We looks at the movers and shakers on the grid after the first F1 race of the season in Australia.
Ferrari launched a surprise attack on Mercedes at the start of the first F1 race of 2016. The silver cars responded and Nico Rosberg opened his account with a victory.
But which drivers stood out in the Australian Grand Prix? Here’s our verdict on their efforts.
1 – Romain Grosjean
Lucked in with his strategy as he was able to make his single mandatory tyre change during the race stoppage. But he skilfully managed his tyres for the rest of the race under pressure from drivers in much quicker cars to score a dream result of sixth for new team Haas.
2 – Sebastian Vettel
Aside from an inconsequential error while hunting Hamilton at the end, Vettel wrung the maximum from the Ferrari, made a blistering start and looked on course to win until the team made a strategic mis-step. Came third.
after fighting back to make podium – Reuters
3 – Lewis Hamilton
Clearly the quicker of the two Mercedes drivers, Hamilton paid a high price for a slightly poor start. An opportunistic pass on Massa put him on course for a damage-limiting second place.
4 – Daniel Ricciardo
As expected, Toro Rosso out-qualified their parent team Red Bull. But Ricciardo’s cool-headed experience prevailed in the race as he finished fourth. His late-braking move on Hulkenberg at turn three was a highlight.
5 – Nico Rosberg
His 15th career win was surely his easiest: the lead fell into his hands after being out-paced by Hamilton all weekend.
6 – Nico Hulkenberg
Despite being on harder tyres he brilliantly passed Ricciardo on the outside of turn 12 on the first lap. He soon lost the place though and took little strategic benefit from starting on the soft rubber. Ran to the end on mediums but couldn’t pass Grosjean.
7 – Fernando Alonso
It was an encouraging first weekend for McLaren up until Alonso’s shocking crash: He got his car into the top 10 at the start and was in the hunt for points .
8 – Kimi Raikkonen
Not on a par with Vettel in qualifying but his race was starting to look interesting as he ran a longer opening stint which might have brought him into play later on. However he retired shortly after the race suspension, keeping his trademark cool as his car’s airbox belched flames.
9 – Max Verstappen
Only out-qualified by the Mercedes and Ferraris and kept Hamilton at bay early on. But he was poorly served by the Toro Rosso pit wall and seemed to have let his obvious frustration get the better of him when he spun trying to pass his team-mate.
10 – Felipe Massa
Beat Bottas in qualifying but looked ragged at the start of the race and wasn’t able to contain Hamilton. Fifth flattered him somewhat as he lost almost a minute to the front runners over 38 laps at the end of the race.
The rest of the grid
• 11 – Carlos Sainz Jnr
• 12 – Jolyon Palmer
• 13 – Kevin Magnussen
• 14 – Valtteri Bottas
• 15 – Jenson Button
• 16 – Pascal Wehrlein
• 17 – Marcus Ericsson
• 18 – Sergio Perez
• 19 – Esteban Gutierrez
• 20 – Felipe Nasr
• 21 – Rio Haryanto
• 22 – Daniil Kvyat