Rosberg wins in Australia: How it happened

After many months of waiting it’s finally race day! The 2016 Formula 1 season got underway in Melbourne, and this is how the action unfolded.

15:05 – And as the champagne begins to flow after a super start to the season, that’s it from us. See you in Bahrain.

15:00 – You wouldn’t believe it, but Rosberg and Hamilton have embraced and are all smiles.

14:58 – It’s a Mercedes 1-2, but it’s Haas F1 who may have the biggest celebrations after securing sixth spot in their first race – incredible stuff!

14:56- Rosberg wins! The crowd rises as Rosberg cross the line as the winner of the Australian GP! The German follows in the footsteps of his father who won the race in 1985. It’s a 1-2 for Mercedes as Hamilton begins his title defence with a second-place finish. Vettel, who looked like a win was on the cards for long periods, can only manage third.

14:54- Vettel locks up and spins and that’s going to be that for his charge for second!

14:52- Contact between Sainz and Verstappen, one of the more predictable things to have happened this afternoon!

14:50- Vettel is closing in on Hamilton, but will he have enough time to pass the World Champion?

14:48 – It’s been a cracking start to the season and we’re well into the closing stages – how is it going finish?

14:45 – We’re set for a blockbuster finish with the two Mercedes drivers out in front but with Vettel and Ricciardo on the charge.

14:42 –Verstappen is certainly not shy of telling his team what he thinks! The teenager uses some choice language to express his frustration at not being allowed to pass his team-mate, Sainz, who he believes has been hold him up for most of the race. He might be best advised to focus on the task at hand as he nearly loses the back end but saves his race at the last moment and avoids a trip to the gravel.

14:39 – Reason to cheer for the home fans as Ricciardo on a fresh set of tyres is up into fourth.

14:36 – Hamilton is on the charge as he goes past Ricciardo (who then pits), and moves into second. Rosberg out in front and suddenly ups his pace…

14:32 – Here is where we stand after 39 laps:

14:30 –Want to watch the action live? Head over to FOX Play

14:26 – It’s a bit quiet at the front for the moment as we wait to see if Rosberg’s tyres last, while Vettel shows some cracking pace. There is certainly a lot of drama further down the field, with a multitude of midfield battles, including some rising tension between the two Toro Rosso drivers.

14:23 – Contrasting emotions as Vettel has a slow pit stop and Mercedes move to the front.

14:20 – Both Mercedes drivers are on the charge, with Vettel set to lose top spot as he prepares to pit with Rosberg hot on his heels.

14:15 – We’re over the halfway mark, and Vettel is leading from Rosberg and Ricciardo.

14:13 – Hats off to Haas F1 who could score points on debut, with Romain Grosjean in eighth.

14:10 – Vettel remains the man to beat.

14:08 – Despite the disappointment, Haryanto remains in good spirits.

14:05 – A day that started so promisingly for Ferrari is unravelling a bit, with Raikkonen retiring and a general feeling that Vettel has picked the wrong tyres (the softs).

14:03 – After all that drama, here’s where we stand:

14:01 – Word from the McLaren camp is good, thankfully.

13:58 – Right, let’s get back to the racing.

13:56 – Here’s an unfortunate update on Haryanto…

13:55 – We’re back out on track.

13:54 – Rio Haryanto is out of his car which is parked in the Manor garage. It looks like his debut race is over. No word on why just yet.

13:50 –Good news, with the race set to get back underway at 13:55 HKT.

13:45 –Here is how the drivers lined up when the race was red-flagged.

13:41 – The image of the weekend will most certainly be of Alonso and Gutierrez walking away without serious injuries. Both drivers are headed to the medical area to be checked.

13:38 – The drivers have returned to the pits as the clean up operation continues.

13:35 – The race has been red flagged as the debris from that crash are cleared. It was nasty. Alonso is very lucky.

13:32 – The safety car is out after an incident involving Esteban Gutiérrez and Fernando Alonso. Wow. It’s a big one. Huge impact from Alonso on the back of the Haas of the Mexican. Both drivers are okay.

13:28 –Rosberg pits first and Vettel follows a lap later. The early move works for Mercedes, with Rosberg now right on Vettel’s tail. Hamilton meanwhile has asked for a change in strategy as he grows frustrated behind Verstappen.

13:25 – Hamilton has a battle on his hands!

13:21 – The Ferrari garage had reason to smile when the lights went out, and the Scuderia remain out in front.

13:19 – We’re on lap seven of 57, and Rio Haryanto is in 19th position.

13:15 – It’s the men in red who are dominating early on.

13:13 –The battle for fifth includes Massa, Hamilton and Sainz. That was unexpected.

13:10 – It’s the Ferraris who start strongly and go 1-2 as Hamilton drops down the field.

13:07 – We’re racing in 2016!

13:05 – We’re delayed after Danii Kvyat stalls on the grid and we have a second formation lap. One benefit: There is still time for you to catch the start on FOX Play

13:02 – The drivers are off on the formation lap. The top eight on the grid are all starting on used tyres. The rest of the grid are all on brand new sets.

12:59 – Indonesia’s Rio Haryanto will make his F1 debut today, let’s hope he puts up a strong showing.

12:57 – Nearly there, we’re nearly there…

12:55 – Will anyone be able to stop Hamilton?

12:50 – Just ten minutes to go! The national anthem is being sung and the crowd (and the rest of the world) is waiting anxiously for the action to get underway.

12:47 – Don’t forget you can catch all the action of FOX Play live now!

12:45 – Speaking of the tyre manufacturer, here are some strategy insights…

12:40 – Tyres are of course going to play a big role this season, here is everything you need to know about Pirelli’s offering this year…

12:35 –

BREAKING NEWS: The FIA have also announced that they have eased radio restrictions, allowing teams to make strategy calls. That should make things a bit more interesting. 12:30 – We’re nearly there as the pitlane opens and the cars head out on track.

12:25 –Fun fact: McLaren have the most victories in Australia. We wouldn’t bet on them adding to that tally today…

12:20 – After wet weather caused some havoc in the build-up to the race, the news from Albert Park is good, with no rain expected, just sunny skies.

12:15 – Have we mentioned that we’re quite excited? Just 45 minutes to go until the lights go out…

12:10 – Here is confirmation on the earlier story about the new qualifying format being scrapped…

12:00 –In case you missed it, Valterri Bottas has changed his gearbox and receives a grid place penalty which sees him drop back to 16th. Not the best start for the Williams man.

11:55 – The drivers are out and about getting the post-race formalities out of the way.

11:50 – Just over an hour to go until we get underway in Melbourne, and the excitement is building…

11:45 –Who in the 22-man field will it be who walks away with the victory? Just in case

11:40 –Don’t forget that you can watch all the action live on FOX Play 11:20 – There are some interesting developments on the qualifying front…

10:00 – Much of the talk this weekend has been dominated by the underwhelming first run of F1’s new qualifying format. Read all about that here:

Hamilton on pole as new format fizzles 

Formula 1 slams new qualifying format