Dominant Rosberg wins season opener

Nico Rosberg driving the Brackley-based Mercedes during pre-season testing

Nico Rosberg driving the Brackley-based Mercedes during pre-season testing

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Nico Rosberg underlined Mercedes’ early dominance in 2014 by taking victory in the season-opening race in Australia on Sunday.

The German, starting from third on the grid, coasted to a dominant victory for the Brackley team to highlight why many onlookers have made Mercedes favourites for the world title.

Rosberg’s team-mate Lewis Hamilton suffered contrasting fortunes, however, after he was forced to retire on lap three with car problems.

But the Briton was in optimistic mood afterwards, saying: “There are massive positives. We won the race by a long way, so as a team it’s a really strong position to be in.

“The car looks great and we have a lot of data for the guys to work on.”

Rosberg added: “It’s been an amazing day. I’m over the moon really, everyone has worked so hard over the winter and to have such an amazing Silver Arrow. I’m really thankful to Mercedes for giving me such an amazing car.

“There is a lot of work to do. We can still improve a lot and we must because the competitors are not going to be asleep.”

Bicester-based Toro Rosso saw both their cars finish in the top ten, with Jean-Eric Vergne eighth and F1 debutant Daniil Kvyat ninth. For the Silverstone Force India team, Nico Hulkenberg finished sixth while Sergio Perez just sneaked into the top ten to take on point from the race.