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Australian GP: Race notes - Mercedes

NEWS STORY
16/03/2014

The Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team today entered the new era of Formula One with a composed victory for Nico Rosberg from P3 on the grid at the Australian Grand Prix.

Nico claimed first place off the line and led every lap of the race to win by 24 seconds at the chequered flag. He made two pit stops on laps 12 and 38, running a tyre strategy of option/option/prime, and set the fastest lap on lap 19. Lewis was forced to retire his car after two laps owing to a misfiring cylinder, which had cost engine power since the start. Nico's win marks the 100th F1 victory for a Mercedes-Benz engine, with the first achieved by Juan Manuel Fangio in 1954.

Nico Rosberg: That was an incredible day for us. To start the season with a win is unbelievable and I have to say a big thank you to everybody who was involved in building our car over the winter. I always dreamed of having such a strong Silver Arrow and now it seems we are there. In the race, everything went perfectly for me. My start was great and I was able to push from there until the end, with our fuel consumption well under control. However, despite our success today, we also know that there is still some work to do. We saw over the weekend that reliability is still a concern and it prevented us from having a strong two-car finish. We have two weeks to improve that. I am very much looking forward to Malaysia and I would love to race again tomorrow!

Lewis Hamilton: My start didn't feel great today and I had a lot less power than usual when pulling away, so it was obvious immediately that something was wrong. It looks like we only had five cylinders firing and, while I wanted to keep going, we had to play safe and save the engine. It's unfortunate but that's racing and we will recover from this. We have a great car and engine, and the pace was really strong today as Nico clearly showed. Big congratulations to him and the team for achieving the win, it's a fantastic result for us. Of course I'm disappointed with my own race and when I think about all the work that has gone on back at our factories, it's tough to have a costly hiccup. However we have achieved an incredible amount to get here, to be at the front and to be so competitive; we will bounce back and learn from this. There is a very long way to go this season.

Toto Wolff: It was a day of light and shadow for us. Nico did a perfect job this afternoon: a great start and a really controlled drive all the way to the final lap. He delivered the car's performance how he needed to, when he needed to, and took a very composed and deserved victory. On the other side, we were disappointed to lose Lewis so early after a misfiring cylinder forced him to retire. He had done everything right this weekend until that point and it was a situation beyond his control. We know that reliability will be crucial to this long season and we will be working hard to improve the situation for the race in Malaysia. Finally, this victory has a very special meaning for us, too. I would like to dedicate it to Michael, who has been in all our thoughts this weekend. He will keep fighting, as only he knows how, and we are sending all our strength to him today.

Paddy Lowe: Today's race was all about delivering on the potential we had shown in testing and on the hard work that has been put into this project since its beginning. It was fantastic to get the win on behalf of the hundreds of people in Brackley, Brixworth and Stuttgart who have contributed to our performance over several years. A special mention must also go to Ross. I have come relatively late to this campaign and would like to thank him for the contribution he made in the years leading to this point, which we can now build upon. It was hugely disappointing for all of us that Lewis was not able to convert his pole position but this is a day to focus on our success rather than failures. We know that this season will be more of a marathon than a sprint and that reliability will play a decisive role. After taking a moment to savour this win, we will be hard at work to improve further for the next race in Malaysia.

Check out our race gallery, here.

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