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Summary

  1. Hamilton wins, Rosberg 2nd, Vettel 3rd
  2. Massa 4th, Nasr 5th, Ricciardo 6th, Hulkenberg 7th
  3. Ericsson 8th, Sainz 9th, Perez 10th, Button 11th
  4. Verstappen out, Raikkonen out after botched pit stop
  5. Maldonado crashes out, Grosjean out
  6. Button and Perez make contact during scrap
  7. Magnussen & Kvyat out after stopping on way to grid
  8. Bottas does not race after back injury

Live Reporting

By Gary Rose

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Post update

    Formula 1

    So Lewis Hamilton makes the first move in the battle for the world title. Can Nico Rosberg respond in Malaysia in two weeks' time? Join us again then to find out. Cheerio.

  2. Post update

    Formula 1

    Mercedes: Meanwhile, YES, it did happen! Totonator and Terminator. BOOM!

  3. Race highlights

    Formula 1

    Opted for a Sunday morning lie-in rather than follow the race? I'm not offended, but don't forget highlights of the Australian Grand Prix will be on BBC One at 13:15 GMT.

  4. Driver reaction

    Ferrari

    Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, who retired following a botched pit stop: "I'm not happy not to finish the race, but I still believe in good races. In race pace we are not so far from Mercedes."

  5. Driver reaction

    Sebastian Vettel, who finished third: "It feels very good. You have to keep your feet on the ground. We showed good pace in testing and today we were able to turn it around.

    "There is a big gap to Mercedes so it is not nice to see they are 30 seconds down the road. But we have a good car to work with.

    "Mercedes are doing a good job. And Lewis deserved to win. You have to be man enough to respect that."

  6. Driver reaction

    Jenson Button, who finished 11th: "It's quite funny. The points don't really mean anything but this was a big step forward in terms of reliability.

    "It hurts you in many ways. It was a great job by everyone under very difficult circumstances. I think it was a good step forward for now."

  7. Post update

    Ferrari

    After suffering the first winless season in his career last year, a fresh start at Ferrari seems to have done Sebastian Vettel the world of good and he looks to have settled in well at the team after leaving Red Bull.

    Beating the Mercedes for victories this season might be a tough ask, but Rome wasn't built in a day, and a podium in the opening race of the season arguably surpassed expectations.

    It took Michael Schumacher five seasons to deliver the title after joining Ferrari in 1996, a time when Ferrari had won two races in the previous two seasons combined - coincidentally the exact same statistic that Ferrari have at the beginning 2015.

  8. 'A beast of a car'

    Lewis Hamilton
    Image caption: Lewis Hamilton

    Since 2002, the Australia GP winner has gone on to win the championship on seven occasions.

    Can Lewis Hamilton make it eight? Here's a few more words from him: "It was a pretty unreal weekend for me. This is the greatest feeling - to have a car I can challenge with again.

    "The team have given me a beast of a car to fight with."

  9. Post update

    bbc

    If you have just woken up, you might have missed our vote from before the race. We asked who will win the championship and the overwhelming favourite was Lewis Hamilton, with 78% of the vote.

    He's taken the first step towards doing just that with victory today.

    Interestingly, more people seem to think someone other than Nico Rosberg stands a better chance of taking the title despite the fact the German is in the all-conquering Mercedes.

  10. Post update

    Lewis Hamilton

    A few more words from Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg, who finished second: "Lewis drove like a world champion and that was it.

    "It was not the easiest of races. It was difficult strategy-wise out there."

  11. Post update

    Stefan Johansson
    Image caption: Stefan Johansson competing for Onyx in 1989

    Another landmark for Sauber as Marcus Ericsson, who finished eighth, became the first Swede to score a point in an F1 race since Stefan Johansson finished third in the 1989 Portuguese Grand Prix for Onyx.

  12. Post update

    McLaren-Honda were so, so close to a sneaky result but ultimately their miserable 2015 continued as Jenson Button was the only finishing driver to fail to pick up a point.

    Jenson Button

    It is the first time he has failed to score points in Melbourne since 2008, when he was also in a Honda. That was also the last time he had arguably such a poor car to drive.

  13. Post update

    Mercedes

    Mercedes: Proud :)

  14. Post update

    Formula 1

    Here's the race result in full and who scored points. Basically everyone who finished the race except for Jenson Button.

  15. Sauber success

    Felipe Nasr
    Image caption: Felipe Nasr

    After a pointless year in 2014, Felipe Nasr gave Sauber their first points since 2013 as the impressive rookie finished fifth.

    That is also the best result for a Sauber rookie on his debut, beating Kimi Raikkonen's sixth place in Melbourne in 2001.

    Kimi Raikonnen
  16. Post update

    Vettel

    More from Sebastian Vettel: "Of course it's not a victory, but for us it feels like a victory after a horrible season last year.

    "To know the car is working, the people have done a great job on the chassis and engine side."

  17. I'll be back

    Mercedes

    It will take some doing for the moment Arnie and Lewis Hamilton said "I'll be back" together.

    If you have not seen Arnold Schwarzenegger's fantastic podium interviews, you can watch the video right now.

  18. A fine day for Ferrari

    Ferrari

    A great day for Mercedes as they secure their 30th Formula 1 victory but third place for Sebastian Vettel will be almost as good as a win for Ferrari.

    One race, one podium. They managed just two in the whole of the 2014 season.

  19. Get involved #bbcf1

    henrybanye: I like the way Hamilton is driving. Brilliant control. No risks. Looking after the car. Love IT!

  20. Post update

    Mercedes

    Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton are all smiles in the post-race news conference.

    "Nico was very quick throughout the race," says Hamilton. "It was really trying to manage the fuel and the tyres not knowing the limit in terms of how far they can go.

    "Once you get a two-second lap to try to manage that there is no need to eke out more. When Nico turned up the heat I was able to react."

  21. Post update

    Jennie Gow

    BBC Radio 5 live pit-lane reporter

    "Can Arnie come back and do all the podium interviews please….brilliant value and the highlight of the race?"

  22. Post update

    hamilton

    David Brabham: Well done to Lewis Hamilton for winning the Sir Jack Brabham trophy. The old man would approve of that dominant display.

  23. Post update

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer in Melbourne

    "A round of applause for Hamilton as he walks through the media centre on the way to the news conference room."

  24. Fast facts

    • Lewis Hamilton takes his seventh win in the last eight races.
    • Mercedes have now scored 12 one-two finishes in the last 12 months.
    • Nico Rosberg has only beaten Lewis Hamilton once in the last eight races (Brazil).
  25. Post update

    Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel, who finished third: "It feels great to be with Ferrari. It's a very big honour and I'm very happy.

    "We've had a great winter and I said to the guys thanks very much. I'm very proud, there's a lot of work ahead to beat these two and Mercedes."

  26. Post update

    Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg, who finished second: "It's a nice feeling to be second because it is an awesome start to the season for Mercedes. The team have given us an absolutely stunning car this year so thank you to the team for that.

    "Lewis drove like a world champion today but I was driving to the max every lap and I will be doing my best to give this guy a big run for his money.

    "A lot is in the head not just during the whole race but during whole season. To not make a mistake the whole way round while being challenged physically and mentally is demanding."

  27. Post update

    Formula 1

    Oh now this is just glorious. Arnold Schwarzenegger returns to Lewis Hamilton after interviewing Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel and together they say those iconic three words: "I'll BE BACK!"

    Amazing scenes.

  28. Post update

    A serious response now from race winner Lewis Hamilton: "It is incredibly physical in these cars.

    "I am very honoured to be up here with these amazing drivers and great work from the team."

  29. Post update

    First question to Lewis Hamilton, who, pretty much like the rest of us, is just amazed at being interviewed by Arnie.

    "It is an incredibly feeling to continue winning but also great to be up here with you," says Hamilton. "I thought you were taller!"

  30. Post update

    Trophies presented, champagne sprayed and it is time now to hear from the three drivers.

    And, look at this! Arnold Schwarzenegger is the man to do the interviews!

    "Hey man! Wow," says a delighted Lewis Hamilton.

  31. Get involved #bbcf1

    Waѕiyullah Budye: Lewis Hamilton wins the Australian Grand. What a way to start the new season! Legend.

    Ben Wright: Great drives by Nasr and Hulkenberg though. Good effort from Button too.

    James Humberstone: The constructors' championship is pretty much over already. No one can touch the Mercedes.

  32. Post update

    Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel head on up to the podium.

    Hamilton leaps on to the top step, shaking the hand of Vettel and patting his Mercedes team-mate Rosberg. A good first battle of 2015 between the two, but first blood to Hamilton.

  33. Post update

    Mercedes: Nico Rosberg: "Great job guys - incredible car, you deserved that."

  34. AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX RESULT

    1) Lewis Hamilton 2) Nico Rosberg 3) Sebastian Vettel 4) Felipe Massa 5) Felipe Nasr 6) Daniel Ricciardo 7) Nico Hulkenberg 8) Marcus Ericsson 9) Carlos Sainz 10) Sergio Perez

    11) Jenson Button

  35. Post update

    Nico Rosberg pushed hard but he has to settle for second. Sebastian Vettel, on his Ferrari debut, secures a superb third.

  36. Post update

    Ben Edwards

    BBC F1 commentator

    "It's been an absolutely brilliant weekend for Lewis Hamilton. He's starting the season in the style he wanted."

  37. Chequered flag

    LEWIS HAMILTON WINS THE AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX.

    Lewis Hamilton
  38. FINAL LAP

    One lap to go and the gap between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg is 1.9 seconds. Can the reigning world champion secure a first win in Australia since 2008...?

  39. LAP 56

    Marcus Ericsson is still pushing Carlos Sainz for P8 and he goes for the pass at Turn 13, beautifully done and he steals the position.

  40. LAP 54

    Nico Rosberg has a nibble of Lewis Hamilton's advantage, 1.9 seconds now with four laps left...

  41. LAP 53

    Third is getting away from Felipe Massa as Sebastian Vettel's advantage currently stands at 3.9 seconds.

    The closest battle out there is between Carlos Sainz and Marcus Ericsson, with the latter just over half a second behind Sainz.

  42. LAP 51

    button

    Will Jenson Button finish the race? McLaren did not complete 58 laps in a single session during pre-season testing and that problem doesn't bode well. Meanwhile, another improvement from Lewis Hamilton with a 1:30.945.

  43. LAP 50

    Jenson Button is the only driver outside the points but he reports a "big, big problem" with the downshifts.

  44. Post update

    David Coulthard

    BBC F1 co-commentator

    "Hamilton is winning this at a canter. The Mercedes have not been pushed and we will have to wait for other grands prix to see how they will be pushed."

  45. LAP 49

    Into to single figure laps left and Lewis Hamilton produces his best lap of the race so far with a 1:31.023. The gap between himself and Nico Rosberg still hovering around the two-second mark.

  46. LAP 48

    Nico Hulkenberg fresh from his final visit to the pits, clocks his best lap of the day and is firmly on course for a seventh-place finish, with Carlos Sainz, in eighth, nowhere near him.

  47. LAP 46

    Felipe Massa is still pushing for a podium, he is fourth, 2.5 seconds behind Sebastian Vettel.

    massa
  48. Post update

    James Allen

    BBC Radio 5 live commentator

    "I think Hamilton could have gone a lot faster in this grand prix."

    Lewis Hamilton
  49. LAP 45

    With 13 laps to go the gap between leader Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg is 2.2 seconds.

  50. Post update

    Jennie Gow

    BBC Radio 5 live pit-lane reporter

    "Ferrari will be investigated over the Raikkonen incident after the race."

  51. Top 10

    bbc
  52. LAP 44

    Marcus Ericsson pits from eighth, takes on a set of softs and is back out in ninth. Meanwhile, Jenson Button's spell in 10th is brief as Sergio Perez successfully gets past him.

  53. Post update

    Williams: No immediate threat to Felipe Massa from behind now Raikkonen is out, so all eyes on Vettel ahead.

  54. Post update

    Tom Clarkson

    BBC F1 pit-lane reporter

    "I'm perplexed by what happened with Kimi Raikkonen, two bad pitstops. Ferrari permanently practice. They do 2,000 pitstops before the season."

  55. Get involved #bbcf1

    Michael Powell: Just the 11 left. JB might nick a point!

    IB: Hoping Button can make the end of the race to finally give some positivity for McLaren-Honda. Hamilton for the victory.

    Jamie Squibbs: Considering the fears before the start of the race with only 15 cars starting. There has been some great racing!!

  56. LAP 42

    Jenson Button is up to to 10th with just 11 cars out there now. Hands up who thought McLaren would be in the points today, then?

  57. LAP 41

    A replay of Kimi Raikkonen's stop suggest that the left rear tyre was not fitted properly. There's been a few ropey stops in this race, early season rustiness?

    Kimi Raikonnen
  58. Post update

    David Coulthard

    BBC F1 co-commentator

    "It could be a range of things, maybe hydraulic pressure."

  59. LAP 41

    Felipe Nasr is straying strong and defending his position but there is a problem for Kimi Raikkonen! He pulls to the side of the track at Turn Five shortly after pitting and he is out of the race.

  60. LAP 39

    Lewis Hamilton responds with a new fastest lap - a 1:31.355 - and that gap at the front is back up to two seconds.

    Elsewhere, Daniel Ricciardo is on the chase and he is within a second of Felipe Nasr in sixth.

    Red Bull
  61. LAP 38

    Nico Rosberg pulls out a big lap with a 1:31.355 on the medium tyres and the gap is cut to 1.5 seconds.

  62. LAP 37

    Meanwhile, at the front Lewis Hamilton improves with a 1:31.514, Nico Rosberg is a touch slower with a 1:31.610 and the gap currently stands at two seconds.

  63. LAP 36

    That leaves 12 cars on the circuit, with Jenson Button and Carlos Sainz outside the points at the moment. Sainz is on the back of Sergio Perez in 10th, though.

  64. Post update

    Tom Clarkson

    BBC F1 pit-lane reporter

    "He wasn't stationary for that long. Jos Verstappen was not happy. That was a points scoring position they threw away."

  65. LAP 34

    Ah, terrible timing with that last entry as, moments after making his first pit stop, Max Verstappen comes to a stop with smoke coming out of his Toro Rosso. He climbs out and makes his way back to the pits, cheers of encouragement from the crowd as he passes by. A big shame.

  66. LAP 33

    What an opportunity this is for drivers to score some big points today with so many cars having failed to start. Felipe Nasr is sixth at the moment, with fellow rookies Carlos Sainz and Max Vertsappen 11th and 12th respectively.

  67. Team radio

    "Fantastic Kimi. The race with Massa is still on."

  68. LAP 31

    Raikonnen

    Kimi Raikkonen is flying! He clocks a new best lap with a 1:31.523 and he is closing in on Felipe Massa in fourth.

  69. Post update

    Tom Clarkson

    BBC F1 pit-lane reporter

    "The good news for Carlos Sainz is the team have confirmed his car is OK. As for the wheel gun I have not seen them changing but there has been a lot of gesticulating."

  70. LAP 29

    After that flurry of pit stops Sebastian Vettel is currently the 'best of the rest' in third, behind the Mercedes pair and ahead of Felipe Massa, Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen.

  71. LAP 28

    McLaren

    Jenson Button is closing in on the top 10, he is up to 11th but is yet to make his first pit stop. He is subsequently called in after reporting that he is having a problem with his tyres.

  72. LAP 27

    One lap after his team-mate Nico Rosberg pits and it is also a very efficient stop. He rejoins in P2, with Lewis Hamilton over four seconds clear.

  73. Post update

    Ben Edwards

    BBC F1 commentator

    "The evidence at the moment is that Hamilton has the edge this weekend."

  74. Get involved #bbcf1

    James Stevenson: Just a leisurely Sunday afternoon drive in the country for Hamilton & Rosberg so far. They'll be stopping for a picnic any time now.

    James Humberstone: The Formula 1 world is relying on Kimi Raikkonen to make this race semi-entertaining.

    Dom Ship: My Vauxhall Corsa would have a chance of scoring points in this race!!

  75. LAP 26

    No such drama for Lewis Hamilton as he pits from the front and it's as smooth as it can be as he returns with mediums bolted on. Nico Rosberg, still to pit, is left as the temporary leader.

  76. LAP 25

    A terrible pit stop for Carlos Sainz as Toro Rosso struggle to get his left rear tyre off, the tyre gun seemingly failing. He eventually gets back out on the circuit but is down in 13th.

  77. LAP 24

    Daniel Ricciardo heads in and switches to medium tyres, while Sebastian Vettel is temporarily into third before he too is told to box.

  78. Post update

    Force India: Nico returns to track in P11, some road ahead of the renewing battle between Checo and BUT for P12.

  79. Post update

    David Coulthard

    BBC F1 co-commentator

    "Vettel needs to move on, he has some clear air ahead of him."

  80. LAP 22

    Felipe Massa pits from third, switches to medium tyres and is back out in sixth place.

    Nico Hulkenberg also heads in, pitting from 10th and taking on a set of mediums.

  81. Post update

    Lotus Maldonado

    Lotus's Pastor Maldonado has been explaining his crash on 5 live, saying it was just unfortunate, but that he was happy with the race pace of the Lotus.

  82. LAP 21

    Even better from Lewis Hamilton as he clocks his best lap of the race so far, a 1:31.940.

  83. LAP 20

    Lewis Hamilton

    Lewis Hamilton opens up a bit more at the front of the grid and his lead is now 2.9 seconds.

  84. LAP 19

    Kimi Raikkonen, in 11th, clocks a 1:33.242 on the fresh tyres. Meanwhile Felipe Massa who is third, has a 1.5 second lead over fourth placed Sebasitan Vettel, but reports some degradation on the front left tyre of his Williams.

  85. Post update

    David Coulthard

    BBC F1 co-commentator

    "That interview there from Romain suggested he was a PR man for the team."

  86. Post update

    Lotus' Romain Grosjean, who retired early in the race: "It was a technical issue that we will investigate.

    "But don't worry it's different from last year. We have a good car this year. It's bad luck today but I'm hopeful for this year."

  87. LAP 17

    Ferrari

    Kimi Raikkonen pits in the Ferrari from seventh, another set of softs are bolted on before he returns to the circuit., Not the quickest of stops though.

    Meanwhile Lewis Hamilton has increased his lead slightly again, he is 2.5 seconds ahead of Nico Rosberg.

  88. Post update

    Press Association F1 reporter Ian Parkes: A good stat for you folks. 15 cars represents lowest number of starters for a season-opening race since 1963!

    australia
  89. LAP 15

    Jenson Button's race engineer informs him that there are only 13 cars in this race and that is a "good chance to score points", hinting that he should avoid getting involved in any scraps.

    "Roger" is the sarcastic response from Button, hinting that he doesn't need to be told as much.

  90. Get involved #bbcf1

    Lisa Moran: Good day to be a rookie! Only 13 runners means a good chance to pick up points at your first GP (if you can make it to the finish!)

    Jonathan Edgerton: Not a good start #F1 season. Cars underprepared and missing on the grid despite millions invested. And then a bit of average driving.

    Rae Foreman: Who thought having a Felipe Massa and a Felipe Nasr would be a good idea?!

    Felicity Green: McLaren should be embarrassed by the car they've got on the grid right now. Alonso probably has his head in his hands.

  91. LAP 14

    Maybe I spoke too soon, the battle between Jenson Button and Sergio Perez is pushed too far as contact is made at Turn 3, resulting in the Force India spinning. Perez is able to recover before a hardy marshal runs on to clear some of the debris.

  92. TEAM RADIO

    "Good job Jenson, keep making life difficult for him."

  93. LAP 13

    Further down the field and Jenson Button, who started at the back of the grid in the McLaren is having a bit of a tussle with Sergio Perez. The Force India, in 13th, is six tenths off 12th-placed Button, but the latter is defending well.

  94. LAP 11

    There's been some impressive displays from the rookies already, none more so than Felipe Nasr, who is currently fifth and battling well with Daniel Ricciardo and Kimi Raikkonen.

  95. LAP 10

    Nico Rosberg continues to make gains on his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton with the gap now 1.2 seconds. They are both in a battle of their own, with Felipe Massa, currently third, 6.2 seconds behind Rosberg.

  96. Post update

    bbc
  97. LAP NINE

    Max Verstappen, who today became the youngest ever F1 driver at 17 years and 166 days is currently ninth, behind fellow rookie Carlos Sainz.

  98. LAP EIGHT

    Nico Rosberg is pushing hard and he cuts Lewis Hamilton advantage to 2.3 seconds with a new fastest lap.

  99. LAP SEVEN

    Lap 1 Aus GP

    The early drama gives Daniel Ricciardo the opportunity to challenge for a high finish and he is on the hunt for fifth at the moment.

    However, Kimi Raikkonen has Ricciardo's Red Bull in his sights, plenty of tension for the watching home fans.

  100. LAP FIVE

    Lewis Hamilton is fastest in all three sectors and he clocks a 1:32.765 to lead Nico Rosberg by 2.4 seconds.

  101. Post update

    David Coulthard

    BBC F1 co-commentator

    "All the rookies have made impressive debuts in practice and qualifying and keeping it clean so far."

  102. LAP FOUR

    Lewis Hamilton looks to take Nico Rosberg by surprise as his foot is straight on the accelerator as the safety car heads in and builds a quick advantage at the front.

    Behind Rosberg in second is Felipe Massa, Sebastian Vettel, Felipe Nasr - who is having a storming race so far - and then Daniel Ricciardo.

  103. Post update

    Sauber

    Sauber: Early pit stop for Marcus changing to the soft tyres.

  104. Post update

    Ben Edwards

    BBC F1 commentator

    "We're now down to 13 runners and you have to wonder if we will challenge the fewest number of finishers here. I think we've had eight on two occasions."

  105. Get involved #bbcf1

    Steve Roberts: All been going on this morning, nice start for Lewis and the McLaren looked rapid off the line.

    Richard Greenwood: Manor should have started!!! They pretty much would have been in the points by now!!!

    Rian Hoskins: Just when you thought Lotus' luck had changed, both cars are out already. Sauber have a great chance to better 2014 already.

  106. LAP THREE

    The safety car heads in at the end of lap three with Lewis Hamilton leading the remaining 13 cars in the rest of the race.

  107. LAP TWO

    Formula 1

    Marcus Ericsson and Romain Grosjean head into the pits. The Lotus is wheeled into the garage and it looks like Grosjean's race is run already. That's both Lotuses out already.

  108. Post update

    Mercedes: Car being lifted away now - fingers crossed it'll only be a short pause...

  109. LAP ONE

    Absolutely crazy as the field drops down to 14 runners with Pasto Maldonado clambering out of his Lotus, which struck the barriers after that spin which came about after a bit of traffic jam at the first corner.

  110. Go! Go! Go!

    The Australian Grand Prix is go, go go! It is a brilliant start by Lewis Hamilton as he streams away, getting through the first corner safely.

    Drama though as Pastor Maldonado spins at the exit of Turn Two and the safety car is out already.

    Start of the race
  111. Post update

    Lewis Hamilton lines up in his place on the grid and the rest of the field follow suit. Almost time...

  112. Post update

    The 15 cars starting the Australian Grand Prix head out for their formation. Will they all make it round?

    Mercedes inform Lewis Hamilton about where the oil spilled from Daniil Kvyat's Toro Rosso is, which is in the region of Turn 3.

  113. Post update

    Red Bull: Update on Dany Kvyat. He has a suspected gearbox problem, losing all drive and is unable to start the race.

  114. Rosberg's only hope?

    Australia

    Nico Rosberg won the season-opening Australian Grand Prix last year, with Lewis Hamilton retiring two laps into the race.

    How Rosberg will be hoping for history to repeat.

  115. A target for Hamilton?

    Fast fact

    Damon Hill

    Damon Hill has the record for the largest winning margins at Albert Park in a Formula 1 race, winning by 38 seconds in 1996.

  116. Most Melbourne wins

    Schumacher 2000

    Four - Michael Schumacher

    Three - Jenson Button

    Two - David Coulthard; Kimi Raikkonen

  117. Post update

    Formula 1

    Mercedes: Glorious sunshine glinting off the equipment as the #F1 W06 beasts receive their final pre-race treatment: five mins...

  118. Post update

    This is your FIVE MINUTE warning before the start of the race. Grab a coffee, tea or whatever your drink of choice is and settle in.

    It is almost time to go racing!

  119. Post update

    Allan McNish

    BBC Radio 5 live analyst

    "The first corner is quite bumpy and the grip level is pretty low. It's wide and narrow so everyone sticks it in as they know it is a good opportunity.

    "It has had a lot of safety cars. We have a 60 per cent chance of that mainly because of the first corner.

    "The young rookies need to just get through the first corner. That's one of the keys."

  120. Post update

    The wind caused a couple of drivers problems in practice and qualifying, will it have a part to play in today's race? The national flags above the stands are fluttering as the grid slowly starts to clear.

  121. Post update

    Allan McNish

    BBC Radio 5 live analyst

    "We have a battle at the front between the two Mercedes but also between the Williamses and the Ferraris.

    "I think this race weekend is a good one for Ferrari so far. They will want to get one over on Williams.

    "I think [Sebastian] Vettel can get a podium over Felipe [Massa]."

  122. Post update

    Lotus

    Lotus: 10 minutes to go and more plane action from the Australian Grand Prix.

  123. Post update

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer in Melbourne

    "This city has a reputation for capricious weather. And, even if the people who complain about it clearly haven't spent long in Britain, you can see their point. It was blue skies and 28C on Saturday, rained during the evening, was cool and cloudy on Sunday morning but sunny again by lunchtime - albeit a good 10C cooler than on Saturday. All of which means Albert Park is a completely different place for the drivers this afternoon. Whatever the effects, anticipation is high for a good race, even if that race is in two parts - one for Mercedes and one for the rest."

  124. THE GRID

    Just 15 cars lined up to start this race then:

    1) Hamilton 2) Rosberg 3) Massa 4) Vettel 5) Raikkonen 6) Ricciardo 7) Sainz 8) Grosjean 9) Maldonado 10) Nasr

    11) Verstappen 12) Hulkenberg 13) Perez 14) Ericsson 15) Button.

  125. Post update

    Arnold Schwarzenegger is too cool for shoes as he lines up alongside some dignitaries in front of the drivers on the grid for the Australian national anthem. He's opted for the black suit, blue trainers combo. Smooth.

  126. Get involved #bbcf1

    Jeremiah Kariuki: What a shame that Bottas has to miss the #AusGP! Hope Massa will go ahead to make the Williams proud.

    Alison Birch: Turning into #USAGP all over again down to 15 cars before the race start #ThanksBernie

    Michael Powell: Are any cars actually planning on starting this race?

  127. Post update

    Allan McNish

    BBC Radio 5 live analyst

    "Kevin Magnussen is not a surprise because they have had a dreadful run of things in the McLaren-Honda. Daniil Kvyat is in the Red Bull and you don't expect them to have so many problems."

  128. Post update

    McLaren

    McLaren: Jenson heads out to the line up on the grid..

    Maybe best not mention what happened to Kevin Magnussen to him guys...

  129. Post update

    Former F1 driver Australian Mark Webber, speaking to BBC Radio 5 live: "It [the Australian GP] the only bloody podium I couldn't get on. It's a big build-up but you have to be careful of your energy levels.

    "The Mercedes is on another level. It will not be pretty in terms of cumulative times."

  130. Post update

    BBC Radio 5 live

    You can listen to BBC Radio 5 live commentary as they build up to the race, if we have any cars left, on the radio and on this very page.

  131. Fast fact

    The lowest starter to win in Australia was Eddie Irvine, when he secured victory from 11th in 1999.

    Eddie Irvine
  132. 'Red Bull have gone backwards'

    Allan McNish

    BBC Radio 5 live analyst

    "Daniel Ricciardo already had to change one of his four engines for the entire season on Friday, the drivers talked about drivability being impossible, the radio messages have been very curt from the drivers too. We expected a bit of improvement over the winter but it appears they have gone backwards relative to the competition."

  133. Fast fact

    Formula 1
  134. Post update

    More pre-race drama! This time Daniil Kvyat takes a trip into the gravel on his reconnaissance lap. He limps the Red Bull on to the circuit and tries to nurse it back but has to pull over and come to a stop.

    Nearby, spectators race down the stairs at the stand to catch a view of the stricken Red Bull.

  135. Post update

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    "A big cloud of blue smoke. Kevin Magnussen stops between Turns Five and Six on his first lap out of the pits to the grid. It goes from bad to worse for McLaren-Honda."

  136. More McLaren woe

    Thought qualifying at the back of the grid was bad? It looks to have just got a whole lot worse for McLaren.

    Kevin Magnussen doesn't even make it round his first lap out on the grid before a huge plume of smoke pours out of the back of his car, bits of the power unit scattered all over the track.

  137. Get Involved #bbcf1

    The Typewriter: Barring a major disaster mid-race, Lewis Hamilton looks a shoo-in to win the #AustralianGP with Rosberg 2nd.

    Dave Mangham: Beautiful sunny afternoon here after a cold & cloudy start to the day. Got my 65k bike ride in, now settled in for a cracking GP!

    Pamah Jackson: Hamilton will definitely draw the first blood.

  138. Press reports

    Mercedes

    The Australian Grand Prix is understandably big news in Australia, and this is the cover of the Sunday Age. Here are a few other stories that are filling column inches:

    Red Bull chief technical officer Adrian Newey says it may take years for his team to challenge for the title again as there "no light at the end of the tunnel" with engine supplier Renault. Full story: Sunday Telegraph

    Lewis Hamilton admits he is coming round to the idea of being regarded as a legend alongside the likes of golf's Tiger Woods. Full story: The Sun (subscription required)

    Jenson Button has warned Hamilton to be wary of a Nico Rosberg revenge mission after beating his Mercedes' team-mate to last year's world title. Full story: Sunday Mirror

  139. Hamilton's target

    Niki Lauda

    Lewis Hamilton, of course, is aiming to emulate the achievement of Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda and become a three-time world champion.

  140. Post update

    Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda, speaking to BBC Radio 5 live: "Lewis did a perfect job in qualifying. The car is good, the engine is good too and no question, Lewis did an incredible job. We all know the car is perfect it is easy to drive, it behaves well, no complaints, o so if you have a car like this and you are a racing driver you are calm.

    "The big problem tomorrow is to finish. It is the first race of the season and things can go wrong. So the first thing is for both cars to finish and if this happens then I know the advantage we have now and all the way to at least Barcelona is good to have."

    Listen to the BBC Radio 5 live Formula 1 preview podcast for more interviews from the paddock

  141. Post update

    Lewis Hamilton

    Lewis Hamilton has not won the Australian Grand Prix since his first championship year in 2008, but his 2014 form suggests he is in strong position to climb the top step of the podium in Melbourne today. He secured victory six times on the seven occasions he started on pole last year.

  142. Post update

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer in Melbourne

    Formula 1

    "One of the stars of qualifying was undoubtedly Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz Jr. The Spaniard, son of the eponymous rally legend and friend of Fernando Alonso, is one of two rookie drivers at the Red Bull junior team, but he has been somewhat out of the limelight as much of the attention has focused on the other, Max Verstappen, at 17 by far the youngest driver in F1 history. More than one person in the paddock has mentioned how ironic it would be if Sainz turned out to be quicker. After all, he was twice overlooked by Red Bull - once in favour of Verstappen, who wasn't even in the company's junior programme until last summer - before finally getting his shot at F1. There has been little between them all weekend but come qualifying Verstappen made an error coming out of Turn Four and it was Sainz in the top 10.

    "'I made a small mistake in Q1, but I didn't let that affect me and from then onwards everything went really well,' Sainz said. 'I just kept focused and tuned the car to my liking to extract its full potential. I feel very comfortable in the car, I'm really enjoying myself a lot. It's difficult to know what to expect tomorrow, as it will be my first race, but I'm looking forward to it. It will surely be a bit of an adventure but this is what I've been preparing myself for the whole winter and I feel ready.'

  143. Get involved #bbcf1

    Podium predictions

    So who do you think will win the season-opening race? Lewis Hamilton to kick-off his bid for a third world title with victory? Nico Rosberg to turn it on and draw first blood in this year's championship battle? If we are to assume Mercedes have one and two locked down, who will finish third?

    Have your say on Twitter via #bbcf1, text us on 81111 (UK only) and pop a message on the BBC Sport Facebook and Google+ pages.

  144. Celeb spot!

    Australian GP

    Here he is, the subject of my opening two entries himself - Arnold Schwarzenegger.

  145. Nico's cunning plan?

    Formula 1

    Radio One presenter Greg James: BREAKING F1 NEWS: Nico plays a little overnight prank on Lewis to get a head start in the morning.

    Great banter Greg.

  146. Post update

    Sebastian Vettel

    The drivers parade has been completed and the countdown is on for the race, which gets under way in just under 50 minutes.

    It is a stunningly beautiful day and it looks to me like there is no danger of any rain for the duration of this race, that's the forecast too.

  147. Vote

    Who will win the title?

    Awake? Good, then it is vote time. Simple question, who do you think will win the championship this year? Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg or someone else?

    You can vote on the right side of this page for desktop users, or click the vote tab if you are reading on mobile. Check terms and conditions.

  148. Qualifying catch-up

    Formula 1

    If you fancy something to watch while we wait for the start of the race then the highlights show from qualifying is on BBC iPlayer now.

    As ever, some mighty fine montage action is involved to get you in the mood.

    Formula 1
  149. Circuit stats

    Australia

    Laps: 58

    Local start time: 16:00

  150. Post update

    David Coulthard

    BBC F1 co-commentator

    "It looks like an inspired decision by Sebastian Vettel, he really has his mojo back and Ferrari have made huge strides since last season. Kimi also looks to be back. He was so far off Fernando Alonso last season it looked like had checked out."

  151. Ferrari for the podium?

    Ferrari

    Sebastian Vettel retired at the Australian Grand Prix last year but has a great chance of a podium this time having put his Ferrari on fourth. His team-mate Kimi Raikkonen qualified fifth.

    "We can be happy with the whole weekend so far," says Vettel. "It is shame to miss out on P3 but it was very close and I think the battle for the podium is on."

    He was all smiles as the drivers' parade was completed, and who can blame him? So far so good for Ferrari.

  152. THE GRID

    So with Valtteri Bottas ruled out, here is the grid:

    1) Hamilton 2) Rosberg 3) Massa 4) Vettel 5) Raikkonen 6) Ricciardo 7) Sainz 8) Grosjean 9) Maldonado 10) Nasr

    11) Verstappen 12) Kvyat 13) Hulkenberg 14) Perez 15) Ericsson 16) Button 17) Magnussen

  153. Home fans' hope

    Daniel Ricciardo

    Red Bull Racing Spy: Daniel Ricciardo's impromptu signing session on the Melbourne Walk. We're expecting him to reach the garage by Tuesday…

  154. Bottas ruled out of race

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    "An update on Valtteri Bottas. The FIA medical delegate has ruled that he is not fit enough to start the race, so he will not be able to take part.

    "Williams had expected that he would try to race, despite a muscle tear in his lower back sustained on Saturday but the FIA's intervention means that is now not possible."

  155. Post update

    Mercedes: The all-star cast of F1 2015 ladies & gents! Including your 2014 Australian GP winner... Nico Rosberg!

    Formula 1

    And of course, your reigning F1 World Champion... make some noise Melbourne! For Lewis Hamilton!

    Formula
  156. Post update

    Allan McNish

    BBC Radio 5 live analyst

    Formula 1

    "A quarter of a century go McLaren were winning world championships with total dominance, much like we are seeing with Mercedes now, but they were the slowest cars on track on Saturday, and not just by a little bit, they were five seconds off Lewis Hamilton's time.

    "I think it is going to be a very, very long and hard season for McLaren."

  157. Post update

    McLaren produced their worst qualifying performance for six years as their big-budget new engine partnership with Honda got off to a terrible start.

    Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen could only qualifying 17th and 18th, but despite the poor qualifying display they have remained upbeat and I've just seen a smile or two as they go round on the drivers' parade.

  158. Post update

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    "There remains doubt about whether Williams's Valtteri Bottas will race in the Australian Grand Prix after suffering a muscle tear in his lower back. The team say a decision should be made within the hour - but they have to tell race director Charlie Whiting before that, and the word is that Bottas will race.

    "Because the injury is a tear, he cannot make it worse by racing, so there is nothing to lose by doing so, other than the pain he will have to endure. An injection should take the worst off that, though."

  159. A bad day for Button

    Jenson Button

    How Jenson Button would like to be this close to a seemingly unstoppable machine once again. Here he is in his Brawn GP days back in 2009 - the year he won the drivers' championship for the first and only time so far.

    He won the Australian GP that year but, barring a minor miracle, he won't be repeating that feat this year, with McLaren-Honda's torrid start to 2015 having continued on Saturday...

  160. Post update

    Should he be unable to race, that means there will be 17 of the 20 cars lining up for the Australian Grand Prix, which gets under way at 05:00 GMT.

    Manor had not taken part in any practice sessions in Melbourne and also failed to participate in qualifying, meaning they will not race.

  161. Post update

    Valtteri Bottas spent the night in hospital and Williams say a decision over whether he will compete in today's race will be made within the hour.

  162. Post update

    David Coulthard

    BBC F1 co-commentator

    "We saw Valtteri Bottas run wide in his two qualifying laps on to the kerb on the start-finish straight. It could be as simple as he has taken a whack and tweaked a nerve."

  163. Post update

    Williams

    There may no surprises at the front of the grid but Felipe Massa secured an impressive qualifying result with third.

    His team-mate Valtteri Bottas qualified sixth but is a doubt for the race after he suffered a back problem during qualifying.

  164. Post update

    Formula 1

    Toro Rosso: It's time to smile... For the photo and first driver's parade of the season!

  165. Post update

    Allan McNish

    BBC Radio 5 live analyst

    "Mercedes were the dominant package last year clearly and over the winter period they have not rested upon their laurels, in fact the car difference to the rest looks to be even bigger than it was with a 1.4 second gap between polesitter Lewis Hamilton and the best of the rest which was Felipe Massa's Williams. Hamilton is definitely man of the moment."

  166. Post update

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    Formula 1

    "Lewis Hamilton was in as good a mood as one can imagine after qualifying on Saturday, barely able to wipe the smile off his face and hijacking Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff's news conference by asking joke questions. 'Have you considered upping the ante in your contract talks with Lewis?' Hamilton asked Wolff a couple of hours after his stupendous pole position.

    "This pole - his 39th, Hamilton pointed out - was all about Hamilton's peerless natural ability. In the difficulty, windy conditions, which were new for qualifying, Hamilton adapted better than Rosberg and the result was a gap of more than half a second, and an early psychological hit in the title battle between the two Mercedes drivers. No wonder Hamilton was grinning."

  167. Post update

    Formula 1

    It's here. The first race day of the 2015 Formula 1 season and there is an air of familiarity in Australia.

    Mercedes topped every practice session in Melbourne before locking out the front row for today's race, with Lewis Hamilton securing pole and Nico Rosberg second on the grid.

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is set to make an appearance in the paddock today, may have found a way to destroy the seemingly indestructible Terminator in the nineties classic Terminator 2 film, but even he won't be able to do much about Mercedes' dominance...

  168. Judgement day?

    Part man...

    Lewis Hamilton

    ...part machine...

    Lewis Hamilton

    ...ruthless, efficient, unstoppable.

    Terminator

    Mercedes - seemingly the Terminator of Formula 1 - are back.