The 2013 Formula One season began with plenty of promise for the Mercedes AMG Petronas team. New addition Lewis Hamilton showed flashes of his unquestioned driving excellence during the first race – the Australian Grand Prix – which took place on 17 March. Luck wasn’t on Nico Rosberg’s side, but he still performed admirably before being forced to retire.
The introduction to the new Formula One season began dramatically. Qualifying was delayed, adding to the suspense, and the race was hard-fought, with all of the drivers looking to get the best possible start to their new season. Lewis Hamilton finished up in third place in his dynamic 2013 Mercedes car, while Nico Rosberg qualified in sixth place.
As the genuine race began Lewis made a strong start, but having planned for two stops he was forced to change to a three stop strategy mid-race. Enjoying the dynamics of the car in his first significant competition for Mercedes AMG Petronas he completed the race in fifth place, a sure sign of success to come. Nico was unfortunately forced to retire on lap 27 following an electrical fault with his car.
Strategic problems and technical failures eventually cost the Mercedes-Benz team a stronger finish, but Toto Wolff pledged to use the experience as a learning curve: “We learned a lot this afternoon. We had to switch our strategy from two to three stops, which of course compromised Lewis in terms of his pace and also the final result. As for Nico, we need to work hard to ensure that technical failures do not cost us the chance of strong finishes. We can see that we have a solid basis to work from, now we need to keep our heads down and work hard to improve further.”
On the back of a solid start, and with a point to prove, the Mercedes Petronas AMG team was left eagerly awaiting the second race in the 2013 Formula One season, the Malaysian Grand Prix on 24 March.