Melbourne: Germany's Nico Rosberg led from start to finish to win an eventful season-opening Australian Grand Prix Sunday as world champion Sebastian Vettel and pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton were both early casualties. Mercedes' Rosberg beat Australian Daniel Ricciardo, who placed second in his first drive for Red Bull, with McLaren debutant Kevin Magnussen impressively taking third in an exhilarating race in Melbourne. But there was no joy for Vettel, the four-time defending world champion, and Mercedes' Hamilton who both dropped out early with mechanical problems.
At the start, Rosberg swept to the front from third on the grid and he safely held Ricciardo at bay by 24.5 seconds to give Mercedes, who are already looking dominant, the first win of the season. It was Rosberg's fourth GP win and his first since Silverstone last year. But while Mercedes were celebrating Rosberg's triumph, they lost Hamilton on the fourth lap with mechanical problems. Vettel also went out early, his first retirement since last year's British GP. (Racecentre | Click here for latest on F1)
McLaren's Jenson Button was fourth with Ferrari's Fernando Alonso fifth, Valtteri Bottas sixth for Williams and Force India's Hulkenberg finished seventh. Fourteen cars of the 22 finished the race, which had its hair-raising moments on the opening lap.