15/03/15 - 07:00
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Australian Grand Prix
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Albert Park • Race
avant-match

LIVE
Race
Australian Grand Prix - 15 March 2015

Australian Grand Prix – Follow this F1 race live with Eurosport. The action starts at 06:00 on 15 March 2015. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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Highlights 
 
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So that's it for this opening race - not a surprising podium, but an eventful weekend all round. See you in a fortnight!

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Sorry for that brief break in coverage - Arnold Schwarzenegger was conducting the post-race interviews and it was the most hilarious thing, and potentially the most entertaining thing, I've seen so far this morning. He and Lewis Hamilton just both said, "I'll be back." That's something I never thought I'd see.

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Arnold Schwarzenegger is conducting the post-race interviews. No, really. Everyone is chanting "Arnie!" and Lewis Hamilton is basically squealing with excitement.

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Lewis Hamilton looks a very happy man as he takes his place on the podium.

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The only man without any points is Jenson Button, who was lapped twice over in his McLaren but finished 11th, at the back of the field. I'd say it's a moral victory for him but not sure that'll be any consolation to him.

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Vettel is congratulated over the radio, and he replies, "Grazie! Forza Ferrari!"

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There's Nasr in fifth for Sauber - good day for him - and sixth for Ricciardo, with Hulkenberg taking that seventh place.

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From pole to the finish line for Hamilton, and the defending champion is up and running for this season. Sebastian Vettel takes third for Ferrari, with Felipe Massa of Williams in fourth.

58/58

And that's a win for Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes! Nico Rosberg coasts to that second place.

57/58 

Hamilton's stretching himself a little bit and seems to be concerned that he has "negative" fuel. His team dismiss the worry, telling him to ignore his dash. If we have our leader drop out in the final lap due to no fuel, that really would take the proverbial biscuit.

56/58 

Neat piece of overtaking from Ericsson there. Really good day for the Saubers after a bizarre week.

55/58 

Look at the gaps among the field, though. It seems so strange to have such a technical gulf between these cars, and that gulf seems to be increasing.

54/58 

Just a second and a half between the Mercs now! Is Rosberg going to make that late dart?

53/58 

Button is clinging on at the back of the field, and asked to "nurse" the car over the finish line.

52/58 

Rosberg is preparing to race now - he's cut a half-second out of Hamilton's lead.

51/58 

Nasr's asked to save his brakes a little - Ricciardo isn't going to catch him, and he's not going to catch Massa.

50/58 

Jenson Button reports "big problems" - there cannot be anyone in the world who doesn't want him to at least finish this race after everything that's happened, both in the past week and the past year.

49/58 

That Sauber's looking good, isn't it? Nasr's holding off Ricciardo with some ease.

48/58 

Two seconds still separating the two Mercs at the front - but remember Rosberg's been told to conserve his fuel for one last burst.

47/58 

Whatever happens in the final ten laps, I think we can all agree that Jenson Button has secured a minor triumph today, managing more than a dozen consecutive turns round the circuit without the car complaining too much.

46/58 

Not sure I've mentioned Nico Hulkenberg so far today. He's into the pits and looking good for a seventh-place finish.

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Massa is praised vociferously by his team over the radio, and he's about two seconds behind Vettel at the moment.

45/58 

He's called into the pits - probably for the best.

44/58 

And now Ericsson is careering across into the gravel.

43/58 

Raikkonen's team told him to stop the car, unsurprisingly, and that explains the sudden pullback on the track.

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Oh! His left rear tyre wasn't on properly when he pulled away from the pits! Watching that pit-stop again, the technicians know that isn't on. Unsafe release - a stop-go penalty in the near future.

42/58 

That was odd. Nasr and Ricciardo moved through as Raikkonen seemed to lose all power and pulled to the side of the track.

41/58 

Kimi Raikkonen has stopped on the track!

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Ricciardo is within half a second of Nasr now. It would be lovely for him to do well at his home race.

40/58 

Perez emerges from the pits at the back of the field after a poor stop.

39/58 

"OK, Daniel. You are faster than Nasr. Let's have it." That's the message over the radio and the Red Bull is about to move in on the Sauber in sixth.

38/58 

Nico Rosberg is advised to hold back a touch for the time being and reserve something for the race's closing stages.

37/58 

Closest call at the moment is the battle for tenth place as Sainz looks to challenge Perez.

36/58 

The crowd are shouting encouraging words to Verstappen as he trudges back to reunite with his team. He doesn't show any sign of hearing any of them.

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Christian Horner, Red Bull's team principal, sounds very downhearted. He thinks that seventh is the best Ricciardo can hope for at the moment. Another ouch.

35/58 

What an absolute shame for Verstappen, driving so well, and let down by the car's power and reliability.

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There certainly is smoke coming from the car - and now Verstappen is parked up by the pit-lane. His dad, Jos, with the team, just turns away from the screens - he can't watch.

34/58 

Verstappen, over the radio, and panicky: "There's smoke in my car!"

33/58 

Much better stop for him than poor Carlos Sainz. He's in ninth now after that, and on fresh rubber.

32/58 

Finally, Max Verstappen is about to head into the pits.

31/58 

Kimi Raikkonen is being encouraged to push on Massa now. Intriguing. There's a sizeable nine-second gap there.

30/58 

Over halfway through now. Apparently Button's team have suggested he try to push his tyres. He informed them in no uncertain terms that he'd been doing that right from the start. Ouch.

29/58 

Vettel is comfortably placed in third now. He won't cut into the Merc advantage but no reason why he shouldn't get himself on the podium.

28/58 

Poor plaintive Jenson Button. He wails about his tyres over the radio as he holds off the back-markers, and then heads into the pit.

27/58 

Verstappen hasn't pitted yet, and Kimi Raikkonen takes advantage of his much fresher tyres to simply fly past him.

26/58 

Hamilton pits, Rosberg is next in, and barring disaster, they'll race to the end now.

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Finally they manage it, and Sainz's tyres squeal as he eventually pulls away.

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Carlos Sainz is in the pit and the left rear tyre just won't come off.

25/58 

Vettel pits, and Massa's team prepare him to race the Ferrari.

24/58 

Massa's trying to dart past him, to no avail, and will be relieved to see him disappear off down the pit-lane.

23/58 

Massa is urged by his team to make a move on Ricciardo as soon as possible.

22/58 

Looks like the Mercs will start lapping the back of the field soon, now their advantage is over 81 seconds...

21/58 

Massa, the sole Williams in the race, is into the pit. It's a much better stop than that dismal Ferrari effort, and he's back on the track in sixth, just tucked between Ricciardo and Sainz.

20/58 

How's the teenager doing, you may be wondering? The answer is - fine. He's in eighth, just behind team-mate Sainz.

19/58 

Raikkonen is the fastest on track now with those fresh tyres.

18/58 

Now 13 seconds between the Mercs and Massa back in third.

17/58 

Not a good pit-stop for Raikkonen there, and apparently a touch of damage to the wing, presumably from that opening lap drama.

16/58 

Massa - still in third - is told by his team that he's doing a great job, as the Mercs disappear off into the distance and Rosberg records the fastest lap so far.

15/58 

A marshal athletically leaps across the track to pick up some of the debris that seems to have been left by Perez.

14/58 

A spin off the track for Perez, but he's back into the race, albeit having lost a lot of time to Button.

13/58 

Poor Jenson Button at the back of the field in that dire car - he's driving defensively and excellently to hold off Perez snapping at his exhaust.

12/58 

A very cheery-sounding Nasr tells his team that his tyres are fine. This is a really impressive display from the Sauber so far.

11/58 

If you're interested in Seb Vettel, he's happily in fourth at the moment, not looking like he's likely to catch Felipe Massa in third yet, but nor likely to be caught by the chasing pack.

10/58 

Rosberg has shaved a second off Hamilton's advantage of a few laps ago.

9/58 

Kimi Raikkonen is closing in on Daniel Ricciardo - and Nasr is holding on comfortably to fifth. That Red Bull isn't looking good.

8/58 

Ricciardo is reporting understeer in the Red Bull. At the front, Nico Rosberg is closing in on his team-mate.

7/58 

Perez has veered off into the gravel but is back on track. He seems to have confused himself trying to tear off his visor.

6/58 

Daniel Ricciardo is slap bang in the middle of this pack at the moment. He's watching Nasr, though, and keeping his distance from Sainz and Raikkonen.

5/58 

Hamilton's nicely extending his lead and recording the fastest lap so far.

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Look at Nasr go! He's past Sainz. Meanwhile, Sergio Perez is being scolded for overtaking while the safety car was out, and has to concede the place back to Ericsson.

4/58 

We're racing!

3/58 

Well, the engines aren't looking good this season, are they? As various commentators have said, it seems odd that last year with the new regs everything held together, and now power is proving a huge problem.

2/58 

And Romain Grosjean's Lotus is out already as well.

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Got to feel bad for Maldonado there. He's been a bit of a standing joke but his pre-season was looking excellent, and that crash wasn't his fault at all.

1/58

The two Ferraris get in each other's way, and Pastor Maldonado - who had such a good few days - is the one who takes the damage, spinning off and into the barriers. The safety car is out already.

05:03

They're lining up and the lights are shining...

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Most of the grid are starting on softs - all the top ten are - and everyone else on mediums.

04:55

Beautiful day in Melbourne, by the way. Apparently there was rain overnight but blue skies above now.

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Daniel Ricciardo won't let his team-mate's troubles affect him. He's doing a spot of galloping to warm up, and looks very ready for this race.

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Jenson Button looks vaguely shellshocked already, and he refuses to be drawn on whether or not his car will even make it to the end of the race.

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It's an engine issue with the McLaren, and a gearbox problem with the Red Bull.

04:45

Ready for the national anthem?

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Looks like Kvyat's car. There are still 20 minutes before this race begins.

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Hang on, there's a Red Bull parked up now. Are we only going to have 15 cars on the grid?

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What an odd season this is already. For those of you asking, no, Bottas can't be replaced by a reserve driver, seeing as he was the one who did all of qualifying, according to the regs as I understand them.

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Oh, what on earth is happening? Kevin Magnussen is parked up on the track, he's leapt out of the car, and there's steam or smoke coming from it.

04:30 

Half an hour to go! The cars are ready to do a spot of parading.

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And yes, without the Manor-Marussias, that means there'll only be 17 cars starting the race.

04:15 

So without Bottas - who, we understand, has an injury to a spinal disc - the front of the grid will look like this: 1 Hamilton, 2 Rosberg, 3 Massa, 4 Vettel, 5 Raikkonen, 6 Ricciardo, 7 Sainz, 8 Grosjean.

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We saw in qualifying yesterday that the Mercedes is looking ominously good already, with that front-row lockout looking very familiar. Meanwhile, some of the other cars are noticeably struggling to find enough power - can they cut in to the Silver Arrows' advantage?

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The first big news of the day is that Valtteri Bottas is not racing. He reported lower back pain yesterday during qualifying and sought medical advice, and that's what's been recommended. Just one Williams on the grid, then.

04:00 

It's 4am in the UK, it's still dark and it's more than a touch chilly...but in Melbourne it's late afternoon and the Formula One season is about to begin. I'm Carrie Dunn and it's almost time for the first race of the season - share your thoughts and predictions with me on Twitter.