Fernando Alonso of Spain walks past members of the crowd at the Alberta Park track in Melbourne.
The much-awaited 2014 Formula One season with the Australian Grand Prix started at Alberta Park Circuit in Melbourne.
Two-time Ferrari champion Fernando Alonso topped the timesheet after the first practice session. Alonso posted 1.31.840 seconds on his 20th lap of the 90 minutes session.
Second in position was McLaren's Jenson Button, who posted around 1.32.357 seconds, with Valerie Bottas of Williams finishing third best in 1.32.403 and ahead of his teammate Felipe Massa ending in 1.32.431 seconds.
Daniel Ricciardo of Australia, in his debut with the Red Bull squad, outpaced his champion teammate Sebastian Vettel as he finished fifth at the end of first session, with Nico Rosberg ending sixth. Danish rookie Kevin Magnussen ended seventh in around 1.32.487 seconds, followed by Kimi Raikkonen ninth and Jean Eric Vergne finished tenth.
Besides Alonso, four of the top six drivers used cars with Mercedes powerplants, confirming the fact that the engines were in better shape than their rivals.
Lew Hamilton was unable to post lap time as his car halted for five minutes into the first session. However, this year, the most striking thing is in regard to the car's sound. The usual sound of F1 cars seemed to have disappeared as the new engines are more silent than the former.The 2014 Formula One season will run till March 16. This is the 30th F1 championship of the Australian Grand Prix, for 19th consecutive year. Earlier, Formula One season was hosted at Adelaide which was later shifted to Melbourne. Michael Schumacher still holds the record to bag the highest number of win in the Australian Grand Prix, bagging four titles to his credit.Jenson Button won for three times during in the last five years of the race. In the year 2011 he finished at the sixth position and ninth in the year 2013. The Round 2 match, Malaysian Grand Prix is slated on March 30 at Kuala Lumpur.