2016 Australian GP: All posts, one place

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The opening weekend of the 2016 Formula 1 season was certainly a memorable one. From the rain on Friday to the dramatic race on Sunday – and the failure of qualifying in-between – there were plenty of talking points coming away from Australia.

Nico Rosberg stole an early march in the championship race by taking his fourth consecutive grand prix victory, leading home Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton.

Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari had the early advantage in Melbourne, but Mercedes acted like true champions to dig out of a hole and come away with a one-two.

Recapping our online coverage of the Australian Grand Prix, here’s our ‘all posts, one place’ run-down.

F1 2016 TEAM PREVIEWS

Mercedes
Ferrari
Williams
Red Bull
Force India
Renault
Toro Rosso
Sauber
McLaren
Manor
Haas

THURSDAY 3/17

Red Bull announces new partnership with Aston Martin
F1 Preview: 2016 Australian Grand Prix
F1 Paddock Pass: 2016 Australian Grand Prix (VIDEO)
Matchett: Mercedes may be keen to let their drivers race more in 2016
Hamilton: Ferrari has something up its sleeve in Melbourne
MotorSportsTalk’s Predictions: 2016 Australian GP
Daniel Ricciardo focused on Red Bull amid Ferrari link
Gutierrez: Team integration the biggest challenge for Haas on debut
Hamilton quickest in damp opening Australian GP practice

FRIDAY 3/18

Hamilton leads, Rosberg crashes in second Australian GP practice
Alonso would regret leaving Ferrari if it wins 2016 F1 title
Ferrari spends most F1 engine tokens ahead of new season
Rosberg apologizes to Mercedes after Australia practice crash (VIDEO)
F1 officials confident teams won’t dodge radio silence rules
F1 team bosses welcome Haas, offer advice ahead of debut
Maurizio Arrivabene brands Ecclestone’s cartel comments “ridiculous”
Gene Haas admits to nerves ahead of his team’s F1 debut
F1 ‘Halo’ cockpit protection progressing well, 2017 debut possible

SATURDAY 3/19

Hamilton heads up Mercedes one-two in final Australian GP practice
Red Bull offers preview of proposed F1 canopy design
Hamilton claims 50th F1 pole as new qualifying format debuts in Australia
How long will F1’s new qualifying format last? (VIDEO)
Hamilton pleased with ‘sexy laps’ en route to Australia pole
Vettel not surprised by criticism of new F1 qualifying format
Wolff calls new qualifying format “pretty rubbish”
If F1 wants to shake up qualifying, it should look to IndyCar
Grosjean, Gutierrez frustrated as Haas struggles in Australia qualifying
Horner: F1 should apologize to fans for qualifying farce
Alonso, Button upbeat after reaching Q2 in Australia
Haryanto handed grid penalty after pit lane run-in with Grosjean
F1 team bosses agree to revert to 2015 qualifying format for Bahrain

SUNDAY 3/20

What to watch for: Australian Grand Prix
Alonso, Gutierrez walk away from terrifying Australia crash (VIDEO)
Rosberg takes fourth straight win in Australia as Haas finishes sixth on debut
Haas makes history in Australia, enjoys stunning debut run to P6
Alonso happy to be alive after horror crash in Australia
Grosjean: Sixth place on debut like a win for Haas
Brake issue almost forced Rosberg to retire in Australia
Vettel: Mercedes caught Ferrari out with tire call
Hamilton takes second in Australia as a ‘bonus’ after fightback
F1 Paddock Pass: 2016 Australian Grand Prix post-race (VIDEO)
Verstappen frustrated by Toro Rosso miscommunication in Australia
Palmer enjoys strong F1 debut in Australia, narrowly missing points
Massa quietly impresses en route to fifth in Australian GP
Rosberg hails Mercedes strategy call after Australian GP victory
Daniel Ricciardo: Red Bull not far off Mercedes, Ferrari

MONDAY 3/21

FIA stewards take no action over Alonso/Gutierrez crash
Gene Haas: Debut F1 points justify taking an extra year to prepare
Steiner not getting carried away with Haas’ debut points
Romain Grosjean wins first F1 Driver of the Day in Australia

Meyer Shank Racing wins Petit Le Mans to take final DPi championship in dramatic finale

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Meyer Shank Racing outdueled Wayne Taylor Racing to win the Petit Le Mans and clinch the championship in a thrilling final race for the DPi division.

Tom Blomqvist, who started from the pole position, drove the No. 60 Acura ARX-05 to a 4.369-second victory over Pipo Derani in the No. 31 Action Express Cadillac.

“That was incredible,” Blomqvist told NBC Sports’ Matt Yocum. “I’ve never dug so deep in my life. The adrenaline. I did that for the guys. I was so motivated to win this thing this weekend. But I’ve got to thank everyone on the whole team.”

With co-drivers Oliver Jarvis and Helio Castroneves, Blomqvist helped MSR bookend its season-opening victory in the Rolex 24 at Daytona by winning Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season finale at Michelin Road Atlanta.

In between those two victories, the No. 60 earned five runner-up finishes to stay in the thick of the championship hunt and trail WTR’s No. 10 Acura by 14 points entering Saturday’s race.

WTR’s Filipe Albuquerque had a lead of more than 10 seconds over Blomqvist with less than 50 minutes remaining in the 10-hour race.

But a Turn 1 crash between the Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillacs brought out a yellow that sent both Acuras into the pits from the top two positions.

Though he entered in second, Blomqvist barely beat Albuquerque out of the pits, and he held the lead for the final 45 minutes.

Blomqvist said he gained the lead because of a shorter fuel fill after he had worked on being efficient in the second-to-last stint.

“The team asked a big job of me with the fuel; I had a big fuel number to hit,” Blomqvist said. “We knew that was probably our only chance. The yellow came at the right time and obviously we had a bit less fuel to fill up, so I was able to jump him and then it was just a matter of going gung-ho and not leaving anything on the line. And obviously, the opposition had to try too hard to make it work. I’m so thankful.”

Albuquerque closed within a few car lengths of Blomqvist with 14 minutes remaining, but he damaged his suspension because of contact with a GT car in Turn 1.

It’s the first prototype championship for Meyer Shank Racing, which also won the 2021 Indy 500 with Castroneves.

“We’ve had in the last four years, three championships for Acura, the Indy 500 win and the Rolex 24, it doesn’t get any better,” team co-owner Mike Shank told NBC Sports’ Kevin Lee.

It’s the third consecutive runner-up finish in the points standings for Wayne Taylor Racing, which won the first Daytona Prototype international championship in 2017. The premier category will be rebranded as the Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class with the LMDh cars that will establish a bridge to racing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Kamui Kobayashi finished third in the No. 48 Cadillac of Action Express that also includes Jimmie Johnson and Mike Rockenfeller.

The podium showing marked Johnson’s last scheduled race in IMSA’s top prototype division. The seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion has raced in the No. 48 Ally Cadillac lineup as the Action Express entry has run the Endurance Cup races.

Johnson said a lack of inventory will preclude him having a 2023 ride in the top category. But he still is hopeful of racing the Garage 56 Next Gen Camaro in next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans and possibly running in a lower class for the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

“I’d love to be at Le Mans next year,” Johnson told NBC Sports’ Dillon Welch after his final stint Saturday. “I’d love to be at the Rolex 24. The series is going through a shake-up with the reconfiguration of the rules and classes, so I don’t have anything locked down yet, but I’m so thankful for this experience with Action. The support Ally has given us, Mr. Hendrick, Chad Knaus, all of Hendrick Motorsports. It’s been a fun two years, and I certainly hope I’m on the grid again next year.”