It was a dominant win in the season-opening race from Rosberg, with Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo finishing second and McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen in third.

“It’s been an amazing day,” said Rosberg. “Everyone has worked so hard over the winter and to have such an amazing Silver Arrow. I’m really thankful to Mercedes for giving me such an amazing car.”

Team-mate Lewis Hamilton started from pole position but retired on lap three with engine trouble.

Vettel retired a lap later with a similar problem and was loudly booed.

In total eight cars failed to finish.

“Two or three weeks ago I would have bet pretty much everything I had that we would not be standing up there,” said Ricciardo, who  is currently under investigation by race stewards and could yet be stripped of his second place.

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