And after claiming pole position in Melbourne only for his Mercedes car to suffer engine issues and retirement, there were no worries today with the Briton establishing a ten second lead in the opening stint of the race and from there controlling the race.
Nico Rosberg had some trouble containing a resurgent Sebastian Vettel, but he held on to extend his championship lead. Mercedes will be a bit concerned about the performance of Rosberg’s car which struggled with rear tyre wear.
The unluckiest man in F1 today was Dan Ricciardo. Looking good for 4th place, he first has a problem with a wheel nut in a pit stop, which loses him lots of time and positions, then he breaks his front wing, and then gets penalized for unsafe release from the stop with a 10- place penalty for the next race in Bahrain.
Dan’s done a super job so far in his two races with Red Bull, but with no points on the board (pending his appeal for disqualification in Melbourne) he is entitled to feel hard done by. Has he inherited Mark Webber’s luck as well as his car at Red Bull?
Next stop Bahrain in a week’s time with Hamilton and Mercedes riding high. Rosberg has always been super fast around the Sakhir circuit, so Hamilton will have to be on his A game there. But I’d expect Mercedes to dominate again as the long straights will not play to Red Bull’s strengths.