Formula One

           === Rosberg wins Australian GP, Vettel retires early ===
 Melbourne, Australia ( - Nico Rosberg from Mercedes put on a
 dominating  performance  to win Sunday's Formula One season-opening Australian
 Grand  Prix,  while Red Bull's  Sebastian Vettel and Rosberg's teammate, Lewis
 Hamilton, retired early after suffering engine failure.
 Starting  third,  Rosberg quickly passed  Daniel Ricciardo, who made his debut
 with  Red  Bull, and then Hamilton,  the pole sitter,  to take the lead on the
 opening  lap at Albert Park Circuit. Rosberg was untouchable from there, as he
 crossed the finish line 24.5 seconds ahead of Ricciardo.
 Several  hours  after the Australian  GP concluded, Ricciardo lost his second-
 place  finish  when race stewards  determined his car had  run with too high a
 fuel  flow  rate during the event.  According to stewards, Ricciardo's car had
 "exceeded  consistently  the maximum  allowed fuel  flow of  100 kg per hour,"
 which is a breach of technical regulations.
 Red Bull said it will appeal the stewards' decision.
 "Following  the decision of the FIA that Infiniti Red Bull Racing is in breach
 of  Article 3.2  of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations and Article 5.1.4
 of the FIA Formula One Technical Regulations with Car 3, the team has notified
 the  FIA of its intention to appeal with immediate effect," Red Bull said in a
 statement.  "Inconsistencies with  the FIA fuel flow meter have been prevalent
 all  weekend up and  down the pit lane. The team and Renault are confident the
 fuel supplied to the engine is in full compliance with the regulations."
 Ricciardo  would have been the first Australian to finish on the podium in his
 home race.
 Rosberg  earned  his fourth  career F1  victory. Last year,  he won the Monaco
 Grand Prix and the British Grand Prix.
 "It's really been an amazing day," Rosberg said. "I'm just over the moon. It's
 incredible.  Everybody has  worked so  hard  over the  winter. I  had such  an
 amazing  [car] to  drive. This  thing was  unbelievably quick  today, and  the
 reliability  was good.  It's a  perfect start  to the  season, and  I'm really
 thankful to Mercedes. They've done an amazing job over the winter."
 Vettel,  the four-time reigning F1 world champion, complained of problems with
 his  power unit (engine) on the first lap and then headed to the pits on lap 5
 to  retire. He  was attempting  to win  his record  10th straight  grand prix.
 Vettel ended the 2013 season by winning the last nine races.
 "I  didn't  have any  power right from  the start," Vettel  said. "We tried to
 recover  on track as much as we could, but it didn't work. We lost a couple of
 cylinders, and then you lose power and the whole power unit stops working."
 Hamilton  dealt with a power issue at the start as well, as he retired one lap
 prior to Vettel.
 "Literally  from  lights out, I  had a lack  of power, so  I was on the radio,
 saying  that people  are passing  me and  catching me,  and what's  going on?"
 Hamilton  said. "They  didn't tell  me at  the time.  but I  think one  of the
 cylinders was misfiring."
 There  was a lot of uncertainty for teams heading into the Australian GP, with
 this  season featuring  one of the biggest  set of rule changes in F1 history,
 especially  the technical  regulations. This race marked the competition debut
 of  the 1.6-liter,  V6 turbocharged power unit, which relies heavily on hybrid
 technology. Aerodynamic changes and alterations to the design of the cars were
 also made for this year.
 Most teams, particularly Red Bull, have endured numerous technical issues with
 the  2014 cars. Red  Bull showed signs of progress with the reliability of its
 cars  during  the practice sessions  for the  Australian GP compared to recent
 pre-season tests in Spain and Bahrain. Ricciardo qualified second on Saturday.
 "We  learned that  the car  was  quick, but  we  just need  to get  everything
 together," Vettel said.
 McLaren  driver  Kevin Magnussen, who  made his F1  debut, crossed the line in
 third  but  was elevated to  second place due to Ricciardo's disqualification.
 Magnussen  became the  first rookie to score a podium finish since Hamilton in
 2007.  His teammate,  Jenson Button,  placed third.  Last year,  McLaren, with
 drivers  Button and  Sergio Perez, failed to record a podium finish during the
 "It's  hard  to believe,  and  it  just  seems  so surreal,"  the  21-year-old
 Magnussen said. "The car was so much better than it's been at any point. I had
 exactly  what  I needed  for the  whole race. The  preparation we've done this
 winter  has been fantastic. I've never done a Formula One race, and testing is
 so  limited these days.  Big congratulations to the team for doing such a good
 Fernando  Alonso from Ferrari was fourth, while Williams' Valtteri Bottas took
 fifth  after  he bounced  back from  losing his right-front  tire when he made
 contact with the wall early in the race.
 Force  India's Nico Hulkenberg finished sixth, and Kimi Raikkonen, who is back
 with  Ferrari this season, placed seventh. Raikkonen won the Australian GP one
 year ago when he drove for Lotus.
 Toro  Rosso drivers Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniil Kvyat, who also made his first
 F1  start,  were eighth and  ninth, respectively. At  age 19, Kvyat became the
 youngest  points-scorer  in the sport's  history. Perez, now with Force India,
 completed the top-10.
 Fifteen  of  the 22 starters were  running at the finish. Kamui Kobayashi from
 Caterham  and Felipe  Massa, who made his debut with Williams, collided at the
 first corner and went into the gravel on the opening lap, ending their races.
 Kobayashi  was  cleared of any blame  for the incident after stewards reviewed
 technical data provided by Caterham. Stewards determined the crash was "caused
 by  a serious technical failure completely outside the control of the driver."
 Kobayashi  explained on  Twitter that he had no rear brakes, adding, "Sorry to
 Felipe but was not my mistake."
 03/16 10:07:00 ET

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