F1: HÃ¼lkenberg and Sainz make top ten in opener
Scuderia Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel won the race over long-time leader Lewis Hamilton for Mercedes AMG Petronas.
Hamilton’s Brackley team-mate Valtteri Bottas was eighth one place behind Hülkenberg. His Enstone team-mate Carlos Sainz filled the final position in an encouraging start for the team.
After running fourth and fifth with 35 laps remaining, Haas drivers Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean suffered separate retirements.
Magnussen qualified sixth to equal the Banbury squad’s best qualifying effort to date. Grosjean qualified right behind his team-mate in seventh.
With Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo incurring a three-spot grid penalty, the Banbury team duo moved up to fifth and sixth at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit.
Magnussen grabbed fourth place from Max Verstappen as he deftly overtook the Red Bull driver on the outside of turn one, Grosjean, meanwhile, held steady in sixth.
Verstappen doggedly pursued Magnussen but on lap ten that pursuit sent Verstappen spinning off turn one. Magnussen drove away while Grosjean picked up the position, putting the Haas drivers fourth and fifth with 48 laps to go.
The pressure from Red Bull was still on, however, as Verstappen’s team-mate, Ricciardo, was sixth. Magnussen pitted for a new set of Red supersofts on lap 22. But as he headed down the pit lane a loose wheel meant his day was over.
Grosjean pitted two laps later and a loose wheel forced him to stop on the racetrack.
Grosjean was listed with a 16th-place finish and Magnussen was credited with 17th.