2015 F1 Constructors' title with 43 points

Reigning F1 champion, Lewis Hamilton just nabbed his first victory of the season at Albert Park Circuit in Melbourne, Australia. Besides winning the opening race, he also managed to record the fastest lap during lap 50 with a time of 1:30.945.

The British racing driver was pleased with the car’s performance as well as with the team.

“It’s quite unbelievable, really, what this team has done. It’s a great feeling to start off the season the way we finished the last and the car is just incredible, so thank you to the team. It was still a tough race, though, as Nico was very quick throughout. It was about managing fuel and also the tyres - trying to see how long we could push them. Once I'd built a two second gap it was about maintaining it. But when Nico turned up the heat it was tough. He drove really well and it's a great result for the team to start the season with a 1-2,” said Hamilton.

Hamilton and Rosberg celebrating their victory

Finishing second place was his teammate Nico Rosberg who had an early problem in the race as he tried to keep Williams driver Felipe Massa from overtaking. In the end, Rosberg was able to finish the race behind Hamilton with a 1.3 second difference.

Landing third place was newly-employed Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel who had a slow start towards Turn 1, allowing teammate Kimi Raikkonen to pull alongside him. Vettel eventually got back into the fray but at a cost as Raikkonen was forced to take the next turn too wide as Vettel clipped the inside line. Raikkonen retired from the race after suffering damages from a collision with Sauber’s Felipe Nasr.

Placed in fourth and fifth were Massa and Nasr while securing sixth and seventh place were Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg. Finishing the race at eighth and ninth place accordingly were Marcus Ericsson from Sauber and Carlos Sainz of Toro Rosso.

In tenth place was Force India driver Sergio Perez who was still able to finish the race after surviving a collision with eleventh place finisher Jenson Button of McLaren who was hounded by a detuned engine.

Rosberg and Vettel

Besides Raikkonen, other drivers that were unable to finish the race were Lotus drivers Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado and Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen. Grosjean suffered a loss in power during the race while Maldonado hit the wall during the first lap as a result of the collision between Nasr and Raikkonen. Verstappen on the other hand had to retire from the race at lap 42 when his STR10 started emitting smoke.

With the win, Hamilton leads with 25 points, while Rosberg and Vettel garner 18 and 15 points, respectively. The 1-2 finish from Mercedes has given the team an early lead in the Constructors’ with 43 points while sitting in second and third place were Ferrari and Sauber who have 15 and 14 points accordingly. The next race will take place on March 29, 2015 at the Sepang Circuit in Malaysia.