Nico Rosberg’s 2016 campaign got off to the perfect start as he won the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on Sunday.
The German began the race in second on the grid but team-mate Lewis Hamilton made a mistake at the start to allow Rosberg to cruise into first place.
Rosberg may have been pushed all the way by Sebastian Vettel but a dramatic crash involving McLaren’s Fernando Alonso allowed the German to take advantage.
Alonso was lucky to walk away from his collision with Esteban Gutierrez on lap 17. The Spaniard tried to pass the Mexican but the pair collided and Alonso’s car launched into a barrel roll before resting upside down.
From the restart, Ferrari chose to keep Vettel on super-soft tyres and it cost him dear as Rosberg switched to medium.
Hamilton had dropped down to sixth but fought back to eventually finished second, with Vettel in third.
Speaking after the race, Rosberg was quick to praise his team for their strategy.
He said: “It’s been a great weekend. Thank you to the team they’ve done an incredible job. We loved it and I’m super excited.
“It’s early days but it’s the perfect start. We have to keep an eye on the red guys.”
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo finished in fourth just ahead of Felipe Massa. Romain Grosjean made an impressive debut for Haas as he finished sixth, while Nico Hulkenberg and Valtteri Bottas finished just behind.
Carlos Sainz pipped Max Verstappen to ninth place, with Jenson Button finishing in 14th for McLaren.