2015 Australian Grand Prix Results
As usual, the 2015 Grand Prix season started off with the Australian Grand Prix. Last season, it was Nico Rosberg who surprisingly won in the opening race in Melbourne and reigning champion Lewis Hamilton did not finish the race. Eyes were on Mercedes and defending World Drivers’ Champion Lewis Hamilton, to see whether they can replicate their domination again this season. Fans were also looking at Sebastian Vettel, for his debut as a Ferrari driver. There were several new drivers who raced in Melbourne: Carlos Sainz Jr. (Toro Rosso), Max Verstappen (Toro Rosso), Will Stevens (Manor Marussia), Roberto Mehi (Manor Marussia) and Felipe Nasr (Sauber). In fact, Felipe Nasr became the youngest F1 driver in history. Fernando Alonso was unable to race in Melbourne due to an accident during pre-season testing, Kevin Magnussen will take his place until he is cleared by doctors.
The weekend in Melbourne started out with team Manor Marussia (last season Marussia) unable to participate in the qualifying rounds, because their cars failed to start. This left 18 cars in the qualifying rounds. Hamilton dominated all three qualifying rounds; he posted the fastest lap times for all three rounds. McLaren cars struggled, which was expected, since they were unable to test their cars properly pre-season. Hamilton took pole position, followed by Rosberg, Felipe Massa, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen. On race day, Valtteri Bottas was not allowed to start, after suffering back pain during qualifying. He had qualified in 6th place on the grid and due to his inability to start, all drivers moved up one grid space for the race.
The Grand Prix race started with Daniil Kvyat and Kevin Magnussen out of the race, as their cars stalled on the way to the grid – a sad start to the season for Red Bull and McLaren. This left just 15 cars on the grid! Hamilton started clean from pole position, leading from the start. However, behind him, Raikkonen was touched from behind and started a chain reaction, which knocked out Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado. The safety car was deployed and new-comer Felipe Nasr was reprimanded for overtaking behind the safety car – he had to give up the space later.
Hamilton remained in the lead, with team mate Rosberg right on his tail – by lap 11, it is Hamilton, Rosberg, Massa, Vettel and Nasr. Lap 14 saw Sergio Perez spin out in a turn, because of Jenson Button, yet both drivers are able to continue the race. By halfway through the race, Hamilton had increased his lead to 3.6 seconds over Rosberg. Newcomer Max Verstappen had been looking strong, until his car developed problems with the power unit right after a pit stop and he was out of the race in lap 32. Raikkonen had also been looking strong, but had to retire in lap 40 with wheel problems. This retirement left only 11 cars in the race! In the end no one could catch Hamilton, who took the chequered flag, followed by Rosberg and Vettel.
With one race completed, Hamilton leads in the Drivers’ Championship standings with 25 points – a good start for the reigning champion. He is followed by Rosberg with 18 points and Vettel with 15 points. Eight drivers scored no points in Melbourne.
For the Constructors’ Championship standings, Mercedes leads with their 1-2 finish in Australia and 43 points. Ferrari is in second place with 15 points, followed closely by Sauber with 14 points. Two teams scored no points in Melbourne, McLaren-Honda and Manor Marussia.
Full Race Results
- Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:31:54.067s
- Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) +1.360s
- Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) +34.523s
- Felipe Massa (Williams-Mercedes) +38.196s
- Felipe Nasr (Sauber-Ferrari) +1:35.149s
- Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull-Renault) +1 lap
- Nico Hülkenberg (Force India-Mercedes) +1 lap
- Marcus Ericsson (Sauber-Ferrari) +1 lap
- Carlos Sainz Jr. (Toro Rosso-Renault) +1 lap
- Sergio Perez (Force India-Mercedes) +1 lap
- Jenson Button (McLaren-Honda) +2 laps
Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) retired, lap 40
Max Verstappen (Toro Rosso-Renault) retired, lap 32
Romain Grosjean (Lotus-Mercedes) retired, lap 1
Pastor Maldonado (Lotus-Mercedes) retired, lap 1
Daniil Kvyat (Red Bull-Renault) DNS
Kevin Magnussen (McLaren-Honda) DNS
Valtteri Bottas (Williams-Mercedes) DNS
- Both Daniil Kvyat and Kevin Magnussen cars stalled on the way to the starting grid.
- Valtteri Bottas was not cleared by FIA to start the race after injuring his back during qualifying.