The first round of the new F1 championship was full of surprises and notable for new names breaking through into the front ranks.
There were many standout drives, but who was your Driver of the Day?
The 28 year old German took his fourth Grand Prix win with a dominant drive, set up by a perfect start from 3rd on the grid. With team mate Hamilton sidelined early, Rosberg had no challengers and was able to control the pace of the race.
Although the 24 year old was disqualified for a fuel flow infringement on his Red Bull Renault that was beyond his control, he can take a lot of confidence from this performance. He was always competitive in qualifying dry or wet and managed to get the Red Bull to the finish without drama; until the stewards found fault with the team for ignoring their advice and exceeding the flow rate limit.
Said he had to pinch himself to believe that he was in the FIA drivers press conference on Thursday in Melbourne but by Sunday he had become a star in his own right. Stunning in qualifying to grab 4th on the grid, the 21 year old Dane jumped Hamilton at the start and held third comfortably. He challenged Ricciardo at the end for second, but then inherited it anyway when the Aussie was disqualified. Quite a debut!
Jenson Button A tough GP weekend, the first since his father John died. Disappointed in qualifying, but his climb through the field with some inspired decision making on strategy took him ultimately to 4th, which became 3rd and his 50th F1 podium with Ricciardo’s disqualification. Not Button’s best Australian GP and he will be on notice now about Magnussen, but the old grey matter and speed of thought was on show when he pitted 6 seconds after the Safety Car was announced – that move gained him 3 places!
The Finn in the Williams was hard to take your eyes away from. He rose from 15th on the grid to 6th, before making an unforced error and tagging the wall. It punctured his tyre and left debris on the track. He dropped to 15th again but the safety car he had caused allowed him to restart in the pack and he fought back up to 6th again at the finish.
The Toro Rosso was competitive in Melbourne and the 19 year old Russian became F1’s youngest ever points scorer with 10th place. On his debut he put together a complete weekend with a strong top 10 qualifying performance and a points finish. A great start to his F1 career.