2009 Australian Grand Prix facts and stats

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Jenson Button and Brawn GP made history at Melbourne
Jenson Button and Brawn GP made history at Melbourne

A new F1 team wins on its debut, an all-Mercedes podium, and rotten luck for a driver on his 200th start.

Here’s a round-up of the stats and facts from the Australian Grand Prix.

Brawn GP became the first team to win their first race in 32 years. Jody Scheckter gave Wolf a maiden win in the 1977 Argentine Grand Prix at Buenos Aires.

Jenson Button scored his second career win, following his maiden victory at the Hungaroring in 2006. He also set his fourth the position, the last being at the same circuit three years earlier.

Button led every lap of the race. The only other driver to have done this at Melbourne was Michael Schumacher in 2004.

Button scored the first victory for a Mercedes-engined car that wasn’t a McLaren since Juan Manuel Fangio in the 1955 Italian Grand Prix, driving for the works Mercedes team.

Mercedes-powered cars filled the podium for the first time since the 1955 British Grand Prix, when the entire top four were Mercedes cars. Stirling Moss won at Aintree from Fangio, with Karl Kling third and Piero Taruffi fourth.

Thanks to Jarno Trulli’s penalty, Lewis Hamilton continued his run of podiums at Melbourne, finishing third as he did in his first F1 race at the track two years ago. This year he started from 18th, his lowest ever qualifying position, his previous worst being 15th at Monza last year.

This was Hamilton’s 23rd podium finish in 36 starts, giving him a strike rate of 63.9%. That is the fifth best of all time, and three of the drivers ahead of him have just nine starts between them. The closest drivers that bear comparison are Fangio (35 from 51, 68.6%) and Michael Schumacher (154 from 249, 61.8%). But will Hamilton’s hit rate still look as good after a year in the uncompetitive MP4-24?

Trulli’s 200th Grand Prix start was not a happy one, as he picked up another penalty in qualifying, relegating him to the back of the grid. It was his 203rd appearance at a race, but has non-started three times (San Marino 1997, Malaysia 1999 and United States 2005).

Sebastien Buemi became the 69th driver to score on his debut, finishing seventh. He is the seventh ex-GP2 driver to score a point in F1. More here: Sebastien Buemi scores on debut

The race finished behind the safety car for the first time since the 1999 Canadian Grand Prix.

Nico Rosberg set the second fastest lap of his career – his first was in his maiden race at Bahrain in 2006.

Spotted any more interesting stats from the Australian Grand Prix? Post them in the comments…