Australian Grand Prix 2015 Recap

As expected, Mercedes dominated the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne. Lewis Hamilton won the race and his teammate Nico Rosberg finished second. Sebastian Vettel took the left-over and finished third for his new team, Ferrari. It was a great day for Mercedes, but the other teams had a miserable day as only 11 out of the 15 cars which started the race (there were 18 cars officially on the starting grid) were able to finish it.

Qualifying

Lewis Hamilton made the fastest lap of 1:26.327 in qualifying to claim the pole position for Sunday’s race. This will be the 39th time he’ll be starting a race at the pole. His teammate, Nico Rosberg will take the second spot in the grid after clocking the second fastest time in qualifying which is almost half a second slower than Hamilton’s time. Australian Daniel Ricciardo who won two races last year, will begin on 7th place here. Both McLaren drivers, Magnussen and Button will start at the back of the grid after they both failed to qualify on the second practice run. Manor will not participate in this race after they were unable to participate in the qualifying sessions.

Racing Conditions

The Australian Grand Prix begins at 4pm local time (5am GMT). The weather is usually sunny during this time of the year in Australia which makes it a perfect venue for motorsport’s premier competition. The street track in Albert Park is also in superb condition coming to this race. Everything about the track and setting is great here. However, it’s a totally different story when it comes to the teams as we’ll see later.

The Grid

The Race

There were lots of drama in Melbourne even before the race began. An hour before the race, news broke out that Valterri Bottas of Williams will not be able to race because of a back injury. Just before the race starts, Kevin Magnussen’s car broke down and was filled with smoke. His team then decided not to let him go on with the race. Moments after that, Daniil Kyvat’s car suffered a gearbox problem during the formation lap. He’s now also out of the race even before it begins.

The show went on in Albert Park even with just 15 runners. But things got even worse during the first lap. Kimi Raikonnen’s car got tapped on from behind by Sebastian Vettel (who is his teammate now). This caused a chain reaction which left Pastor Maldonado out of the race. On lap two, Romain Grosjean’s encountered a power problem and the people from Lotus said it’s now over for him. The safety car is in and only 13 cars now remain in the race.

Despite all the misery suffered by the other teams, the Mercedes duo of Hamilton and Rosberg continues their dominance in this race. On lap six, they lead the race respectively followed by Massa on third and Vettel on fourth place. Hamilton’s lead over his teammate at this time is over a couple of seconds.

Kimi Raikonnen made his first stop on lap 17 and it lasted 8.7 seconds. Things have just gotten worse for the Ferrari driver. Hamilton and Rosberg continue to lead. Newcomer, Carlos Sainz of Torro Rosso also had a problem in his first stop during lap 26. It wasted precious seconds away from his time. Hamilton made his first stop during lap 26 and it lasted only 3.3 seconds. Rosberg also made his stop on lap 27 and it was also seamless. Everything on the Mercedes team is working well.

Everything was going well for the youngest driver to compete in an F1 race, Max Verstappen until lap 34. He radioed his team that there was smoke in the car. His power unit has a problem and he’s now out of the race. Kimi Raikonnen made his second stop on lap 42, but didn’t manage to get back to the race. This brought down the number of cars still competing here to just 11.

On the front, it was the same old story of Hamilton and Rosberg taking the lead. Hamilton finally finished the race after lap 58, 1.36 seconds faster than Rosberg. Vettel followed in third and Massa finished fourth. Jenson Button of McLaren finished last in this race.

After Thoughts

After a dominant performance by Mercedes in this race, many F1 experts are now predicting that this year might become a two car race again. The other teams particularly McLaren seem to be unprepared coming to this race. Mercedes, like what many observers say seems to be on a different league at the moment.

This may not be good for F1 which already have so many issues to deal with. Just before the race in Australia, F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone said in an interview that the German Grand Prix will not be held this year. Manor was a no show Australia and FIA officials want to hear an explanation from them.

On March 29, the second race of the season, the Malaysian Grand Prix will take place in Kuala Lumpur. Many expect this race will produce the same results like in Australia.