Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg says the strategy was "crucial" in allowing him to take victory in the season opener in Australia.

Rosberg came through to take the triumph despite a poor start, which saw him slip from second to third, with the Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen both getting the jump on the Mercedes' at the start.

A switch to the medium tyres, however, after the race was red flagged following Fernando Alonso's massive crash, eventually paved the way for him to get back ahead of Vettel as the German opted to stay on the supersoft.

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"The strategy was crucial today, so I am really thankful," Rosberg said. "The team did a great job on that side. We are really strong on strategy, amongst other things. We are strong in nearly all areas, but that did it today.

"It was the tyre choice on the red flag [that was important]. I was glad to see they [Ferrari] were on the supersoft. I wasn't sure that was going to be the case. That was good and I was even happier I was able to follow quite well on the medium.

"I was a bit concerned about the re-start on the medium and that the tyre would be too cold, but it worked out OK, it was fine. The red flag was definitely necessary and the right thing to clear up after the incident."

It was Rosberg's 15th career win and his fourth on the trot, giving him the maximum 25 points from round one.

"Early days, but a perfect start," he continued. "We have got to keep an eye on the red guys because they are very close as we saw today. We need to give it everything to stay ahead."

"It has been a great weekend. Thank-you to the team. They have done an unbelievable job giving us this incredible car," Rosberg added. "The car has been unreal today. To beat the Ferraris was great. We absolutely love it.

"I am super excited."