March 26, 2017 / 11:48 AM / 4 months ago

Motor racing-Team by team analysis of Australian Grand Prix

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March 26 (Reuters) - Team by team analysis of Sunday's season-opening Australian Formula One Grand Prix (listed in championship order):

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FERRARI (Sebastian Vettel 1, Kimi Raikkonen 4)

Vettel and Ferrari's first win since 2015, the 43rd of the German's career, his fourth for the Italian team and second in Australia. He is the first non-Mercedes driver to lead the championship in the V6 turbo hybrid era that started in 2014. Vettel started on the front row and took the lead after Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes pitted on lap 17. He pitted on lap 23, emerging still in front of the Briton.

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MERCEDES (Lewis Hamilton 2, Valtteri Bottas 3)

Hamilton led from pole but pitted earlier than rivals after struggling with grip, being caught in traffic and overheating the tyres. Bottas, who led briefly after Vettel came in, pitted on lap 25. This was only the ninth time in 60 races that Mercedes have been beaten. The podium was Hamilton's 105th in Formula One, Bottas's 10th.

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RED BULL (Max Verstappen 5, Daniel Ricciardo retired)

A home nightmare for Ricciardo, who crashed on Saturday and collected a five-place penalty after a gearbox change that demoted him to 15th on the grid. A sensor problem left his car stranded in sixth gear before the start. He was two laps down when he did finally get on track from the pitlane. He retired on lap 28 with a fuel pressure problem. Verstappen had a solid race and was close to Raikkonen, although without a chance to overtake. The teenager suffered brake wear towards the end.

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WILLIAMS (Felipe Massa 6, Lance Stroll retired)

No points for Stroll on his debut, the Canadian teenager retiring with a front left brake failure after running as high as 13th. He had 'flat-spotted' a tyre early on when he avoided a collision between Magnussen and Ericsson. Stroll had also started last after a penalty for a gearbox change. Massa gained a place from Grosjean at the start.

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FORCE INDIA (Sergio Perez 7, Esteban Ocon 10)

One of only four teams to have both their cars in the points. Perez said seventh, after starting 10th, was the most he could have achieved. The Mexican made some of the few overtakes in the race. Ocon's point, after a long battle with Alonso, was his first in Formula One.

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TORO ROSSO (Carlos Sainz 8, Daniil Kvyat 9)

Both cars were passed by Perez but ended in the same placings they had started in. Sainz said his tyres had lost temperature after he let his team mate and the Mercedes drivers past, which helped Perez. Kvyat had to make an extra stop late in the race to refill the engine air system which cost him around 10 seconds.

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RENAULT (Nico Hulkenberg 11, Jolyon Palmer retired)

Palmer made up four positions on the opening lap from 19th place. He then retired on lap 15 with brake problems. Former Force India and Williams driver Hulkenberg started his first race for the team in 11th place, pitting on lap 16 and 30.

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SAUBER (Antonio Giovinazzi 12. Marcus Ericsson retired)

Giovinazzi, standing in for Pascal Wehrlein, made his debut and became the first Italian to race in Formula One since 2011 when Jarno Trulli and Vitantonio Liuzzi were on the grid. Ericsson's car was damaged in a first-lap collision with Magnussen. He retired later with hydraulic failure.

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MCLAREN (Stoffel Vandoorne 13, Fernando Alonso retired)

Vandoorne was the final finisher, his team wrestling with their troubled Honda power unit. Alonso was in the top 10 until being passed by Ocon and Hulkenberg. He then retired in the pits with a suspected suspension problem. "I think we are last," Alonso said.

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HAAS (Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen retired)

Grosjean started in sixth place but retired in the pits after 13 laps with the car steaming from the rear. The team said it was a water leak. Magnussen tangled with Ericsson at the start, pitting for a new front wing, and then retired with suspension problems after 46 laps. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin; Editing by Toby Davis)

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