2014 F1 AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX RESULTS
McLaren debutante Kevin Magnussen came home third with Button fourth, the pair winning more points than the team's entire 2013 campaign.
Controversy struck immediately after the race however, with Ricciardo's second-place result brought into question over a fuel irregularity.
After hours of waiting on an official decision, the young Australian was officially stripped of his groundbreaking result late on Sunday night. (Read more here.)
PRACTICE AND QUALIFYING
The first practice session of the year was less chaotic than expected, with the majority of the field getting decent miles. Even the Red Bulls, after awful testing form, looked reasonable.
Qualifying was genuinely thrilling. The first session started dry but with just a few minutes to go in Q1, the heavens opened. Neither Lotus was able to set a competitive time, allowing Kamui Kobayashi's Caterham into Q2.
The rain got heavier in Q2, with Kimi Raikkonen punching the wall on an in-lap. The Finn confessed he was fiddling with buttons on the steering wheel. Sensationally, world champion Sebastian Vettel was unable to find his way through to Q3.
The final part of qualifying was a battle between Ricciardo and the two Mercedes. The Toro Rossos battled with the fading Williams, while McLaren's Kevin Magnussen impressed. The remaining Ferrari of Alonso also went well.
Hamilton ended on pole, with Ricciardo beside him on the front row and Rosberg close behind.
This was totally new territory for Formula 1 - 22 of the new cars starting the race with their new power units.
Marussia's Max Chilton failed to get moving for the parade lap and was wheeled into the pits. Vettel radioed his team to complain his problems from qualifying had returned.
The first start was aborted for Jules Bianchi's Marussia, leaving both the team's cars in the pitlane to start. The second start was successful, for most of the field.
Rosberg fired through from the second row and into the lead, with Hamilton falling behind Ricciardo who held on gamely despite Hamilton's best efforts.
There was trouble down the grid, with Kamui Kobayashi sliding off at turn 1 after collecting Raikkonen (who survived) and Felipe Massa (who didn't). Vettel almost got caught up in the action but soldiered on.
To his enduring credt, Kobayashi took the blame and soon went on Twitter and TV to apologise, although it later turned out that his rear brakes had failed.
Hamilton retired amid confusion after just three laps, with Vettel following him on lap five.
Both Williams made up a huge number of places, with Bottas passing Vergne from fifteenth. Magnussen too got a great start, avoiding a hard-starting Alonso. Raikkonen, who had started one place behind Vettel, made it through to sixth, right behind Alonso.
Amazingly, Caterham's Marcus Ericsson was running eleventh ahead of the Sauber of Sutil and would stay close to the top ten until retiring, an impressive debut.
Daniil Kvyat's first race for Toro Rosso was also going very well, with the Russian teenager feeling he needed permission to pass teammate Vergne.
Bottas was running sixth by lap 8, snapping at the heels of the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso. He was looking incredibly fast but he slapped the wall as a result of his enthusiasm, tearing his right rear tyre from the wheel. He made it back out again on soft tyres, seemingly without any ill effects.
The safety car wasn't scrambled until after Bottas' stop as the FW36's wheel had split and wound up too close to the racing line.
Button pitted from ninth with about a millimetre to spare, just before the SLS safety car hit the track. Everyone back to P9 pitted, with Button shaking out in sixth.
Ricciardo requested less downforce on the front wing to improve the balance of his RB10. He rejoined in second.
Kimi Raikkonen lost the pit stop lottery, having to stack behind Alonso.
The racing resumed on lap 16. Bottas picked up where he left off, passing Gutierrez and dispatching several more to be twelfth by lap 19.
Hulkenberg was running fourth for Force India, a great result for driver and team at a track that hasn't been that great to either.
Ricciardo was running well, but with Magnussen in DRS range - and the system reactivated - his team told him he could use the overtake button to defend and he was also able to go as hard as he liked on fuel.
Rosberg was building a lead, though, pushing through five seconds and on to almost seven by lap 23.
By lap 21, Bottas was back in the points for tenth in the Williams, a superb recovery, albeit aided by the Safety Car he'd caused.
Alonso was pressuring Hulkenberg for fourth as the German complained of tyre wear, his team telling him it would clear. Despite a big lockup, he held his place, no doubt frustrating Alonso.
Meanwhile, Bottas made it to P9 with a huge pass at turn one on Kvyat. He set off after Raikkonen and closed in at a rate of knots.
Sixteen cars were still running at half distance, with two of them out due to the first lap crash. But on lap 31, the numbers thinned again with Maldonado's Lotus stopping on track at turn 12.
Button pitted at the end of lap 32 for a set of medium tyres, the jack knocking the cap off the McLaren's nose. Hulkenberg and Vergne responded to Button's stop, but Button got ahead of both cars.
Bottas made it to sixth and was again going after a Ferrari, this time Raikkonen's. He set fastest personal and overall sector times in his pursuit of fifth place. He got it when Raikkonen locked up at turn 9.
Alonso pitted on lap 36 for a set of medium tyres, his three second stop leaving him behind the McLaren of Button but ahead of Hulkenberg - just. Hulkenberg pressed the issue at turn 3, but Alonso prevailed.
Ricciardo pitted on lap 37, Bottas, Raikkonen and Kvyat following him in. They left in the same order while Magnussen took over second from Ricciardo. He pitted a lap later, leaving the pits just 2.8 seconds after he arrived.
Rosberg pitted for mediums on lap 38, heading out without losing his lead but some damage on the front left brake housing caused some concern.
Magnussen began to draw up behind Ricciardo while Raikkonen came under pressure from Kvyat in the Toro Rosso, way back in ninth. Both Ferraris were having electrical trouble, robbing them both of power.
Magnussen's McLaren was clearly much faster than the Red Bull and had the advantage of DRS. Ricciardo responded by setting his personal best lap on lap 43 to eke out a 1.3 second gap.
The second Lotus expired on lap 45, again out on the track but out of the way with a power-unit failure.
Bottas, who had battled Vergne for a few laps for seventh, capitalised on a lurid slide from Vergne out of the final turn when he dropped a tyre on the grass.
Force India got straight on the radio to tell their man Hulkenberg that he'd be defending from Bottas shortly.
McLaren told Button they believed Ricciardo was struggling, and Magnussen was told, "Let's get Ricciardo, he is struggling." He didn't need to be told twice, starting to chip away at the Red Bull driver.
Bottas mounted a concerted attack on Hulkenberg on lap 50, lining up the German on a number of corners, but Bottas passed on lap 51 with the aid of DRS. This left Bottas in sixth.
Ricciardo responded to the threat from Magnussen and held the Dane at just under a second as he had to save fuel. Ricciardo's engineer knew it and told him to press on, the Australian finishing a fine second.
"Two or three weeks ago I would have bet pretty everything I have that we would not be standing up here. Full credit to the team for an unbelievable turnaround. I don’t understand how they did it but they did, so thank you guys. And, of course, the Aussie fans. Wow, completely overwhelming. No words. I’m trippin’ balls right now," he said with a grin.
Raikkonen got past Vergne on lap 54 after a mistake from the Toro Rosso driver, taking eighth place.
Magnussen was given three laps to use more fuel and he resumed his march towards the Australian, but the gap was 2.1 seconds.
Rosberg crossed the line almost a pit stop ahead of Daniel Ricciardo and Kevin Magnussen. It was Rosberg's fourth victory and McLaren's first podium since 2012 and, of course Magnussen's first, in his debut race no less.
In a crushing blow to Daniel Ricciardo, the RB10 was adjudged to have used fuel at a rate faster than the allowed maximum, promoting Magnussen to second and Button to third.
- Nico Rosberg - Mercedes - 1h32m58.710s
- Kevin Magnussen - McLaren-Mercedes +26.777s
(Magnussen moves into the spot vacated by disqualified Ricciard)
- Jenson Button - McLaren-Mercedes +30.027s
- Fernando Alonso - Ferrari +35.284s
- Valtteri Bottas - Williams-Mercedes +47.639s
- Nico Hulkenberg - Force India-Mercedes +50.718s
- Kimi Raikkonen - Ferrari +57.675s
- Jean-Eric Vergne - Toro Rosso-Renault +1m00.441s
- Daniil Kvyat - Toro Rosso-Renault +1m03.585s
- Sergio Perez - Force India-Mercedes +1m25.916s
- Adrian Sutil - Sauber-Ferrari +1 lap
- Esteban Gutierrez - Sauber-Ferrari +1 lap
- Max Chilton - Marussia-Ferrari +2 laps
- Jules Bianchi - Marussia-Ferrari +8 laps*
Romain Grosjean - Lotus-Renault - 43 laps
Pastor Maldonado - Lotus-Renault - 29 laps
Marcus Ericsson - Caterham-Renault - 27 laps
Sebastian Vettel - Red Bull-Renault - 3 laps
Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes - 2 laps
Kamui Kobayashi - Caterham-Renault - 0 laps
Felipe Massa - Williams-Mercedes - 0 laps
Daniel Ricciardo - Red Bull-Renault +24.525s