Nico Rosberg's winning margin was an illusion. He crossed the line to win the Australian Grand Prix 24.525 seconds ahead of Daniel Ricciardo (whose position would soon prove to be an illusion all of its own), but such was the pace advantage of the Mercedes that it could have been significantly more than that.
This was a race in which Mercedes and Rosberg could only beat themselves. There was not even a hint of a challenge from another car once it became clear to Mercedes that Lewis Hamilton's sister W05, which started on pole position, had a serious and irresolvable engine problem.
Rivals, with some justification, talked in reverent tones about a one second per lap advantage for the Silver Arrows. Those who remained on message in the team were at pains to play this down, but there was little evidence to debunk that claim in Melbourne.
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