Pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton and world champion Sebastian Vettel
retired early on with reliability problems, the German's exit ending
his record run of nine successive victories racked up for Red Bull
since last August.
Rosberg, Hamilton's German team mate, capitalized on a brilliant
start from third on the grid to snatch the lead before the first
turn and roar to the fourth win of his career.
"Brilliant stuff, what a car you've given me! What a car!" the
German shouted over the team radio after crossing the line.
Ricciardo crossed the finish 24.5 seconds behind but his joy at
becoming Australia's first driver to stand on the home podium was
shattered more than five hours later when stewards disqualified the
24-year-old for a fuel flow irregularity.
That promoted McLaren's Danish rookie Kevin Magnussen to second
place, making the 21-year-old Formula One's most successful debutant
since Canadian Jacques Villeneuve in Melbourne in 1996.
Magnussen's podium was also the first by a Dane in F1.
Team mate and 2009 world champion Jenson Button moved up to third
with McLaren, who failed to finish in the top three all last season,
leading the constructors' standings.
Rosberg, tipped to duel with team mate Hamilton for the
championship, celebrated his first win since last year's British
Grand Prix — when he was also the beneficiary of technical mishaps
to Hamilton and Red Bull's Vettel.
"The car was just really, really quick today," he told reporters,
looking forward with relish to the next race in Malaysia in two
"A really good engine, not much problem with fuel consumption. It
just all worked perfectly."
The gaping margin of victory underscored Mercedes' superior
preparations for F1's technical revolution, which saw all teams
struggle during winter testing with the new V6 turbocharged hybrid
The glitches continued as only 14 of the 22 cars finished on a gusty
day at the bumpy street circuit which was doused by a brief
rain-shower early in the race.
Hamilton, who snatched pole position at the end of a wet qualifying
session on Saturday, noticeably lacked power on his start and was
called in by his team to retire on the third lap.
Mercedes later clarified his car had suffered a misfiring cylinder.
"We will recover from this, it's only a small hiccup. There's a long
way to go still," Hamilton told Sky television.
"At the moment I'm not concerned about anything."
Twelfth off the grid, Vettel also struggled at the start and retired
only a few laps after Hamilton, complaining of engine performance
[to top of second column]
Ricciardo, who replaced compatriot Mark Webber at Red Bull after
crossing from sister team Toro Rosso, had thrilled home fans after
seeing off Magnussen's late challenge.
Two hours after the race, FIA officials said they were investigating
Ricciardo for "consistently" exceeding permitted fuel consumption
during the race.
After deliberating late into the night, the FIA announced Ricciardo
had been disqualified. Red Bull said they would appeal.
"Inconsistencies with the FIA fuel flow meter have been prevalent
all weekend up and down the pit lane," the team said.
Ferrari's two-time world champion Fernando Alonso was fourth with
Williams driver Valtteri Bottas moving up to fifth after Ricciardo's
exclusion for his best F1 result.
The Finn raced from 15th on the grid and might have been on the
podium but for a brush with the barrier that left him limping back
to the pits on a rim. His 10-point haul was still double what his
team scored in all of last season.
Bottas's new Brazilian new team mate Felipe Massa was unable to add
to the tally, however, having been taken out of the race at the
first turn by Caterham's Kamui Kobayashi, who suffered a brake
Kimi Raikkonen's eventual seventh-placed finish behind Force India's
Nico Hulkenberg capped a frustrating return to Maranello for the
2007 world champion, who started 11th on the grid after a crash
Russian rookie Daniil Kvyat was promoted to ninth on his debut for
Toro Rosso, becoming at 19 years old the sport's youngest points
scorer, behind team mate Jean-Eric Vergne.
Lotus's insipid race weekend finished with both Romain Grosjean and
Pastor Maldonado unable to complete the race due to reliability
The race stumbled at the start, with Marussia driver Max Chilton
stalling on the grid before the pre-start installation lap and his
team mate Jules Bianchi then repeating the mishap.
Bianchi, along with both Caterhams, was unable to finish.
(Reporting by Ian Ransom; editing by Sudipto Ganguly
and Alan Baldwin)
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