Team by team analysis of Australian Grand Prix

Melbourne: Team by team analysis of Sunday`s Australian Formula One Grand Prix (listed in current championship order):

RED BULL (Sebastian Vettel 1, Mark Webber 5)

Vettel made a perfect start to his Formula One world title defence with a pole to flag victory, crossing 22.2 seconds faster than runner-up Lewis Hamilton of McLaren. Webber, who started third on the grid, lost ground after a pitstop and was disappointed with his car`s pace.

MCLAREN (Lewis Hamilton 2, Jenson Button 6)

Hamilton was nearly edged out at the first corner by Webber but drove solidly to hold on to second even as Vettel became a distant speck on the horizon. Button was given a drive-through penalty after cutting off Ferrari`s Felipe Massa but eventually saw off the Brazilian in an enthralling duel.

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FERRARI (Fernando Alonso 4, Felipe Massa 7)

Alonso was satisfied with his result after starting fifth on the grid and enduring a tough start when being boxed in at the first corner to lose a few places. Massa, who started eighth, was less pleased with his ninth-placed finish, but was later promoted after both Sauber drivers were disqualified for a technical infringement.

RENAULT (Vitaly Petrov 3, Nick Heidfeld 12)

Sixth on the grid, Petrov leaped out of the blocks to barge past Button and Alonso at the first corner and capitalised when Webber went to the pits and never recovered the lost ground. The Russian drove solidly to hold off Alonso to win his and Russia`s first F1 podium. Heidfeld started brightly, going from 18th on the grid to 12th, but finished out of the points after his car`s sidepod and engine cover were damaged in a collision.

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TORO ROSSO (Sebastien Buemi 8, Jaime Alguersuari 11)

The team`s race started very badly as Spaniard Alguersuari drove into Buemi at the first corner and the Swiss`s car struggled for pace thereafter. Buemi crossed 10th but was later promoted to eighth after Sauber`s disqualification. Alguersuari had a scrape with Schumacher which the Spaniard blamed for damaging his front wing to force a pit-stop.

FORCE INDIA (Adrian Sutil 9, Paul Di Resta, 10)

Sutil made up five places from the start to cross 11th but was promoted to ninth after Sauber`s disqualification. Scotsman Di Resta also benefited to earn a point in his F1 debut.

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MERCEDES (Nico Rosberg, Michael Schumacher both retired)

Mercedes will be keen to put Melbourne behind them after both drivers failed to finish. Schumacher, who started 11th on the grid, suffered a puncture and pitted after a lap before retiring a third of the way into the race. Rosberg stopped soon after his team mate with smoke rising from his car following a collision with Williams` Rubens Barrichello.

WILLIAMS (Rubens Barrichello and Pastor Maldonado both retired)

Barrichello started with a trip into the gravel and was later given a drive-through penalty for crashing into Rosberg. The Brazilian`s front wing was damaged in the collision but he drove on until retiring on lap 48 with a suspected transmission problem. Maldonado`s Formula One debut ended in disappointment after his car suffered a transmission failure before grinding to a halt in lap nine.

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SAUBER (Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi both disqualified)

A dream start for Sauber with Mexican Perez`s seventh place on his debut and team mate Kobayashi`s eighth turned into a nightmare when race stewards disqualified the drivers for a technical infringement related to the car`s rear wing.

The 21-year-old Perez had finished the race on one change of tyres in a gutsy, if ultimately disappointing, debut.

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TEAM LOTUS (Jarno Trulli 13, Heikki Kovalainen retired)

Finn Kovalainen retired with a radiator leak on lap 20, but Trulli survived to cross some two laps behind winner Vettel.

VIRGIN (Jerome D`Ambrosio 14, Timo Glock not classified )

The team hailed a small victory by bringing both cars across the line, but only D`Ambrosio`s was classified after Glock finished some nine laps behind Vettel after suffering a wheel malfunction.

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HRT (Narain Karthikeyan and Vitantonio Liuzzi both failed to qualify)

Both drivers were ruled out of Sunday`s race after their qualifying times were more than 107 percent off the pace in the first session on Saturday. The Spanish-owned team appealed to be allowed to start, but it was dismissed.

Bureau Report

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