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Lewis Hamilton wins Australian Grand Prix, Daniel Ricciardo finishes in sixth place

ABC News logo ABC News 15-03-2015
Defending drivers' champion Lewis Hamilton has won the Australian Grand Prix to get his F1 title defence off to the perfect start in Melbourne. © Mark Thompson/Getty Images Defending drivers' champion Lewis Hamilton has won the Australian Grand Prix to get his F1 title defence off to the perfect start in Melbourne.

Defending drivers' champion Lewis Hamilton has won the Australian Grand Prix to get his F1 title defence off to the perfect start in Melbourne.

Hamilton, who claimed pole in qualifying, led from first lap to last to pip Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg and former world champion Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari to first place.

Local favourite Daniel Ricciardo overcame a weekend of difficulties to finish sixth, in a race that saw just 15 drivers take to the starting grid, with four posting DNFs.

There was drama in the opening lap as Lotus's Pastor Maldonado spun out and hit the barrier after the first corner, forcing him out for the rest of the race to reduce the field further to 14 cars.

Lotus team-mate Romain Grosjean's race was also over after he was wheeled into the pits in the second lap, citing technical issues.

Hamilton started the race in pole position ahead of Rosberg, but Williams driver Valtteri Bottas was ruled out of the race with back pain.

Bottas's absence, after qualifying sixth fastest, saw Red Bull number one driver Ricciardo bumped up to sixth spot on the grid.

But Ricciardo was the only Red Bull driver out on the tarmac after Russian team-mate Daniil Kvyat was ruled out with a gearbox issue.

McLaren driver Kevin Magnussen, who was meant to replace Fernando Alonso for the Melbourne Grand Prix, was also ruled out of contention after his car suffered engine problems in the pre-race warm-up.

Troubled F1 team Manor Marussia was another absentee from the grid after failing to get their cars ready for qualification due to a computer software problem.

Lotus team-mate Romain Grosjean's race is also over after he was wheeled into the pits in the second lap.

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