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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 October 2018

Lewis Hamilton wins Australian GP; Sebastian Vettel nabs podium for Ferrari as only 11 finish

In the season's first F1 race that started with just 15 cars in Melbourne on Sunday, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg went 1-2 with ease, Hamilton edging his teammate with little trouble.
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning the F1 season-opening Australian Grand Prix on Sunday in Melbourne. William West / AFP / March 14, 2015
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning the F1 season-opening Australian Grand Prix on Sunday in Melbourne. William West / AFP / March 14, 2015

Lewis Hamilton begins the 2015 Formula One season as he ended his 2014 title winning campaign by triumphing in the Australian Grand Prix today for the 34th triumph of his career.

The double world champion led home his Mercedes-GP teammate Nico Rosberg for a one-two finish as the German team dominated in Melbourne.

While Hamilton’s lead was never more than 3.5 seconds over Rosberg, he was never truly threatened by the German, as he picked up his seventh win in eight races stretching back to Italy last September.

Best of the rest was Sebastian Vettel, who took third place on his debut for Ferrari ahead of the Williams of Felipe Massa.

Arguably the star of the day was Sauber’s Felipe Nasr, who was fifth on his F1 debut, ahead of Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull Racing car, and Nico Hulkenberg’s Force India.

Sauber, who had struggled with legal problems due to a contract row with Giedo van der Garde at the start of the weekend, had both cars in the points as Marcus Ericsson was eighth, ahead of the Toro Rosso of F1 debutant Carlos Sainz Jr.

Sergio Perez’s Force India completed the top 10, with Jenson Button’s struggling McLaren the last car classified in 11th.

Only 15 cars had started the race, the lowest number since the infamous United States Grand Prix of 2005 when only six cars had begun.

Neither Manor car competed, having not set a lap time in either practice or qualifying, while Daniil Kvyat’s Red Bull and Kevin Magnussen’s McLaren both broke down on their reconnaissance laps on their way to the starting grid.

Valtteri Bottas, the Williams driver, had also missed the race due to a back injury suffered in qualifying.

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