FIRST LAP CRASH: Lotus’ Pastor Maldonado crashes after during the first lap of the . 2015 Australian GP. Image: AP/ /Rob Griffith
Formula 1's season-opening 2015 Australian GP got under way on a farcical note with only 14 cars left in the race after the opening lap.
Just 15 were able to line up on the grid due to a rash of technical failures and Pastor Maldonado then crashed his Lotus into the barriers on the first lap, bringing out the safety car.
Both Manor Marussia cars were ruled out of the race at Albert Park after failing to participate in Saturday (March 14) qualifying or any of the free practice sessions before it.
BOTTAS INJURED, KVYAT CRASHES
The field was then reduced to 17 when Williams driver Valtteri Bottas was ruled out less than an hour before the race due to a back injury he sustained during qualifying.
Red Bull then lost driver Daniil Kvyat, whose car came to a halt after skidding into the gravel during a reconnaissance lap, which followed a power unit failure to McLaren driver Kevin Magnussen's car.
Magnussen was unable to complete a single formation lap before the engine blew with the car quickly grinding to a halt, billowing smoke.
World champion pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg started on the front row, with Williams driver Felipe Massa and Sebastian Vettel, making his debut for Ferrari, on the second.
2015 Australian GP at Albert Park results
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