Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 3/16/14
A new era of Formula 1 racing has begun All of the F1 offseason changes and speculation about their impact is over and the first race is in the books. At the season opener in Melbourne, Nico Rosberg took the checkered flag, both McLaren machines finished in the points, and the 21 year old rookie Kevin Magnussen ends up in second.  Daniel Riccardio, the new Red Bull driver took second place on the track with a fantastic performance, but was disqualified for violating the new fuel flow rules.   That disqualification means that McLaren took two podium spots and lead the constructors cup after the first F1 race. Nico Rosberg takes the 2014 Australian Grand Prix The two former champions driving for Ferrari had a good day, finishing in the top 10.   In one of the seasons great stories, fans are watching to see who will emerge as the #1 driver.  Round 1 goes to Fernando Alonso, who finished 7th, 3 spots ahead of teammate Kimi Raikkonen. The tale of two Mercedes Pole winner Lewis Hamilton had a terribly disappointing day, but teammate Nico Rosberg made a brilliant move at the start of the race to take the lead and go on to dominate the day for Mercedes AMG.   Following a very successful offseason and practice rounds, Rosberg continued to master the new car in Australia.   Hamilton, on the other hand, had difficulties from the start and retired after lap 5, finishing 20th. The exciting rookie finds the podium isportsweb pointed out in the offseason that the environment was full of opportunity for the rookies, claiming it was “perfect timing for a new entrant.”  That turned out to be the case as the 21 year old rookie Kevin Magnussen from McLaren Mercedes found the podium in his first Formula 1 race.   What an amazing career start for the youngster.   Great for McLaren; great for the sport; and great for the kid.   We’ll be looking to see more from him in his first F1 campaign. Another rookie,  the Russian Daniil Kvayt, finished 10th, also gaining points in his first ever F1 race.   He demonstrated great poise beyond his years as he passed former champion and veteran Kimi Raikkonen late in the race.  We’re excited to see what Kvayt can do this year, especially in the inaugural race in Russia.  The third rookie in the field , Marcus Ericsson dropped out after 29 laps. Red Bull has a disastrous day Reigning four time champion, Sebastian Vettel retired one lap after Hamilton to finish 19th.   Similar to the Mercedes story, however, Red Bulls #2 driver Daniel Riccardio performed wonderfully, finished second, and celebrated on the podium.  Within moments, though, the FIA disqualified Riccardio for consistently exceeded the new maxiumum fuel flow rule.   Vettel was heard over the radio early on telling his team the new engine was not running smoothly.   So, following a very challenging set of offseason practices, Red Bull and Vettel’s early troubles continue.   Adrian Newey had told us in the offseason that they chose to focus on last years car, and likely got started on this years version a little later than everyone else.   It was a trade off that obviously paid off last year as Vettel took his eight championship.  Now we’re seeing the downside of the tradeoff as they clearly have a lot to figure out.  One car failed to finish and the other was disqualified. McLaren is back! In contrast to the feast or famine results for Mercedes and Red Bull, both of McLarens drivers finished the race in the top 5, scored constructors points, and put themselves at the top of the team standings.   Due to Riccardio’s disqualification, McLaren’s day got even better and they officially took 2nd and 3rd.   McLaren’s last F1 constructors championship was in 1998, and everyone wants to see them compete.   With zero podium finishes in 2013, this was a fantastic start for fan favorite Jensen Button (3rd) and the exciting rookie Kevin Magnussen (2nd).   McLaren is back! Brilliant coverage by the NBC team As always, the NBC F1 coverage in the United States was phenomenal.    Leigh Diffey, Steve Matchett, Will Buxton, and the great David Hobbs were informative, exciting, and captured the essence of the excitement in Melbourne with their extended first race coverage.   A favorite moment was when Hamilton refused to bring the car in and the crew described it as a “ballsy” move.   They also revealed that Riccardio chose #3 because he was “a big fan of Dale Earnhardt”.   Thank you all for a great kickoff.  Your audience is looking forward to a season that matches the opener in energy and excitement. We’ll see you in Malaysia on March 30th! The full results were as follows: 2014   Australian Grand Prix    -  Formula One World Championship Mar 16  -  Albert Park  -  58 laps  -  191 miles  (From Google) Leaderboard – Final Points Time/Lag Avg. mph 1  Nico Rosberg - Mercedes 25 1:32:58.710 195.058 2  Daniel Ricciardo - Red Bull 18 +24.525 Sec 194.204 3     Kevin Magnussen - McLaren 15 +26.777 Sec 194.126 4  Jenson Button - McLaren 12 +30.027 Sec 194.014 5  Fernando Alonso - Ferrari 10 +35.284 Sec 193.832 6  Valtteri Bottas - Williams 8 +47.639 Sec 193.407 7  Nico Hulkenberg - Force India 6 +50.718 Sec 193.301 8  Kimi Raikkonen - Ferrari 4 +57.675 Sec 193.062 9  Jean-Eric Vergne - Toro Rosso 2 +1:00.441 Sec 192.967 10      Daniil Kvyat - Toro Rosso 1 +1:03.585 Sec 192.86 11  Sergio Perez - Force India 0 +1:25.916 Sec 192.1 12  Adrian Sutil - Sauber 0 - 191.357 13  Esteban Gutierrez - Sauber 0 - 191.148 14  Max Chilton - Marussia 0 - 187.463 15  Jules Bianchi - Marussia 0 - 164.917 16  Romain Grosjean - Lotus 0 - 188.967 17  Pastor Maldonado - Lotus 0 - 183.506 18      Marcus Ericsson - Caterham 0 - 181.792 19  Sebastian Vettel - Red Bull 0 - 167.275 20  Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes 0 - 184.974 21  Felipe Massa - Williams 0 - - 22  Kamui Kobayashi - Caterham 0 - Next, while the world’s eyes are on the search for the Malaysian airline plane that disappeared a week ago, F1 prepares for their next race there on March 30th.   Related articles: F1: Mercedes Hamilton and Rosberg poised for strong start F1: Magnussen / McLaren early success F1: testing in Bahrain day 1 F1: Ferrari’s dream team… #kimando F1: why the US has the fastest growing viewership in Formula 1 F1: perfect timing for a new entrant F1: 2014 Formula 1 Schedule   The post F1: Rosberg fierce in Australia and McLaren is back! appeared first on isportsweb.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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