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Pos Driver
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2 Nico Rosberg
3 Valtteri Bottas

Team-Mate Wars: Australian GP

Tuesday 18th March 2014

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Team-Mate Wars: Australian GP

Team-Mate Wars: Australian GP

In F1 the first person you have to beat is your team-mate...

Mercedes
Nico Rosberg 0 - Lewis Hamilton 1

Despite having the whole of FP1 less to get the W05 acquainted to Melbourne, Lewis took pole on Saturday and then from the formation lap his fate was out of his hands. Nico Rosberg got the dream start, but the random fragility of the new power units was clear to see from Lewis's immediate conversion to five cylinders.

Red Bull
Daniel Ricciardo 1 - Sebastian Vettel 0

Seb's problems seemed to strike him in qualifying, but we have no metric for judging two drivers before the qualifying hour, so Dan takes the TMW point. Although Seb would have to be going some to beat Daniel, the kind of form he was showing in Melbourne. It is such a pleasure to look forward to Malaysia and know that the intra Red-Bull competition is on again. Maybe Seb's now inherited Mark Webber's propensity to have the car that breaks down.

Christian Horner Really Sticking His Neck Out...

Ferrari
Fernando Alonso 1 - Kimi Raikkonen 0

Raikkonen looks even more ill at ease than he did when he first got to Lotus and didn't have the steering the way he wanted. Hence the accident in qualifying and the off-track excursions in the race. Alonso looked only to be at 97% - 8% down on his usual level of confidence in the opening stages of a race. We were denied the full distance running that would have given us a greater insight into the relative fuel consumption of the engines and where Ferrari sits. Certainly the post-race quotes have been less that ecstatic.

McLaren
Jenson Button 0 - Kevin Magnussen 1

As Jan Magnussen wisely said before the race: "I used to be ex-F1 driver Jan Magnussen - now I'm Jan Magnussen, father of Kevin Magnussen." And just as Helmut Marko had the satisfaction of seeing two Red Bull protégés coming good, so Ron Dennis got to see a driver he'd helped push forward, take a podium performance on his first drive. After the heart-in-the-mouth moment when he snapped across half the width of the track Kevin drove assuredly. Albert Park is not the easiest of places to make a debut. The old ginger git made up quite a few places towards the end, but wisely they held station.

Williams
Valtteri Bottas 0 - Felipe Massa 1

Felipe outqualified Valtteri and was supremely irritated to have been hit by Kamui's kamikaze Katerham. Bottas was a lucky boy to climb back as far as he did - wall-thumping punctures normally mean a lonely drive at the back.

Toro Rosso
Jean-Eric Vergne 1 - Daniil Kvyat 0

JEV probably thought he might have a couple of races with no pressure from his rookie team-mate but right from the opener (no, it's NOT the get-go) Kvyat was giving him a hard time. It was brilliant debut from the Russian, something Sauber's toddler trainee will find hard to match.

Force India
Nico Hulkenberg 1 - Sergio Perez 0

Given Nico's mastery of mixed conditions it was a surprise he wasn't further up the grid. Sergio's start was compromised, but it was unlikely he was going to get near the Hulk.

Sauber
Esteban Gutierrez 0 - Adrian Sutil 1

Not the most auspicious opening race for Sauber. I don't know about you, but the flow of drivers between Sauber and Force India make it hard to remember who's in what. All we need now is for Perez to go back to Sauber next season and Gutierrez to join Force India and the confusion will be complete.

Caterham
Marcus Ericsson 1 - Kamui Kobayashi 0

You'd think, given Caterham's lack of running this weekend, that their drivers might start the race with caution and aim to bring them home. They already knew both Marussias and a Lotus was in the pitlane. If that was the plan nobody told Kobayashi, a man quite capable of crashing a Ferrari on a demonstration run in Moscow. Ericsson was up to P12 and had the most impressive gap to the car in front. On Lap 6, Button had opened up a 17-second lead on the Caterham behind.

Marussia
Max Chilton 1 - Jules Bianchi 0

Maxi boy outqualified Jules and opens up an unexpected lead in what last season was the most one-sided TMW battle. But the other way.

Media WatchBernie's never slow at seizing a commercial opportunity and surely with the appearance of the driver number graphic, pretty soon we'll have the line *Sponsored by Dulux. It looks to all the world like someone's put a paint chart on screen. And how about those video driver intros where the drivers cross their arms like they were American Football players - it was tedious the first time; after 19 rounds...

Radio 5 Comedy Corner
In Qualifying, James Allen was trying to get his colleagues to guess who would get pole in the mixed conditions.

James Allen: "I'll go for Alonso, you're going for Ricciardo, Allan. Who are you going for, Jenny?"
Jenny Gow: "I'm going for an umbrella."

David Coulthard: "We've gone from a 2.4, V8-litre engine...."

Jenny Gow: "Oooh, that sounded a bit jiggery."

James Allen: "Button has managed to get ahead of Alonso and Hulkenberg so hats off to the McLaren hospitality team- sorry, the strategy team."

Three-times Le Mans winner Allan McNish had been drafted in by the BBC and replaced Gary Anderson's technical insights.

Allan Insight 1 - talking about Lewis's pole. "He was in the right place at the right time, and he stole the show."
Allan Insight 2 - he knows when the most action happens. "I tell you there was a lot going on from the start - right from the beginning."
Allan Insight 3 - "It was just a tickle behind Rosberg's Mercedes."

Jenny Gow's Addiction To The Word Gambit
"There we are - Nico Rosberg in the opening round - he sets out his gambit."

"For the first opening gambit of a new era did you think it went pretty well?"

Andrew Davies

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