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Lewis Hamilton wins Australian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton began the defence of his F1 world championship title with a win in Australia. Credit: James Moy Photography/Press Association Images

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton won the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in a perfect start for his Formula One world championship defence.

Starting from pole position at Albert Park, the British driver led a Mercedes one-two for the top two podium spots and crossed the line 1.3 seconds ahead of German team mate Nico Rosberg.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel was third.

Manor miss Australian GP qualifying

Manor have been summoned to the stewards to explain why they missed qualifying for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

Despite strenuous efforts this week, Manor failed to make it out on track at Melbourne's Albert Park at any stage over the course of the past two days.

It resulted in drivers Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi, along with the team's mechanics, looking on from the garage as qualifying unfolded.

Sporting director Graeme Lowdon confirmed the team had made enormous strides since encountering numerous issues on Friday, but ultimately had to concede defeat in their bid to take part.

The South Yorkshire-based marque only emerged from administration three weeks ago after being saved by energy entrepreneur Stephen Fitzpatrick.

Manor confirm Merhi as second driver for 2015 season

Roberto Merhi will be Manor Marussia's second driver for the 2015 Formula One campaign, the team have announced.

The 23-year-old Spaniard will line up alongside England's Will Stevens on the grid for this weekend's season-opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.

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Alonso should recover to race in Melbourne GP – Dennis

McLaren expect Fernando Alonso to recover from Sunday's crash in time to race in the season-opening F1 Australian Grand Prix on March 15.

Fernando Alonso waves to fans as he leaves hospital. Credit: REUTERS/Albert Gea

The Spanish driver was released on Wednesday from a hospital in Barcelona having spent three days under observation after crashing his McLaren in pre-season testing in the Circuit de Catalunya.

"I can categorically confirm that he has no lesion and that he wasn't electrocuted," McLaren chairman Ron Dennis said on Thursday, as reported in Spanish newspaper El Mundo.

"There's no sign that Alonso's brain is damaged.

"Alonso is physically well and I see no reason why Fernando can't be in Melbourne, but I'm not a doctor.

"Fernando wanted to return to testing but the doctors have told him that if he wanted to be certain, he needed to rest and have medical follow-ups."

Alonso manager tweets photo of driver in hospital

Fernando Alonso has thanked the general public for their support after he was involved in a crash during testing on Sunday.

Alonso's McLaren-Honda car hit a wall at a track in Catalonia. The Spaniard was airlifted to hospital, but his injuries seem relatively minor.

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