Nico Rosberg reeled off a brilliant victory for Mercedes GP at the 2014 Formula 1 season opener in Melbourne, Australia. The German, along with his Finnish father Keke, are now the only father-son combo to have won the Australian Grand Prix, with the 1982 champion winning in Adelaide in 1985 – the last of his five wins.
Home hero and new Red Bull recruit Daniel Ricciardo passed the chequered flag almost 25 seconds back, while McLaren rookie Kevin Magnussen took the last podium spot in his F1 debut. It was smiles all around, until the Aussie was disqualified from the 2014 Australian GP over a fuel-flow issue over five hours after the flag dropped.
That promoted young Magnussen up to second place and his teammate Jenson Button to third. The 21-year-old’s podium visit makes him the first Danish driver in F1 history to score a podium finish (his dad Jan’s best effort was a sixth place in 1998). Incidentally, his second also beats Lewis Hamilton’s debut result (third in 2007).
Speaking of the 2008 world champion, the Briton endured a horrid race, retiring just a few laps from the start with engine problems. He at least walked away with another pole under his belt (giving him 32 in total), while four-time champ Sebastian Vettel left Australia with nothing. Vettel, by the way, has 45 pole positions under his name.
What he doesn’t have, or rather no longer has a claim to, is the record of being the youngest driver ever to score championship points. That now belongs to Russian Daniil Kvyat, who collected two points for finishing in ninth place in his F1 debut with Toro Rosso. He’s just 19 years old. Now, what have you done when you were that old/young?
In the constructors’ championship, McLaren’s two-three gives it the lead with 33 points, ahead of Mercedes with 25. Ferrari – with Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen finishing in fourth and seventh – has 18, while Valtteri Bottas’ heroic fifth place leaves Williams fourth overall with 10 points. Force India and Toro Rosso’s drivers all finished in the points, giving them nine and six points each.