Motorsport
Hamilton cruises to victory in Australia
MOTORSPORT

Hamilton cruises to victory in Australia

Only 11 drivers finished the Australian Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton clinched victory on Sunday.

Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton clinched the Australian Grand Prix in rather comfortable fashion in Melbourne on Sunday.

The Mercedes driver, on pole for the Formula One season opener, was tested by team-mate Nico Rosberg before winning by 1.360 seconds at the Albert Park circuit.

Rosberg threatened Hamilton throughout the 58-lap race, but the Brit maintained close to a two-second advantage for large parts.


Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel finished third ahead of Williams' Felipe Massa in a race that saw just 11 drivers complete the distance.

Sauber's Felipe Nasr was a surprise in fifth, with Williams' Valtteri Bottas (lower back injury), McLaren's Kevin Magnussen (engine) and Red Bull's Daniil Kvyat (suspected gearbox problem) joining Manor Marussia in failing to start.


WHERE THE RACE WAS WON
After an early safety car, Hamilton managed to put a gap on Rosberg - and it was one that would be mostly maintained. When Hamilton emerged in front after the pit stops - with both he and Rosberg on one-stop strategies - his victory was never in doubt.


OFF TO A FLYER
Sauber's Felipe Nasr was involved in the incident that led to Pastor Maldonado's spin at turn two, but only after he had flown from 10th on the grid into the top six. On resumption, he made a move on Carlos Sainz - his flying start completed to be sitting fifth.


HOT LAP
With Rosberg pushing, Hamilton delivered a 1:31.023 on lap 49 and then bettered that on the next lap with a 1:30.945. His lead had been pulled back to within 1.5 seconds, but he stretched it back to 2.4 on his way to seeing out victory.


RACE TO FORGET
It was perhaps no surprise that, other than those who failed to start, Maldonado was the first to crash out. He started ninth and got to turn two before spinning, but he was unfortunate after an incident involving Raikkonen, Sainz and Nasr.


RACE STAT TO REMEMBER
There were three drivers – Sauber duo Nasr and Marcus Ericsson and Toro Rosso's Sainz - who clinched their maiden points in F1.


IN THE POINTS
1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) +1.3s
3. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) +34.5
4. Felipe Massa (Williams) +38.1
5. Felipe Nasr (Sauber) +95.1
6. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) 1L
7. Nico Hulkenberg (Force India) 1L
8. Marcus Ericsson (Sauber) 1L
9. Carlos Sainz Jnr (Toro Rosso) 1L
10. Sergio Perez (Force India) 1L


TITLE STANDINGS
1. Lewis Hamilton 25
2. Nico Rosberg 18 (+7)
3. Sebastian Vettel 15 (+10)
4. Felipe Massa 12 (+13)
5. Felipe Nasr 10 (+15)

1. Mercedes 43
2. Ferrari 15 (+28)
3. Sauber 14 (+29)
4. Williams 12 (+31)
5. Red Bull 8 (+35)


NEXT UP
Malaysia is the next top on the calendar on March 29, and the focus for most will be just getting their cars out on the track. Manor Marussia have the most work to do, while struggling McLaren could have Fernando Alonso back in their seat.

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