Hamilton kicks off F1 title defence in style with controlled Australian GP victory


Lewis Hamilton kicked off his Formula 1 world championship defence in style at the Australian Grand Prix today by claiming a dominant victory ahead of Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg.

The British driver led for all but one lap in Melbourne to clinch his second win at Albert Park, following on from his victory at the 2008 race.

MORE: Watch a full replay of the race

As expected, Mercedes dominated proceedings and eased to a one-two finish, but the main talking point on Sunday was the high rate of attrition as just 11 cars reached the flag.

Before the race had got underway, the grid fell from 18 to just 15 starters after Valtteri Bottas, Kevin Magnussen and Daniil Kvyat were all unable to make the grid. Bottas failed to start from P6 due to a back injury, whilst both Magnussen and Kvyat suffered technical problems on their installation laps, giving the 2015 season something of a false start.

Off the line, both of the Mercedes drivers made a good getaway to remain P1 and P2 through the first corner, with Hamilton retaining the lead from Rosberg. Just behind, the two Ferrari drivers tangled, but Vettel managed to stay ahead of the struggling Raikkonen who narrowly avoided an incident between Felipe Nasr and Pastor Maldonado. Contact between the two drivers left Maldonado in the wall, warranting a safety car after just one lap in Melbourne.

In the sister Lotus, Romain Grosjean was forced to retire due to a loss of power, leaving just 13 cars in the field once the race resumed on lap three. Hamilton perfected his restart to drop Rosberg by 2.5 seconds after just one lap, whilst Raikkonen tried to make up for his poor start by battling with Ricciardo and Nasr in the positions ahead. The Finn was eventually forced to pit on lap 16 in a bid to get out of Ricciardo’s dirty air, switching to a two-stop strategy.

Five laps later, the first of the one-stoppers took their pit stops, with Massa diving in from third place to take on a fresh set of medium tires for Williams. The Brazilian emerged from the pits in sixth place behind Daniel Ricciardo, but was soon in clean air after the Red Bull driver pitted. However, it proved to be too little, too late for Massa as Vettel moved up into net third place by going longer three laps longer.

As the race approached half-distance, the leading Mercedes duo took to the pits with Hamilton coming in one lap earlier than Rosberg. Enjoying similar stop times, the Briton retained his lead, leaving Rosberg some five seconds behind and with a mountain to climb if he was going to deny his teammate the win at Albert Park.

In the fight to be top rookie, Max Verstappen made his first pit stop in F1 on lap 33 after starting on the medium tire. The Dutch youngster managed to emerge from the pits in ninth place on a fresh set of soft tires, but all hopes of points went up in smoke when an engine fire forced him to retire from the race just one lap later.

Rosberg began to make inroads into his teammate’s lead after pitting, reducing the gap to just 1.5 seconds before Hamilton took notice. The Briton duly responded with the fastest lap of the race, extending the gap once again as Rosberg complained of high tire degradation.

Kimi Raikkonen was having no such problems on his two-stop strategy, retaining fifth place after making his final pit stop on lap 42. However, an issue with the left-rear tire on his car in the pits forced the Finn to pull over at the side of the track just four corners later, whittling the field down to just 11 with 15 laps to go.

With the sparse field largely spaced out in the final ten laps, the most interesting battle between Marcus Ericsson and Carlos Sainz Jr. for eighth place. Both drivers put in impressive displays to score points, but it was Ericsson who managed to fight past and up into the position.

Hamilton and Rosberg continued to trade quicker lap times at the front in the dying stages of the race, but the German simply could not find the pace to reel his teammate in. After 58 laps, Hamilton crossed the line with an advantage of 1.3 seconds to clinch his second Australian Grand Prix victory.

On debut for Ferrari, Sebastian Vettel managed to stay ahead of Massa after leapfrogging the Williams driver in the pit stops to secure third place ahead of the Brazilian. With less than five seconds separating the two drivers at the line though, the stage is set for a thrilling season-long battle between these two teams.

One of the stand-out performances in Australia came courtesy of Sauber rookie Felipe Nasr, who put the uncertainty of the winter behind him to finish fifth on debut for the team. With Ericsson finishing eighth, Sauber celebrated a 14-point haul to start 2015 after failing to record a single top-ten finish last year.

Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez put in a quietly impressive display for Force India to finish seventh and 11th on Sunday, with Carlos Sainz Jr. also enjoyed a good F1 debut in P9.

With 11 cars finishing the race, the only driver not to score points was McLaren’s Jenson Button, who finished two laps down on the leaders and some 38 seconds behind the rest of the field.

Vicki Golden and 805 Beer tell a unique story from an Inverted Perspective


Vicki Golden has earned a career worthy of a thousand stories and 805 Beer tells at least one of them, as “Inverted Perspective” premiered March 30 on the company’s website and YouTube channel.

Golden did more to break the glass ceiling in SuperMotocross than she ever thought possible. She knows this because riders have never felt the need to explain any of her accomplishments with the disclaimer, “for a girl”. 

At this point in Golden’s career, she’s been the first woman to finish top 10 in AMA Arenacross Lites, the first woman to qualify in the Fast 40 in Monster Energy AMA Supercross and the first woman to compete in freestyle Moto X competition, earning a bronze medal by doing so.

Her love for moto came from childhood while she watched her dad and brother ride. By seven she was on her bike and making waves throughout Southern California. 

Golden, 30, is still madly in love with the sport and has no plans on moving away but her career is already one to talk about. 805 Beer’s film series wanted to do exactly that.

“I’m taken aback by it all,” Golden told NBC Sports about the documentary. “It’s just crazy to see your story, it’s one thing to live your life and battle everything that comes about but it’s another to just sit there and talk about it.”

805 approached Golden about the feature by asking, “Do you even realize that what you do, and your story is special?”

Golden took the question as a blank canvas to map out the highs and lows of her career and life. 

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The title “Inverted Perspective” came from a brainstorming session with Dominick Russo and it highlights Golden’s outlook on the sport of SuperMotocross and her life in general. 

“My whole life, my whole career was thinking differently and looking at things that shouldn’t be done and aren’t there, while being able to make a place for myself, where no one thought there should be a place,” Golden said.  “It’s inspiring someone to think in different ways. It sums up my life.”

Vicki Golden is not “fast for a girl”; she’s just fast. – 805 Beer

While Golden is no stranger to the spotlight, this was the first time she’s been fully involved with the storytelling and creation of a feature about herself. 

“It’s not like a full new experience,” Golden said. “Obviously, you get your standard questions about your upbringing and accomplishments, but I’ve never really put into perspective things that happened in my past with my dad and putting that to light. Also, certain other things that maybe got overlooked in previous interviews or films. I wanted to touch on these and Dom wanted to create a story. It’s just cool to see it come to light, it’s a nearly impossible thing to tell somebody’s life story in 40 minutes.”

Golden’s father was left paralyzed after an ATV accident, robbing him the opportunity to ride again. This happened a few months before the father-daughter duo was set to compete in the Loretta Lynn’s Amateur Nationals when Vicki was 12. While she might have been unable to grasp the severity at the time, it’s something she carries with her. Golden continues to ride in his honor.

Years later, an accident in 2018 nearly sidelined the then 25-year-old Vicki when a freestyle accident almost resulted in the amputation of her lower leg. 

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Golden 805 Beer
Vicki Golden has ridden a variety of disciplines in SuperMotocross, which gives her a unique perspective. – 805 Beer

“Inverted Perspective” highlights her father’s diligence in helping Vicki continue with her career and the kindness and strength he carried while fighting his own battle. 

“My dad was the entire reason that I started riding in the first place,” Golden said. “So, to honor his memory and to honor what we went through and how hard he pushed to keep our dream alive and keep everything going – in that sense then, it was really special to be able to honor him and talk about him.”

The 40-minute feature was filmed entirely in black and white, a stark contrast from the oversaturated world of motocross where the brighter the suit the easier it is for fans to find their rider and follow him in the race. By filming in monochrome Russo and Golden had the chance to focus on the race and track from a different perspective. 

“It was cool to be able to film it differently,” Golden said. “It created a challenge in the sense of what was going to be more visually impactful for the film.

“I couldn’t be here without the companies that back me but at the same time, it’s not like the logos or colors disappeared, it’s just different lights shed on different spots. It’s just a cool way to do it and to take color away and still be impactful. When you think of black and white, you think of old school, the OG way of doing things.”