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LIVE COMMENTARY: 2014 AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX - SUNDAY - AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX
   GO TO LIVE INDEX ALL TIMES GMT  
As it happened: Sunday - Australian Grand Prix
By Matt Beer, Jonathan Noble, Andrew van Leeuwen, Edd Straw, Ben Anderson and Scott Mitchell
The live commentary has ended. No further updates will be posted.
04:29 Good morning and welcome to AUTOSPORT Live - the first Formula 1 race start of the new era is just an hour and a half away.

Grand Prix racing is about to take a huge step into the unknown and absolutely anything can happen.

Australian GP 198804:31 Just over 25 years after turbocharged cars last took an F1 start - also in Australia, but in Adelaide, in the 1988 finale - the V6s are back for 2014 in the biggest rules overhaul the sport has ever seen.

04:34 F1's class of 2014 is already forming up on the grid - but not in their cars, sat down on chairs for the start of season official photo.

Half of them have changed colours since the last time they took part in this photoshoot - 11 drivers in the field moved teams over the winter.

04:37 If you need to get up to speed on everything that happened yesterday...

Final Australian GP starting grid

Full Australian GP qualifying report

Drivers' quotes and data on FORIX

Kimi Raikkonen04:41 A year ago, Kimi Raikkonen won this race for Lotus.

We don't think we're being too negative if we predict that Lotus will not win in Melbourne in 2014.

04:46 Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado were only 20th and 22nd in qualifying in a car that still trails its rivals substantially in the mileage stakes.

When EDD STRAW spoke to the Lotus duo yesterday, both men were confident that the team was solving each problem it encountered - the trouble was new issues kept coming along.

"These are problems we should have seen in winter testing if we could have but there were too many other problems that were hiding it and we didn't discover it," said Grosjean, who reckoned most of the troubles could be put down to starting testing late.

Lotus didn't make it to Jerez in January (insisting at the time that was a strategic move not a sign of crisis) and only covered 1288km of testing in total compared to the 4973km that table-topper Mercedes managed.

Full testing data rundown

04:52 On Friday (and for much of the winter), it looked like Marussia was set to start the year ahead of Caterham in the tail-end battle.

But it was the green team that came out on top yesterday, when Kamui Kobayashi reached Q2 and neither Marussia made it out of the first segment.

Jules Bianchi - who had software issues in qualifying - said Saturday was deceptive.

"For sure we can see that we are maybe a bit more far from the midfield pack than what we are thinking, but I don’t think we were on the limit," he insisted.

Max Chilton04:55 Bianchi's team-mate Max Chilton still thinks the team's points are still on the cards today thanks to its promising reliability.

"I would like to think that we haven't got any major reliability issues so we could do a race distance, and at times on Friday we were 14th/15th," he said.

04:59 Back to Caterham, and AUTOSPORT technical expert CRAIG SCARBOROUGH has been impressed with some of the new ideas on the CT05 this weekend.

More on that in his tech blog:

Australian GP technical round-up

04:59 EDD STRAW: "It's going to be interesting to see how the tyres perform in this race.

"Practice suggested that the degradation and wear would make one-stop strategies possible, but the performance difference between the softs and the mediums (each driver must run both compounds) means that two stops should be the quickest way to go.

"The standard strategy would likely be to go soft-soft-medium, keeping the first two stints as long as you can."

Kamui Kobayashi05:05 While Caterham was celebrating getting straight into Q2 at the opener, Kobayashi was under no illusions. The Japanese returnee and rookie team-mate Marcus Ericsson managed only three laps between them on a troubled Friday, and Kobayashi didn't think the qualifying boost should be overstated.

Asked what the team could still improve, he replied: "I have to say everything, because we are not happy at all.

"To go from 98 to 100 per cent is really difficult, but right now we're about 20 per cent; we can improve by about 80 per cent, which means we have a lot of potential to improve.

"We have nothing to lose and it's pretty exciting. I think it's a nice challenge."

Valtteri Bottas05:05 Williams was one of the big talking points pre-season, as the FW36 appeared to show Mercedes-bothering pace in Bahrain.

Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa looked decent in the dry, but struggled with rear instability in the wet final stages of qualifying and wound up only ninth and 10th on the timesheet.

To make matters worse, Bottas will start from 15th thanks to a five-place grid penalty for changing a gearbox after the final free practice session.

BEN ANDERSON spoke to the team's chief test and support engineer Rod Nelson yesterday, who explained the rationale for the swap.

"We were concerned because it had to do six races. We discussed taking the hit later on and seeing how we got on but we don’t want to be in a race where it stops us so we're better off taking the hit now.

"A five place grid penalty is not great but we know we're reasonably competitive and we know we can fight back quite well.

"We don't want any DNFs. We'd rather take five places on the grid than do half the race in the lead and stop!

"If you think a lot of other people will have reliability problems then you tend to be more conservative because you know you can pick up points just by being there."

05:11 The FIA has now confirmed that Romain Grosjean will start from the pitlane for the Australian Grand Prix after his Lotus team broke Formula 1's parc ferme regulations to change parts on his car.

A short statement said that Lotus had changed the rear wing flag, the front bump stop and the brake pedal clevis on his E22 – as well as altering the standard ECU parameters and tweaking the set-up of the suspension.

As these changes are a breach of the rules regarding what can be changed between qualifying and the race, Grosjean will have to start from the pits rather than the 20th position he had secured.

05:14 Want a quick refresher on how 2014 F1 differs to 2013?

Red Bull has done a very nice job with this video guide:



05:15 Those Red Bulls are not in the anticipated order on the grid (or positions).

Daniel Ricciardo starts second after a stunning first qualifying session with a top team, but Sebastian Vettel was hampered by software issues affecting his engine's driveability, leaving him 12th.

"There is not much I can do now, disappointing as the car seemed to be very well on Friday - it seems to have potential and Daniel was showing that," said Vettel.

Kimi Raikkonen05:22 Kimi Raikkonen's return to Ferrari got off to a stuttering start yesterday when he crashed in qualifying and ended up 11th on the grid.

He said that position was due to traffic rather than the shunt, which happened when his concentration lapsed on the way back to the pits...

"In the wet we had the speed, it was just the traffic. On that lap I would have come in anyway. I was playing around with the switches or something, and I got a little bit of wheelspin and touched the wall."

05:27 Back in 10th on the grid, Jenson Button believes his McLaren is in pretty good shape, and just struggled to get a clear lap in around yellows at the end of Q2.

"In the wet the car was working fine. But when I came in and put tyres on at the end it was so difficult to get a lap in.

"The car was working really well in the wet, I was very happy with the pace. Quickest in wet conditions, which we expected. But at the end the yellow flags hurt us and ruined any chance of getting a lap in."

05:31 As the cars begin to head out of the pitlane to set off for the grid, here's EDD STRAW's qualifying review for The Racer's Edge with F1 Racing and AUTOSPORT:



05:34 EDD STRAW: "It's going to be fascinating to see how the starts go with these new engines. Plenty of practice starts going on as the cars head out for their gridding laps. Expect to see a wide spread of quality of starts than we have been used to in recent years."

05:37 A Marussia locks up and runs across the grass at Turn 1, and we haven't even started racing yet! A heart-in-the-mouth moment for Max Chilton on the way to the grid.

05:39 Who's going to be world champion this year? The AUTOSPORT team made their 2014 F1 predictions earlier this week, and here's how we reckoned the final championship top 10 will turn out:

AUTOSPORT's 2014 F1 predictions

05:41 Now-retired IndyCar legend Dario Franchitti is rooting for McLaren this season:

"Getting ready for the first GP of the season. Hoping for another championship for @JensonButton and a big first season for @KevinMagnussen"

Fernando Alonso05:44 Fernando Alonso set the pace in the first session of the year on Friday morning, and is eyeing a podium after qualifying fifth in the lead Ferrari. But he's pretty sure he knows who's going to win today - and he doesn't think it will be a red car.

"First position in the first practice was a bit unreal. Mercedes are a bit ahead of everyone, and we want to change that situation in the first few grands prix."

05:44 EDD STRAW: "Adrian Newey, as ever, having a very close look at rival cars on the grid. Having a good, long stare at Fernando Alonso's Ferrari right now."

05:46 FIA information screen puts the risk of rain for this race at 20 per cent.

Nico Rosberg05:47 Nico Rosberg is already thinking about clearing Daniel Ricciardo's Red Bull out of the way at the earliest opportunity. He wants a straight fight for victory with team-mate Lewis Hamilton (which Mercedes says it's up for, having clarified its team orders stance).

"Of course it will be important to try to pass him," said Rosberg of Ricciardo. "I am sure I have a good opportunity to do so. So I will try to do that.

"But even with the starts, with this new engine, it is still a learning process and it is going to take some time to optimise even that.

"I don't know how optimised Red Bull are – hopefully not so optimised, maybe I have an advantage at the start and if I get him that will be a very important step."

05:49 Air temperature 19C and track temperature 28C with the race just over 10 minutes away.

05:50 EDD STRAW: "With the track temperature lower than it was during most of practice, it's going to be interesting to see how the tyres react. Some might struggle a little for front tyre temperature, particularly if they are driving cautiously."

05:51 The Australian national anthem rings out across the paddock now - and this is probably the quietest the grandstands will be for a while.

Assuming Daniel Ricciardo doesn't crash at Turn 1...

05:53 Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes up front is something most have been predicting since the cars first hit the track at Jerez in January, but our poleman insists he always kept calm.

"You guys were hyping us up constantly, and I think for us as a team it's always important to keep expectations low – it's a sensible approach.

"When one of the guys says 'why don't you bask in your glory' or the potential of being fast, and you arrive and it's not the case, you look like an idiot.

"Really we're just trying to keep our feet on the ground and take it one step at a time.

"Of course as we come here it's really incredible to see the car come together, and to be able to drive it and see the performance we have so far, it's a true showing of how strong this team really is."

05:54 Because of the hectic nature of qualifying, there are a few drivers further up/down than expected. On raw pace, we'd expect the two Williams drivers, Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen to move forward as quickly as possible at the start of this race.

How Kevin Magnussen and Daniil Kvyat hold their own in the opening laps will be very interesting.

05:58 The teams remain on the grid with just a few minutes to go before the start of the grand prix. But it's thinning all the time as the drivers slip on their gloves and prepare for a race the result of which is impossible to predict.

05:59 Off come the tyre warmers. We're almost ready for the formation lap.

06:00 Any indications of start-procedure problems for the new machines? There's a yellow flag at the back.

Max Chilton's Marussia is static on the grid.

06:01 Other than Chilton, the entire field is away for the formation lap. Lewis Hamilton leads it round.

06:02 Romain Grosjean's bad weekend continues. He's already been given a drive-through penalty! That's for leaving the garage before the signal to do so.

He's starting from the pitlane, remember.

06:02 Vettel reporting more potential problems over the radio on the warm-up lap.

06:03 Hamilton leads the field round the final corner, and into their places on the grid. We're seconds from the start.

06:03 Charlie Whiting has his eye on the field as the last cars slot in.

06:04 The field's in place, the lights are on...

06:04 Aborted start, yellow flag on the grid.

06:04 Chilton's Marussia has got going and is headed to the end of the pitlane.

06:04 Not entirely sure who's stalled on the grid...it's the other Marussia! Bianchi is stopped.

06:05 That means Hamilton has to lead the pack round for another formation lap. The tension mounts.

06:06 The extra formation lap will provide a bit of relief to the teams worried about fuel consumption - as it means one less racing lap.

06:06 The pitlane's quite busy now - Grosjean's Lotus has already gained two places!

Chilton and Bianchi have joined the queue behind him.

06:06 "Seems like it's bogging down a bit," is Ricciardo's verdict on his practice starts.

06:07 Round the final turn we come (again) and hopefully this one will be OK.

06:07 Vettel asks "is it normal that I have no power?" The team explains that it's just due to the setting he's (deliberately) in for the formation lap.

06:08 Right, take two! The field is in place. Ready for the lights...

06:08 On they go, and out they go!

THE AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX IS UNDERWAY!

06:08 Rosberg leads and sweeps ahead of Hamilton, as Ricciardo gets second back into Turn 1.

06:09 Early mess at the back with a Caterham and a Williams in the gravel, and a Sauber spinning at Turn 3.

06:09 Hamilton's dropped to third, and now fourth! Magnussen passes him into Turn 11.

06:09 Vettel is still complaining that his car isn't running properly. He's dropped to 14th.

06:09 Rosberg leads at the end of the first lap, Ricciardo is second ahead of Magnussen and poleman Hamilton.

06:10 Waved yellows at Turn 1 means a chance for calm to be restored.

06:10 Kobayashi was the Caterham in trouble at Turn 1, his car is in the gravel with a mangled left-front. He's out.

06:10 "Engine is not running smoothly. I will get passed. Just so you're aware..." is Vettel's latest report.

06:11 Vettel is getting very agitated over the radio: "This is ridiculous, guys."

06:11 Hamilton must be in trouble. He's now dropping like a stone, behind Hulkenberg and under pressure from Alonso...

06:12 "We need to retire," Mercedes tells Hamilton over the radio... but then moments later: "stay out, stay out."

06:12 Rosberg moves 1.5s clear of Ricciardo. Magnussen sets the fastest lap of the race in third, 3.3s down on the leader.

06:12 Very concerned faces on the Merc pitwall.

06:12 "Just keep rolling," is the message to Hamilton from his engineer.

06:12 Vettel's descent continues as he falls to 16th.

06:13 Before that, Hamilton had been told to retire the car...bizarre problems for the poleman.

06:13 Hamilton brings the car into the pits!

06:13 Bottas dives past Kvyat for 9th place. The Finn is the only Williams left as Massa was involved in the start cras.

06:14 Running order on lap three: Rosberg, Ricciardo, Magnussen, Hulkenberg, Alonso, Raikkonen, Vergne, Bottas, Kvyat, Button, Sutil, Ericsson, Maldonado, Chilton, Grosjean, Vettel, Perez, Gutierrez.

06:14 So that promotes Alonso to fifth ahead of Raikkonen, who has had a blinding start in the Ferrari.

Vergne is seventh ahead of Bottas, who has also made the most of the chaos to vault up the order.

06:14 Vettel was very slow along start/finish there. Lapping a little over 15 seconds off so hard to see him lasting much longer.

06:14 Hamilton tells the team he has "no power" as he comes into the garage.

06:14 Vettel's last lap was 17s off the pace!

06:14 Rosberg's moving clear now, 2.6s is his lead over Ricciardo. Magnussen is falling away from the Red Bull and has Hulkenberg closing in fast.

06:15 Bottas! What a superb move. Round the outside of Vergne into Turn 3, beautiful.

06:15 Vettel reports "a slight improvement" and a "little bit of K". He comes into the pits now.

06:17 Magnussen really got away with one at the start. Huge wheelspin and he veered across Alonso's nose. Lucky escape.

He's now have to defend from Hulkenberg, who is less than a second behind.

06:17 Replays of the start incident show Kobayashi hit the back of Raikkonen's Ferrari, ripping at wheel from the Caterham, and then slammed into Massa, taking the Williams out.

Raikkonen continues in sixth.

06:17 Bottas is flying, fastest first sector of anyone, and he's hassling Raikkonen for sixth now.

06:17 Sauber radios Sutil, who is running 12th, to say it's aware of a problem on his car.

06:18 New fastest lap of the race for Bottas, 1m34.925s. He's right behind Raikkonen.

06:18 EDD STRAW: "Some fine performances by the three rookies in the early stages of this race. Kevin Magnussen, after surviving his moment at the start, is third, Daniil Kvyat is holding his own in ninth and Caterham's Marcus Ericsson is holding 11th place."

06:18 Raikkonen's being harried for all his worth, but he's actually quicker than everyone up to Rosberg.

06:19 Bottas moves to the outside at Turn 9 but Raikkonen holds the place.

06:19 Kobayashi is explaining his start incident, which the stewards are going to investigate.

"When I braked I couldn't stop and I hit someone. I really didn't want to do anything like that, but the tyres were so cold after that extra formation lap. It was very difficult to stop the car and there were no brakes at all, I had no grip."

06:19 It's interesting that while Bottas is making up good ground, his rear warning light is on - which means his engine is in fuel save mode. He is not going flat out...

06:20 Magnussen has pulled clear of Hulkenberg now and has 2.4s over the Force India. That's because Alonso is right behind the German.

06:20 Great move from Bottas again! He slides up the inside of Raikkonen into Turn 3, holds his ground and gets ahead into 4.

06:21 Mercedes gives Rosberg clearance to crack on.

"We'd like -0.5 on the delta time. We need to pull a gap to Ricciardo and then we'll be happy."

06:21 Ricciardo's just over 5s behind Rosberg now, the Aussie running strongly at the moment and holding a similar advantage over Magnussen.

06:21 After being passed by the flying Bottas, Vergne now has Toro Rosso team-mate Kvyat and Button's McLaren tucked up behind him for eighth.

06:22 Alonso and the absolutely storming Bottas are behind Hulkenberg and giving him some grief now.

06:22 Vettel has now officially retired in the pits, as have Hamilton, Bianchi and first-lap crashers Massa and Kobayashi.

06:23 New fastest lap for Rosberg as he flexes his muscles out front. It's a 1m34.217s and that is 0.8s quicker than Ricciardo can muster.

06:23 Button is reporting some early tyre graining.

06:23 Bottas gets a great run out of Turns 1/2 and hassles Alonso into Turn 3, but is rebuffed.

06:24 Bottas brushes the wall on the exit of Turn 9! He's broken the rear suspension!

06:24 Is it suspension damage? No, puncture. Race still alive for the Finn.

06:25 Sutil reports that "everything is OK", but you wouldn't say that from his lap times. He's 4s off the pace in 11th and 3s slower than the cars in the lower top 10.

But such is the 'walking wounded' vibe at this end of the field, Sutil isn't holding anyone up, as pursuers Maldonado, Ericsson, Grosjean and Chilton are all slower still.

06:25 Claire Williams doesn't look too pleased right now in the garage. Bottas pits. Taking some time...but now he rejoins.

06:26 After Button's report of tyre worries, McLaren says he should get "in the window" for a pitstop.

06:26 There are yellow flags out for the debris left by that Bottas touch...might he get a reprieve? He does! Safety car.

06:26 Button straight into the pits as the safety car emerges.

06:27 Just before that, Button was asking McLaren for information about the leaders' pace - "not the Mercedes, but the rest..."

06:27 Rosberg had extended his lead to 8.8s before that.

06:27 Perez also comes in for Force India.

06:27 Rosberg pits.

06:27 All this, and we're only 12 laps in!

06:28 Ricciardo and Magnussen are also in.

06:28 Hulkenberg, Alonso, Raikkonen and Vergne stop.

06:28 Raikkonen asks Ferrari for more front wing in this stop.

06:28 Looks like the whole midfield will be in too, everyone is taking this chance to clear a pitstop.

06:29 BEN ANDERSON: "Bottas could be about to reclaim some benefit from his own error here, thanks to that safety car.

"The Williams is looking strong in race-trim and team was confident of its prospects in the dry heading into the race.

"Bottas needs to work his way through again, but based on how good he looked early on that is certainly possible.

"He just needs to stay away from the walls this time!"

06:29 When everyone rejoins, we'll run through the top 10. And the list of retirees, with two high-profile additions.

06:29 Red Bull puts Vettel's retirement officially down to an engine problem.

06:31 Running order behind the safety car as they head onto lap 13:

1 Rosberg
2 Ricciardo
3 Magnussen
4 Hulkenberg
5 Alonso
6 Button
7 Vergne
8 Raikkonen
9 Sutil
10 Kvyat
11 Maldonado
12 Ericsson
13 Grosjean
14 Chilton
15 Gutierrez
16 Bottas
17 Perez
18 Bianchi (6 laps down)

06:31 Ricciardo asks Red Bull "how was the pace? Not compared to Rosberg, but everyone else" and is reassured that he's second quickest.

06:32 Ricciardo's engineer says Bottas was the only other one who looked dangerous before his semi-shunt.

06:32 Replays from Button's in-car camera show he juuuuust made it into the pitlane as the safety car signs came on.

06:33 He was about to pass the pit entry when the yellow was called and a nifty jink was required.

06:33 Red Bull is warning Ricciardo of "very light rain at Turn 3", but "only a few drops".

06:34 McLaren reminds Magnussen that he can race from the safety car line and is told to watch the lights as he may spot that it's coming in before the team.

06:35 Safety car due in this lap.

06:35 Rosberg leads the field away as the safety car peels in. We are racing once again!

06:36 Bianchi unlaps himself from team-mate Chilton but there's six laps between them on the timing screens after their troubled start.

06:36 Positions maintained at the front as Rosberg threads it through Turns 11/12 ahead of Ricciardo and Magnussen.

06:36 Bottas passes Gutierrez for 15th immediately.

06:36 Kvyat lost out in the pitstops as he queued behind Vergne, he'll want to clear Sutil quickly for ninth.

06:37 Rosberg leads by 2.5s, what a restart. New fastest lap at 1m33.976s.

06:37 Hamilton is explaining his problems:

"I think I was driving on five cylinders. That's racing."

06:37 Magnussen is very close to Ricciardo, ditto Alonso, Button, Vergne and Raikkonen behind Hulkenberg.

06:38 Magnussen is right up behind Ricciardo as they turn into Turn 9. His team-mate Button is doing the same to Alonso.

06:38 Grosjean overtakes Ericsson for 12th, while Maldonado is told to "use the overtake button". He's 1.2s behind Kvyat for 10th.

06:38 Vergne's just slipping back from Button a touch, with Raikkonen not at all far behind.

06:38 Bottas is on the move: he passes Ericsson, Perez and Grosjean in quick succession to move to 12th.

06:39 Red Bull tells Ricciardo: "you can use the overtake button to defend". He might need to with Magnussen on his tail for second.

06:39 Rosberg backs it off a bit that lap (still quickest of anyone) but is right back on it as he looks to push his leading beyond 3s.

06:40 Ericsson is frustrated that marshals think he's being lapped:

"Why are there blue flags all the time? There are blue flags at every corner!"

06:40 Magnussen's just fallen back a bit from Ricciardo, but he's within DRS range still - that's just been enabled again.

06:40 "Ignore them," Caterham replies to Ericsson, "you're racing all the cars."

He's been pushed back from 12th to 15th since the restart.

06:40 Three-car fight for fourth as Alonso and Button close right up on Hulkenberg.

06:40 Bottas jinks past Maldonado into 11th place. Next on the list: Sutil.

06:41 Kvyat has taken ninth from Sutil but has a 3s gap to the Vergne/Raikkonen battle ahead. He's swiftly dropping the Sauber.

06:41 New fastest lap for Rosberg, 1m33.195s. And then another! 1m32.478s.

06:41 BEN ANDERSON: "Button played that safety car situation beautifully, his early stop has vaulted him from the fringes of the top 10 into the top six. McLaren looking good for a strong result for both cars at the moment, but there's still a long way to go."

06:41 Bottas passes Sutil and is back into the points in 10th.

06:42 "You do not need to save fuel, hit the beeps," Red Bull tells Ricciardo.

06:42 Ricciardo now has 1.6s over Magnussen but there's still nothing in that battle for fourth - which now has Vergne and Raikkonen involved again as well.

06:42 EDD STRAW: "Bottas will be back in the points imminently. Up to 11th and should clear Sutil's Sauber soon.

"Up front, looks like Mercedes is aiming to keep Rosberg up front with a cushion of around five seconds. Seemed to be the pattern early on. Gives enough of a margin to be safe.

"Worth keeping an eye on Alonso as well. He's fifth and seems content sat behind Hulkenberg, playing the long game as usual."

06:43 As that train of cars fighting for fourth snakes onto the start-finish straight, Rosberg's rocketing out of Turn 1. He's in control, but will his Mercedes last the distance?

06:44 In the paddock, a furious Felipe Massa is pulling no punches about Kamui Kobayashi after their first-lap crash. The Brazilian compares the incident to Grosjean's famous Spa 2012 start shunt (which earned Grosjean a one-race ban).

06:45 Personal bests that time around for Ricciardo, Hulkenberg, Alonso, Button and Vergne, but no changes to the order.

06:45 Hulkenberg locks up sharply into Turn 6, gets away with it - but Alonso is right on him.

06:46 Vettel is putting a brave face on his retirement, saying Ricciardo's performance up in second leaves him optimistic:

"50 per cent is down but the other 50 per cent - Daniel - is still running and in a very, very good position.

"I think the most important is that the car is quick.

"Obviously there is still a lot to do in terms of reliability.

"It's disappointing when happens to you but what can you do now?"

06:46 We were about to report that Alonso's got a bit of breathing space over Button now - but it's disappeared to nothing again. This battle's ebbing and flowing all the time.

06:46 Although Magnussen has fallen 3s away from Ricciardo, McLaren reassures him that "other cars may struggle with their fuel" later on.

06:47 The Lotus pair swap places as Grosjean sweeps past Maldonado into the first corner for 13th.

06:48 Rosberg has almost the entire start-finish straight to his advantage over Ricciardo. The battle for fourth occupies about a quarter of it.

06:48 Marussia orders Bianchi to let Chilton past him, telling the Frenchman his team-mate is faster and "needs to race Ericsson".

06:48 EDD STRAW: "It's worth remembering just how all at sea Red Bull looked only a couple of weeks ago during the Bahrain tests.

"The car looked fundamentally good, but the team had loads of problems and failed to complete its race run on the final day.

"While Vettel is out, Daniel Ricciardo is holding second very comfortably. If he can complete Red Bull's first full proper race distance on the podium, that will cap an amazing turnaround."

06:49 Bianchi is six laps down after a long pit visit at the start, but unlapped himself from Chilton at the safety car restart. Ericsson has just pitted and emerged behind the Marussia.

06:51 Rosberg pushes his lead to 10s now, bigger than it ever was before the safety car. Ricciardo is 3s clear of Magnussen,

The battle for fourth has become a four-car affair now, Raikkonen's dropped back quite considerably.

06:52 Raikkonen locked up into Turn 9 and lost about 2s on the previous lap, that's the reason there.

06:53 It's stagnated at the front, but maybe that's not a bad thing after such an explosive first 15 laps or so.

06:54 In case you were wondering, everyone bar Perez is on the soft tyre. Rosberg, though, is told they will switch to the medium for the next stint.

06:56 Ricciardo picking up pace on that last lap, getting down into the 1m34s and taking half a second out of Rosberg's 10s lead.

06:56 Ericsson parks his Caterham, meaning both the green cars are out.

06:57 Grosjean makes a pitstop, something Lotus admitted it didn't think it would do today...

06:57 Caterham ordered Ericsson to stop the car due to a loss of oil pressure.

06:57 Rosberg and Mercedes react quickly to Ricciardo's burst of pace and unleash a lap a second faster, bringing the gap back up to 10.6s.

06:58 Caterham reassures Ericsson that he was doing a really good job until the car went sick.

06:58 Lotus will get to make two pitstops! Maldonado now comes in.

06:59 Here's the full story of Massa's anger at Kobayashi:

Massa wants action against Kobayashi

06:59 So, having passed mid-distance, here's the story of the race so far:

* Rosberg in command ahead of Ricciardo and Magnussen

* Hamilton almost immediately suffers a power issue, drops to five cylinders and retires after two laps having started on pole

* Vettel is also out of the race after his Renault engine issues continue in the Red Bull

* Bottas charges early on, drops back after hitting the wall and getting a puncture, and is now back in the points

* Kobayashi triggers a big shunt within seconds of the start, Massa calls for a one-race ban

* Both Lotus drivers still running after tough weekend

06:59 Red Bull tells Ricciardo that Magnussen is "starting to struggle". The gap from the Australian to the Dane is up to 7.8s.

07:00 We spoke too soon about Lotus - Maldonado has pulled up and parked trackside.

07:00 Lotus will still be encouraged that it got both cars past half-distance.

07:00 That brings out the yellow flags, and could it spark another safety car? We're in Rosberg's pit window, we know that, so that probably stands for the rest as well.

07:01 Lotus says it was a failed MGU-K that stopped Maldonado.

07:01 Still Alonso is harrying Hulkenberg but still the Spaniard can do nothing about him. Button's now drifting somewhere between that pair and Vergne/Raikkonen behind.

Bottas is a couple of seconds further back.

07:02 Button gets the call to box and he's in. Will that trigger a clutch of stops? He could leapfrog Alonso/Hulkenberg here.

07:03 Rosberg's lead is up to 15.2s now, and no need for a safety car after Maldonado's Lotus is removed.

07:03 Hulkenberg pits, but Alonso stays out. Vergne is also in.

07:04 Button's ahead of Hulkenberg!

07:04 That means he should jump Alonso as well.

07:04 Force India warned Hulkenberg that he'd be racing Button on the pit exit, but the McLaren was already clear.

07:04 Bottas is within DRS range of Raikkonen now.

07:05 Button lost the tip of his nose in that stop but it's not hurting him - he's just set the fastest middle sector of the race on new medium rubber.

07:06 Ferrari and Williams not blinking despite Button jumping Hulkenberg - they would lose out if they stopped now, so it looks like Plan A is what they are sticking with.

07:06 Raikkonen locks up again into Turn 9, and Bottas passes him as the Ferrari runs wide.

07:07 Now Alonso pits.

07:07 Button does jump Alonso, but Hulkenberg doesn't! The Ferrari rejoins just ahead... Hulkenberg challenges into Turn 3, but Alonso squeezes him out and holds the place.

07:08 Bottas's recovery has been hugely impressive but it's still very much a case of what might have been. He's 14s behind Magnussen (and a podium place).

07:08 Ricciardo pits and further behind, so too do Bottas, Raikkonen and Kvyat.

07:09 Magnussen will stop this lap as well. How close will Button be? Within 10s, you'd think.

07:10 In comes Magnussen and he rejoins with his nose perfectly in tact. He stays third behind Ricciardo. The gap to Button is...

07:10 Williams tells Bottas that all cars ahead are on slower or older tyres so "we should be able to catch them."

07:11 ...sizable. We'll say that. Rosberg pits from the lead.

07:11 Simple instructions to Vergne: "OK JEV, you've fighting everyone around you now till the end of the race. Look after the tyres".

07:12 Race order on lap 39 out of 57 with leaders' final pitstops done:

1 Rosberg
2 Ricciardo
3 Magnussen
4 Button
5 Alonso
6 Hulkenberg
7 Vergne
8 Bottas
9 Raikkonen
10 Kvyat
11 Perez
12 Grosjean
13 Sutil
14 Gutierrez
15 Chilton

07:13 Those stops have put Magnussen right on Ricciardo's tail again. Button is just over 5s back with a good lead over Alonso.

07:13 Williams tells Bottas to save his tyres for now as the team expects other cars to run into Pirelli trouble further into the stint.

07:13 Bottas is the quickest of the lead group at the moment, though we'd imagine Rosberg's first full flying lap on the new tyres to be pretty rapid.

07:14 "You're racing Kevin for third place," McLaren tells Button. There's 5.8s between them.

07:15 Kvyat is closing in on Raikkonen for ninth, 0.4s behind the Ferrari and lapping quicker.

07:15 Magnussen has got within a second of Ricciardo now, Button is dropping back a bit.

07:15 Raikkonen does his best lap of the race, a 1m33.766s, in response to Kvyat, but isn't shaking the rookie off yet.

07:16 No sign of Magnussen holding back. He's pushing hard behind Ricciardo. This fight is very much on.

07:17 Rosberg asks Mercedes: "is there nothing else I can do for reliability?"

07:18 Mercedes replies: "we're completely happy Nico, just stay off the kerbs."

07:18 Ricciardo responds to the Magnussen pressure with his personal best lap of the race and the gap is up to 1.2s.

07:18 Chilton pits, but it's a scheduled stop rather than a problem.

07:19 Even though Raikkonen has picked up his lap times, Kvyat is still within 0.4s.

07:19 New instruction to Vergne: "Watch for Bottas behind. And keep him behind."

07:20 Rosberg is asked to pick up the pace by 0.4s per lap "just to get a nice safety car window".

07:20 Magnussen is back within DRS range of Ricciardo. Brilliant scrap this.

07:20 A very chilled radio message to Alonso in fifth place:

"OK Fernando, no threat from behind. We stay focused. It's a battle of reliability as well so we look after everything."

07:21 Bottas has been hassling Vergne for seventh for a couple of laps now and looks to the outside briefly into Turn 3 but it's not a serious attack. He's now very close through Turn 9.

07:21 Button's picked up his pace a bit, as has Alonso 4.7s behind. It might be too late for the McLaren to join in the battle for second though.

07:22 It's all over for Lotus today, Grosjean pulls up and retires from 12th.

07:23 The Raikkonen/Kvyat battle for ninth has fizzled a little, 1.3s between them now.

07:23 Same problem for both Lotuses, Grosjean also told "we lost MGU-K".

07:23 Button asks McLaren: "does Ricciardo have to save fuel?" Team replies: "we don't think so."

07:24 McLaren warns Magnussen that Button could be on him later, telling the rookie to protect his rear tyres as "we could be racing Jenson at the end." There's currently 6s between the McLarens.

07:25 Vergne fishtails massively through the final corner and Bottas breezes into seventh. Next up: Hulkenberg.

07:26 Maldonado says Lotus can be encouraged to have got as far as it did:

"For sure it's something positive, both cars were running for quite long during the race and that's quite important, we have not been able to put 20 laps together in the past.

"This team in the past showed the potential we had. For sure we have problems but we are not the only one."

07:26 Button is running strongly right now, quicker than both Ricciardo and Magnussen ahead of him - and by almost a second on that lap, too.

Is he mounting a late charge?

07:26 Force India warns Hulkenberg that Bottas is likely to be closing in on him soon.

07:27 Massive difference in laptime for Ricciardo/Magnussen and the chasing Button next time around - Button 1.7s quicker! He's less than 4s behind the pair now.

07:27 Raikkonen has now escaped from one Toro Rosso and caught the other. Kvyat is disappearing in his mirrors but he's right on Vergne.

07:28 Bottas is almost within DRS range of Hulkenberg now in the fight for sixth. We'll bang that drum again - what might have been, eh?

07:28 Ricciardo steadies the ship somewhat after a tricky couple of laps, holding his gap to Magnussen to about 1.2s. But he's still 0.4s slower than Button.

07:28 "Let's try to get Ricciardo," McLaren tells Magnussen, "he is struggling."

07:29 Alonso's pace is very, very strong - he's the quickest of the non-Rosbergs.

07:29 Ferrari gives Alonso some encouragement too, saying Ricciardo is "slowing everybody down" and is only 10s ahead in second.

07:29 Personal best for Ricciardo - struggle, what struggle?

07:29 He has 1.1s on Magnussen with Button 4.3s further back.

07:30 Bottas is right under the rear wing of the Force India now in the fight for sixth.

07:31 Force India thinks Perez might yet get into the points, telling him to "push, push, push, push." The Mexican is 11th and trimming a little from Kvyat but still 11.3s off with six laps to go.

07:31 Magnussen's the likeliest McLaren to make anything happen right now - not just because he's close to Ricciardo, but because he's quite a bit quicker than Button behind him.

07:33 Bottas nails Hulkenberg into Turn 1.

07:33 Ricciardo doing his best to shake off Magnussen behind him but to no avail - personal best sectors for the Aussie despite saving fuel, though Magnussen is just 0.6s behind.

07:34 The battle between Raikkonen and the Toro Rossos is still on, with the Ferrari closing back onto Vergne's tail for eighth again.

07:34 Red Bull reassures Ricciardo that "fuel is good", while McLaren tells Magnussen to save a particular fuel mode for the last two laps.

07:35 Slowish middle sector for Magnussen and he drops back a bit.

07:35 Rosberg's in this race somewhere. Ah, there - 24s ahead of this battle for second. Serene progress for the German with three and a bit laps to go.

07:36 EDD STRAW: "If Bottas finishes sixth, where he is currently, it will still be a little disappointing for Williams given how fast the car is. But it's a decent salvage job in the circumstances.

"It's worth noting that a potential haul of eight points is three more than Williams managed in the whole of the 2013 season. This is a big step forward for the team."

07:36 Raikkonen overtakes Vergne for eighth, and Kvyat closes right back in on both as he does so.

07:37 Red Bull tells Ricciardo not to be deceived by Magnussen: "Keep up the pace, he's saving fuel, we need a gap on him".

07:37 Ricciardo obliges, and his lead is just over 2s now.

07:37 Replays show that was another little slip from Vergne. Toro Rosso now tells Vergne not to hold Kvyat up if his rookie team-mate attacks.

07:38 Rosberg crosses the line to start his penultimate lap.

07:39 FINAL LAP: One to go for Rosberg. Commanding performance.

07:40 Magnussen's closed in on Ricciardo but he's not taken chunks of time out of him.

07:40 "Last lap now," Mercedes tells Rosberg, who will take that as a relief.

07:40 Alonso sets a personal best lap of the race and goes quickest of anyone in sector three. Bizarre time to do it, 3.5s behind Button.

07:41 NICO ROSBERG WINS THE AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX!

07:42 There's no late drama in the fight for second, with Ricciardo - to a standing ovation - finishing second on his Red Bull debut. Kevin Magnussen is third ahead of team-mate Jenson Button, with Alonso rounding out the top five.

07:42 Rosberg waves to the fans, and gushes to his team on the radio. "Brilliant stuff, what a car you've given me - what a car. Unbelievable".

07:42 "Absolutely sensational. Awesome all weekend," is the message to Magnussen from McLaren.

07:44 Australian Grand Prix result:
1. Rosberg
2. Ricciardo
3. Magnussen
4. Button
5. Alonso
6. Bottas
7. Hulkenberg
8. Raikkonen
9. Vergne
10. Kvyat
11. Perez
12. Sutil
13. Gutierrez
14. Chilton
15. Bianchi*

*Not classified, but running at the flag.

07:45 Rosberg and Magnussen are out the car and jubilant - and in comes Ricciardo too.

07:46 Hugs for Rosberg, jubilation for Mercedes. Thumbs up from Ricciardo to the crowd outside.

07:46 Magnussen looks shocked. He's not really doing...anything. You're a grand prix podium finisher, smile!

07:49 Delight for all three as they take to the podium - out rings the German national anthem now.

07:49 That's the first time we've ever seen the Danish flag hanging on the podium.

Ricciardo, to everyone's shock, is smiling away on the other side of Rosberg.

07:50 Rosberg receives his winner's trophy, lifts it aloft - and roars out. He knows what a boost this is.

07:50 Ricciardo kisses his trophy and that grin's going to fly off his face if he's not careful...

07:51 Button points out something very encouraging for McLaren: "We must be leading the constructors' championship... First time in a while!"

07:51 Now Magnussen lifts his third-place trophy aloft and his grin is equally as wide.

07:51 The champagne sprays for Rosberg, Ricciardo and Magnussen - a terrific trio of drivers to land those podium spots.

Would you have guessed that before the race start?

07:52 A quick look over the rest of the finishing order, and Button did well to recover to fourth. Alonso's run to fifth was somewhat muted, and Bottas will rue that knock on the wall despite landing sixth.

Hulkenberg excels again to drag the Force India to seventh, but it was a tough Ferrari return for Raikkonen in eighth and possible disappointment for Toro Rosso, with their drivers slipping to the foot of the top 10. But a point on his debut for Kvyat, so he must be chuffed with that.

07:53 Bottas to Williams: "Sorry about the mistake. I'll learn from it." He thanks the team for all its efforts.

07:55 Rosberg credits Mercedes on the podium and gets a cheer, but the noise is mostly reserved for Ricciardo.

"Completely overwhelming, no words," he says.

07:56 Alan Jones, conducting the podium interviews, tells Ricciardo "you've done us all proud". Australia, judging by the noise, agrees.

07:57 The full story of a dramatic opening round of the 2014 Formula 1 season is now available on AUTOSPORT.com.

Read about all the drama right here:

Rosberg dominates, Vettel and Hamilton retire

07:58 Seven retirees from that race and one non-classified finisher in Jules Bianchi.

Sebastian Vettel and poleman Lewis Hamilton were the most high-profile non-finishers, with neither Lotus making it to the flag either.

They gave it a good go though, didn't they?

08:00 Marussia to Bianchi: "Sorry about that mate, we'll be better in Malaysia."

08:01 Many, many good drives in that race - but who was your star performer?

Get in touch via live@autosport.com, or #autosportlive on Twitter.

08:03 Ex-F1 racer Timo Glock makes his feelings clear about who excelled during that race (though not in reply to AUTOSPORT Live, we hasten to add).

"Great to see a big talent instead of money back in F1 big respect to @KevinMagnussen that was impressive!!"

08:05 Back to what was said on the podium, and Rosberg believes Mercedes has made a strong start - but cannot afford to rest on its laurels:

"An amazing day – I am over the moon really, everyone worked so hard over the winter and to have such an amazing Silver Arrow to drive is just unreal, this thing was unbelievable quick this weekend and reliability was good also.

"We have learned from this weekend, for sure [there is] some way to go, we can improve and we must - the competitors will not be asleep, we have to learn a lot."

Before that, though, he's off on holiday for a bit.

08:07 Ricciardo was chuffed, as you'd imagine, to become the first Australian to stand on an Australian Grand Prix podium (because he finished in the top three - here's looking at you, Mark Webber!).

"Two or three weeks I would bet almost everything I had that we would not be standing up here, full credit here to the team for an unbelievable turnaround, I don’t know how they did it but thank you guys

"The Aussie fans? Completely overwhelming."

08:10 And Magnussen?

"It is hard to believe, it seems so surreal. What can I say? The car was so much better than it has been at any point. I had what I needed in the race."

08:18 Early response on Twitter is as you'd expect, with plenty of you saying Magnussen - "no question about that!" says @Anna_Morge - and Ricciardo for those first F1 podiums.

Rosberg understandably gets a shout as well from @MargaretOjalvo but Duncan Moore reckons Jenson Button "drove a brilliant race" to net fourth from 10th.

Kvyat and Bottas are also among your suggestions. You know the score, keep it coming with #autosportlive.

08:21 Button is also fulsome in his praise of his new McLaren team-mate Magnussen as he talks to reporters in the media pen.

Australian GP08:27 Rosberg, as you'd expect, says plenty went right in that race - a start that was "off like a bullet... or like a Silver Arrow!", no worries with fuel consumption ("it all worked perfectly").

His only worry was some odd mid-race tyre behaviour.

"I got into a strange situation in that middle stint, got graining and losing temperature," he says.

"I thought I was going to have to come in soon and they said try to stay out. Then the graining cleared and I was able to go.

"It was a strange period but fine and I was able to go on like that."

08:36 Here's more from Ricciardo on his second place - and how he didn't even think he'd see the flag:

Ricciardo amazed just to finish

08:38 Fair play to Bottas - if TV interviewers try to move on after just talking about his mistake, he yanks them back to make sure he has chance to praise Williams for its amazing winter turnaround too.

08:39 The Finn is also making clear that he's "mad at myself" for slapping the wall when running so strongly.

Kamui Kobayashi crash08:40 Edd Straw is reporting from the paddock that Kamui Kobayashi had no rear brakes at the start of the race, which explains his Turn 1 crash with Felipe Massa.

08:45 Despite Rosberg having plenty of positives to talk about for Mercedes, he concedes that there is work to do - as team-mate Hamilton's retirement attests.

Merc must work on reliability - Rosberg

08:50 Plenty more BOTTAS and Magnussen love coming in via Twitter for your suggestions for star of the race.

Pindertuco, J_Ahmad and @FormulaFotos are all in favour of the Williams driver.

Magnussen's corner includes @Baggies20, @shistari and @CJAugarde.

08:54 More on fan-favourite Magnussen - the Dane reckons his podium finish (the first for a Danish driver in F1) was like a win for him and McLaren.

The Woking squad now leads the constructors' championship, and Magnussen has paid tribute to the team for the working they did over the winter to prepare him for his rookie season.

Magnussen: podium 'like a win'

08:55 Alonso was thoroughly...neutral about Ferrari's position after his fifth place:

"We all had problems, probably. But at the end of the day both Ferraris crossed the line, which is a good effort from the team.

"On the other hand, we finished 35 seconds behind Nico Rosberg, which is probably too much and we need to do better in Malaysia."

08:56 Alonso also reckons he learned a bit about Ferrari's handling by watching Nico Hulkenberg's Force India:

"After the first race, you have a better picture of which areas you need to improve after running behind people, like I did with Hulkenberg for many laps."

08:59 Sounds like Hulkenberg, who finished seventh, doesn't think Ferrari could learn too much good stuff from Force India:

"It looked like we didn't have the pace some others had. Some cars had an advantage in terms of downforce and their corner speeds seemed to be higher. It could be better - we were lacking a bit today."

09:01 While you can continue to submit your star of the race suggestions via #autosportlive and live@autosport.com, we'll throw another question out to you.

Daniil Kvyat became the youngest point scorer in F1 history with his 10th place finish today, aged just 19 years, 10 months and 11 days.

So what we want to test you on is this. Can you name the others on the current F1 grid that are in the top 10 for youngest drivers to finish in the points?

David Coulthard09:05 Today's victory is the 100th for a Mercedes-powered F1 car. Only nine of those came during its brief but spectacular period of mid-1950s dominance, so the other 91 are all since its mid-1990s F1 return.

The first win of that comeback came here in Melbourne, 17 years ago, when David Coulthard won another surprise-packed season-opener for McLaren.

The current works Mercedes team has contributed five of those victories. Wonder how high that tally will rise?

That's one of thousands of stats you can dig out on our partner site FORIX, which you get as part of your AUTOSPORT subscription.

09:09 Magnussen stresses that it was definitely, definitely a gamble from McLaren to put him in a race seat this season - but one worth taking because he was sure he was ready.

It's difficult to argue against that right now.

09:12 Kvyat's old Formula Renault outfit Koiranen GP is in full support of the Russian after his record-breaking 10th place finish.

"Huge job from @Dany_Kvyat scoring his ever first points in #F1 in his maiden race! How proud we are from you Daniil! That's just amazing!"

Koiranen ran Kvyat to the 2012 FR ALPS title, and second in that year's Eurocup as well. He was beaten to the Eurocup crown by McLaren junior Stoffel Vandoorne - whose fans are getting worked up on Twitter about his impending F1 brilliance after Magnussen's podium.

09:17 This is the situation in both the drivers' and teams' championship after the first round of the 2014 season.

Drivers' championship:

1. Nico Rosberg 25
2. Daniel Ricciardo 18
3. Kevin Magnussen 15
4. Jenson Button 12
5. Fernando Alonso 10
6. Valtteri Bottas 8
7. Nico Hulkenberg 6
8. Kimi Raikkonen 4
9. Jean-Eric Vergne 2
10. Daniil Kvyat 1

Constructors' championship:

1. McLaren/Mercedes 27
2. Mercedes 25
3. Red Bull/Renault 18
4. Ferrari 14
5. Williams/Mercedes 8
6. Force India/Mercedes 6
7. Toro Rosso/Renault 3

09:20 McLaren reveals on Twitter that Magnussen's podium and the team's ascent to first place in the teams' points has not provoked an emotional response from Ron Dennis.

In fact, he's quite matter-of-fact.

"Ron Dennis: "We're pleased but we're not ecstatic. We save 'ecstatic' for wins.""

09:27 Caterham reveals Kamui Kobayashi will receive no punishment from the Australian Grand Prix stewards for the Turn 1 crash.

The stewards have ruled it was the result of a "serious technical failure", not an error from the Japanese.

Full story to follow.

09:33 Breaking news from the paddock: BEN ANDERSON confirms that Daniel Ricciardo is under investigation by the stewards.

"During the race car number 03 has exceeded consistently the maximum allowed fuel flow of 100kg/h."

09:33 That meant Ricciardo breached article 5.1.4 of the technical regulations, and so the matter has been referred to the stewards.

09:45 A pretty anonymous race for Sauber, with Adrian Sutil 12th and Esteban Gutierrez 13th, and the response post-race is all about the C33's lack of pace.

"We were simply too slow," was Sutil's reaction, "but we managed to finish the race, which was our goal. We came close to the points, but we need to improve our speed.

"There is a lot of data now to analyse and we can only improve. I hope that we will progress quickly."

Team-mate Gutierrez was more blunt.

"In general we are missing speed and it's a challenge to be able to compete at the front like this."

09:46 It was hardly a classic race for Lotus, but despite both cars retiring with MGU-K issues, Romain Grosjean is taking a 'positive thinking' approach.

"In a way, it was a pretty positive day. I expected to do around 15 to 20 laps in the race after all the issues we've had this weekend, and we managed 45!

"We've learnt a lot today and all the changes made to the car have been positive. We still have a long way to go, but at least I know more about tyre usage, all my engineers know where we need to improve with the chassis, and we've learnt a lot about aero balance and fuel consumption.

"Of course there's more to do with the energy management and recovery and some work yet with the braking. We've still got lots of work to do, but we're definitely heading in the right direction."

09:50 Some confirmation here for you, Daniel Ricciardo's second place on Red Bull debut under threat over fuel flow issue:

Ricciardo podium in jeopardy

And the confirmation that Kamui Kobayashi will not be punished for that first corner accident:

Kobayashi escapes sanction over Turn 1 crash

09:55 While we didn't see (visibly) the aggressive fuel-saving tactics that drivers had expressed serious concerns over earlier in the weekend, the Ricciardo issue shows just how important fuel could prove under the new regulations.

F1 race director Charlie Whiting had already indicated there would be zero tolerance over fuel limits in 2014, so cars struggling to make the finish would just have to grin and bear it.

What that means for Ricciardo and fuel flow dramas, we don't know.

09:56 It takes a lot to knock the smile off Daniel Riccardo's face, but this would probably do it if he is stripped of second place.

09:59 Red Bull delegates are in with the stewards right now discussing the issue.

10:02 The other F1 rookies stole the spotlight, but Caterham's Marcus Ericsson is looking for positives after his debut ended in the garage.

"Even though my first race in F1 ended with a DNF I'm still proud of the way we fought today. It's been a very difficult weekend overall, one of the hardest in my whole career, but we still showed a bit of the potential we have in the first laps of the first stint when I passed Sutil and was running well in 12th.

"My first ever live pitstop a grand prix went really well but then unfortunately an oil pressure problem forced us to stop – we don't know what caused that yet but if we hadn't had that I think we'd have finished ahead of the Marussias as I was pretty comfortable ahead of Chilton until the issue."

10:03 One man we haven't yet heard from in AUTOSPORT Live this evening is Kimi Raikkonen. Here's his summary after finishing ninth:

"We had some issues but I don't know... There were a lot of things happening and until we look into those things I don't really know. We cannot be happy with the position that we finished in but at least we got something from a difficult weekend."

10:16 Toro Rosso got two cars home in the points today, although Jean-Eric Vergne says he had to deal with some brake issues to get there.

"This is obviously a good result, even though the car was very difficult to drive. We had problems with the brakes which made us lose a lot of time but at the end we are all satisfied to finish the race with two cars in the points.

"I'm very pleased with the overall three points especially for the team, more than for myself. After a long difficult time and so much hard work this winter, this is a great relief for all the guys in the garage and it's nice for us drivers to be able to give them something back."

10:25 Meanwhile, the other Toro Rosso driver - rookie Daniil Kvyat - has labelled his record-breaking grand prix debut as "intense" after finishing 10th.

That point means the GP3 champion succeeds four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel as F1's youngest point scorer. Good company to keep, that.

Story here:

Kvyat: record-breaking points finish "intense"

10:33 Button was quite talkative after that race, and his attitude was incomparable to that of last year's McLaren debriefs.

"The great thing is that, as a team, we've done a really good job this weekend. The pace is getting there, when we had clear air we had a good chance of fighting anyone apart from the Mercedes really.

"We all knew [Kevin] was quick. He's done everything that's been asked of him. Yesterday he did a really good job in qualifying, and then he backed it up today. He's a good guy, and he's proven he's quick here so we should work well together this year."

10:40 You can read more words from all the drivers over on AUTOSPORT's statistical partner FORIX's dedicated grand prix reaction section.

Not only that, but if you click on each driver's name, you can access a complete statistical breakdown of their weekend's work - lap times, speed trap figures, and the numbers from every single session.

FORIX is part of the AUTOSPORT subscription package. Just saying.

10:43 It's worth checking out the driver data for Bottas' lap chart alone, by the way.

10:44 JONATHAN NOBLE is primed and ready to interrogate Red Bull boss Christian Horner, who has just come out of the stewards meeting.

10:50 Sergio Perez had a pretty anonymous race on his Force India debut, only managing 11th after an early pitstop for repairs.

The reason he needed it was because his compatriot and Sauber successor Esteban Gutierrez spun into him:

"We had misfortune at the start. One of the Saubers lost control and hit my rear tyre, which gave me a puncture.

"So all my problems were at the start. From that point onwards I just tried to make positions with the prime tyres and then luckily there was a safety car so we managed to recover some positions.

"But I was having problems doing overtaking moves, I couldn't get past Sutil so I lost quite a lot [of time] behind him."

He made no comment about Magnussen finishing third (maybe second...) in 'his' McLaren.

10:53 Emotional stuff from Kevin Magnussen on Twitter as he tries to let his amazing debut podium sink in:

"Really proud. To be on the podium made me realise how fortunate I am. Thank you to my family, my manager and all my friends back home. They're always behind me and they believed in me before anyone else did.

"I can't thank the team enough for making this happen. They're allowing me to live my dream and I am forever grateful to them."

10:55 Also being happy on Twitter today is Mark Webber, who's certainly still paying plenty of attention to F1 - and he's got plenty of praise for Magnussen:

"Tidy podium that one..
"Nico=good and plenty more wins to come in 2014.
"Dan=I'm smiling like him. WHAT a result.
"Kevin=Very very impressive.
"And @McLarenF1 for having balls to put talent/hunger in the car... Not money. Well played. Teams take note."

10:59 More from the Magnussen appreciation chorus on Twitter as the two men who finished ahead of him in the 2010 German Formula 3 title battle - the currently sidelined Tom Dillmann and GP2 driver Daniel Abt - send their best wishes.

Dillmann: "In 2010 we were fighting in German F3 and now he scores a podium on F1 debut... Congrats @KevinMagnussen , brilliant !"

Abt: "A few years ago we were fighting in german F3. Now I watch him on the podium in F1. Brilliant job @KevinMagnussen you can be proud!"

10:59 Still no news on whether that third place will become a second for Magnussen.

It's over an hour since Red Bull representatives visited the stewards to make their case over Ricciardo's fuel-flow rate irregularities but no verdict yet.

11:07 EDD STRAW has been hearing more from Mercedes' Toto Wolff about Lewis Hamilton's early retirement:

Mercedes hoped Hamilton's problem would clear

Caterham and Lotus11:11 Lotus has been pretty upbeat about getting as far as it did in the Australian GP. But the team that won in Melbourne last year still found itself racing Marcus Ericsson's Caterham for position this time around.

AUTOSPORT's technical expert CRAIG SCARBOROUGH reckoned the Lotus design had a lot of promise when it first emerged though, so will the car fly when it gets some miles?

11:13 A fascinating tweet from Force India reserve and Mercedes DTM driver Daniel Juncadella - praise for fellow young gun Kvyat mixed with affronted Spanish solidarity!

"Impressive maturity @Dany_Kvyat in first f1 race with 19yrs. Reminds me of Alguersuari, hope they don't spoil your talent like with him! :)"

The smiley on the end takes all the venom away, of course.

11:26 Small victories, Nico!

@NicoHulkenberg: "Solid 1st weekend! Happy to come away with points & finally completed the Aussie GP!"

11:27 Of course, the reality is that the Force India drove a very strong grand prix - and ran fourth for much of the first half of the race.

Then again, that's not surprising anymore, is it?

11:27 Here's a great example of where Ferrari and Lotus are right now in terms of their development this season.

While Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen both banked points in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, finishing fifth and eighth respectively, the Spaniard believes the Scuderia can be in no way satisfied with its performance levels in Melbourne:

Alonso says Ferrari cannot be happy

Contrast that with Lotus, which registered a double DNF after a torrid pre-season - but had drivers Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado feeling positive after not retiring in the first half of the race:

Lotus encouraged by race performance

11:38 There's still a media encampment outside Red Bull in the Melbourne paddock as it approaches 11pm.

JONATHAN NOBLE has been waiting there to pick up on any news from team boss Christian Horner, as the stewards' deliberations over the Ricciardo fuel issue go into a third hour.

11:44 You can view a more concise round-up of the biggest talking points in the middle of our Australian Grand Prix race report.

Worth a look just to try and recall everything that happened in something of a hectic season opener.

11:44 There is a large media scrum outside the Red Bull garage in the paddock - as everyone waits for an update of what is happening.

Daniel Ricciardo walked in to the garage about 30 minutes ago and has been seen speaking to the team. Still no official news on a decision yet though.

Melbourne podium11:47 One interesting aspect of the situation is that the FIA report on what parts were changed overnight on Daniel Ricciardo's car shows that the fuel flow meter on his car was replaced.

There has been plenty of discussion in recent days about the accuracy of the FIA-supplied parts.

11:52 Where could Bottas have finished today if he hadn't clouted the wall?

The man himself says he hasn't done the maths yet, but his Williams had podium potential:

Bottas: 'I'm mad at myself'

11:54 As well as the outcome in the Ricciardo controversy (and Red Bull's response to it), we'll also bring you more news about Vettel's tough day shortly.

BEN ANDERSON has been getting the inside line from Renault's Remi Taffin on what left the world champion ranting in frustration on team radio.

12:05 While we wait for those updates, why not have a look at some of the best images to be snapped over the course of the weekend?

 Australian GP photo gallery

12:15 Should Ricciardo lose his second place, it would make this race the first without a Red Bull in the top three since last year's Spanish GP, when the team was still hamstrung by the initially fragile 2013 Pirellis and the rostrum was filled by Ferrari and Lotus drivers.

And it would elevate Button to third, putting two McLarens in the top three for the first time since the 2012 Chinese GP, when Button and Hamilton finished in that order behind today's winner Rosberg's Mercedes.

It would also be pretty devastating for Ricciardo and Australia...

12:18 Conversely, if this result stands, Ricciardo will have become the first Australian to ever clinch a podium in his home GP.

Mark Webber - famously luckless at home - never managed it, and the event didn't join the calendar until 1985, after the heyday of Australia's last world champion Alan Jones.

Jones did contest the first two Adelaide F1 races in the Beatrice Lola but was an early retirement each time.

12:24 If you're wondering if this might be a case of sleeping on it, AUTOSPORT understands that the FIA stewards are required to make a ruling one way or the other this evening.

It's approaching 11.30pm in Melbourne now and Ricciardo is believed to have left the circuit.

12:45 BEN ANDERSON: "I spoke to Renault's head of track operations, Remi Taffin, earlier. He gave some insight into Sebastian Vettel's struggles this weekend, and the reason for his retirement."

12:54 Officials confirming that Ricciardo is excluded from the Australian GP for exceeding the fuel flow limit.

12:57 More news on Ricciardo imminently, and here's the full story of what caused his team-mate Vettel's retirement:

Renault investigating Vettel power loss

12:57 Heartbreak for the Australian, who loses an excellent second place on his Red Bull debut - a decision that removes him from the record books as the only Aussie to stand on the podium at his home grand prix.

12:58 This is how it changes the race results (classified finishers only):

1. Rosberg
2. Magnussen
3. Button
4. Alonso
5. Bottas
6. Hulkenberg
7. Raikkonen
8. Vergne
9. Kvyat
10. Perez
11. Sutil
12. Gutierrez
13. Chilton

13:01 Immediate retaliation from Red Bull, which announces it will appeal the decision.

"The team has notified the FIA of its intention to appeal with immediate effect. Inconsistencies with the FIA fuel flow meter have been prevalent all weekend up and down the pitlane.

"The team and Renault are confident the fuel supplied to the engine is in full compliance with the regulations."

13:04 The FIA had made it clear from the outset this weekend that it was adopting a "zero tolerance" approach to the new-for-2014 stringent fuel rules.

13:05 We'll have the full story of the stewards' decision shortly, and JONATHAN NOBLE has headed straight for the Red Bull garage to find out more.

13:16 That promotion to second for Magnussen is the best result for a grand prix debutant in 18 years, with the Dane equaling then-Williams driver Jacques Villeneuve's 1996 Australian Grand Prix effort on his first F1 start.

13:22 Obviously that removes Ricciardo from second in the drivers' championship too, but it also benefits McLaren - which now holds an eight point lead over Mercedes rather than just two.

Revised drivers' championship standings:

1. Nico Rosberg 25
2. Kevin Magnussen 18
3. Jenson Button 15
4. Fernando Alonso 12
5. Valtteri Bottas 10
6. Nico Hulkenberg 8
7. Kimi Raikkonen 6
8. Jean-Eric Vergne 4
9. Daniil Kvyat 2
10. Sergio Perez 1

Revised constructors' championship standings:

1. McLaren/Mercedes 33
2. Mercedes 25
3. Ferrari 18
4. Williams/Mercedes 10
5. Force India/Mercedes 9
6. Toro Rosso/Renault 6

13:25 McLaren racing director Eric Boullier has certainly got more to smile about now than the team did at any point last year.

He was effusive in his praise of Magnussen's rookie performance:

"Kevin's drive was one of the finest performances by a Formula 1 rookie in living memory. Despite his youth and inexperience, he drove like a man who'd notched up 100 grands prix already.

"It was a complex and challenging race, yet he managed those complexities and challenges faultlessly."

13:28 Boullier, having switched from Lotus, is also delighted to be heading up a championship-leading squad.

"To be in first place in the constructors' world championship is a very nice feeling, but let's not forget that today's race was only the first of 19, and I'll be a lot happier if we're still in first place in the constructors' world championship after the 19th race!

"Kevin scored 18 of the 33 constructors' world championship points we racked up today, Jenson 15, and both guys drove superbly."

13:31 Here's the full story on Daniel Ricciardo's exclusion from the Australian Grand Prix, why Red Bull intend to appeal, plus revised results and standings:

Ricciardo disqualified over fuel-flow issue

13:37 And here is the stewards' ruling on the Ricciardo disqualification in full:

Stewards' Ricciardo ruling in full

13:41 Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has come out fighting over this issue. JONATHAN NOBLE is just back from speaking to him, story soon.

13:42 Immediate consolatory encouragement for Ricciardo from fellow sometime HRT F1 driver Karun Chandhok:

"Really a shame for @danielricciardo! Thought he was outstanding all through quali & the race...Hold your head high mate! #FirstWinComingSoon"

13:53 BEN ANDERSON cuts to the chase of the FIA's ruling and explains the elements that damned Ricciardo to disqualification:

FIA: Red Bull ignored requests over fuel flow

13:56 But Red Bull boss Christian Horner is adamant the fuel-flow rate was legal, and the FIA's system could not be trusted.

JONATHAN NOBLE has the story:

Red Bull insists Ricciardo fuel-flow rate legal

14:23 Thank you for sticking with AUTOSPORT Live for a delayed, unsavoury end to the Australian Grand Prix weekend.

There will be plenty of fallout to come, so stick with AUTOSPORT.com over the coming days for all the reaction to the 2014 Formula 1 season's curtain-raiser.

On Monday we'll bring you EDD STRAW's new-for-2014 analysis of how the race was won, plus his driver ratings, while Tuesday's feature content will include GARY ANDERSON's verdict on events in Melbourne.

The next bout of live coverage comes next weekend courtesy of Race Centre Live and the MotoGP season opener, while our live F1 coverage will return in two weeks' time for the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Will Nico Rosberg and Mercedes remain on top? Can Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo and Red Bull bounce back from a troubled (and now controversial) first round? And are Kevin Magnussen and Jenson Button going to be podium contenders again for McLaren?

You'll have to join us again next time find out.

Nico Rosberg Australian Grand Prix

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Race length: 58 laps
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Mainly sunny High Temp: 18°C / 64°F
Track: Dry
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Friday 14 Mar Start GMT
 Friday - Practice 01:00
Saturday 15 Mar
 Saturday - Qualifying 02:30
Sunday 16 Mar
 Sunday - Australian Grand Prix 04:30
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