Mercedes Team Won Second and Fourth at the Melbourne F1 Race

By: Dwyane Thomas

The inaugural F1 race which took place in Melbourne, Australia over the weekend has proved to be quite a race for the reigning world champion Fernando Alonso and teammate Lewis Hamilton who finished second and fourth respectively. The F1 race was also a great opportunity for Mercedes-Benz to show the world the outstanding performance of its vehicles and that includes displaying how durable the Mercedes auto parts and accessories are like which are perfect for protecting Mercedes vehicles.

From the start of the race, the duo managed to maintain their positions at the head of the pack until Alonso dropped back to fourth by the first corner while Hamilton moved into third following BMW's Nick Heidfeld and former McLaren Mercedes driver Kimi Raikkonen.

It was only on the 14th lap that Heidfeld entered the pits for the first time giving Lewis and Fernando the opportunity to move into second and third spots. Kimi entered the pits on the 19th lap which allows the McLaren Mercedes duo to up another spot. After the 22 and 23 laps, Alonso and Lewis entered their pits for the first time and resuming their former positions as third and second respectively.

Then on lap 42 Kimi made his second pit stop, giving Lewis the chance to take the lead, unfortunately a lapped car slowed his speed enabling Fernando to close the gap between himself and his teammate. Lap 43 came and Lewis has to make a pit stop, Fernando has taken advantage of this to gain back the lead until he pitted two laps after. When he gets back on the race, Alonso was already accelerating to second place ahead of his teammate Lewis and trailing behind Kimi. These positions were maintained through the end of the race.

The F1 Race in Melbourne ended remarkably for the Team Vodafone McLaren Mercedes better than their performance last year.

Here are some of the comments during the race (source emercedesbenz.com):

-----Fernando Alonso: "What a great way to start the season and my career as a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver. Of course it's always better to win but Kimi was a little bit quicker than us today, but we scored the maximum points that were possible, and I'm really pleased. My start was a bit strange with both BMWs being very quick off the line, and I was so busy defending my line from Heidfeld on the outside that it was not possible for me to defend the corner. I was then behind the Lewis for a while and was just focusing on keeping up with him and sometimes dropping back to allow the car to cool down. I took second after the second pitstop as I was able to stay out for an additional two laps. Originally it was meant to be one lap but because I was behind Lewis I managed to save enough fuel for one more lap. Both of the Bridgestone Potenza tyre options worked well. We will now continue to work hard to give us the best opportunity to beat Ferrari at the Malaysian Grand Prix."

----Lewis Hamilton: "I'm absolutely ecstatic - today's result is more than I ever dreamed of achieving on my Grand Prix debut. A big thank you to the team who have worked so hard during the winter to make sure I was as prepared as I possible could be. I made a good start but the BMWs were quick off the line and Kubica managed to get past. There was no room on the inside so I got on the left and managed to outbrake both Kubica and Fernando coming into the first corner to take third. The race was intense, and I was working very hard. I made a few mistakes but nothing major and really enjoyed myself. It was great to lead the race for a few laps, but I knew it was only a temporary thing. Fernando got past me in the second pitstop as he was able to stay out a bit longer and I lost some time behind backmarkers. We now have a lot of work ahead of us with the Malaysia test and the rest of the season, but there is no doubt that we can build from what has been achieved today."

----Ron Dennis, Team Principal: "Of course as always we came to Australia to win but a somewhat unexpected strategy adopted by BMW was very disruptive to our race. Following Heidfeld's first pitstop the gap was just too big to realistically close it and the additional range from our strategy was subsequently wasted. Both drivers did an excellent job giving us a narrow lead in the Constructors' Championship. A special thank you to the test team and the workforce back at the McLaren Technology Centre who have worked so hard during the winter and contributed so much to the faultless reliability that we have enjoyed throughout the weekend. The coming Malaysian test should give us every opportunity to further improve the competitiveness of our cars."

----Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: "The season started well with Fernando and Lewis scoring 14 points out of 18 possible on their debut race for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. Fernando showed with his performance exactly why he is the double world champion whilst Lewis made a perfect start to his Grand Prix career and proved absolutely worthy of the confidence we have had in him for the past ten years. Although we still have to work hard to further improve our technical package, we showed today that throughout the winter we have made improvements. We will now focus on the Malaysia test and are looking forward to the next race. Thanks to everybody in the team in Woking, Brixworth and Stuttgart, all their efforts will pay off."

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