2009 Australian Grand Prix facts and stats

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…

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65 comments on 2009 Australian Grand Prix facts and stats

  1. gareth said on 30th March 2009, 13:51

    When BBC lost the tv rights at the end of 1996, Damon Hill (GBR) became world champion. In the last race of the season, Martin Brundle (a brit), beat Heinz Harald Frentzen (a german) to 5th place. The following year, the first race of the season was won by a brit.

    When ITV lost the tv rights at the end of 2008, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) became world champion. In the last race of the season, Lewis Hamilton (a brit), beat Timo Glock (a german) to 5th place. The following year, the first race of the season was won by a brit.

    I have way to much time on my hands. lol

  2. Daniel said on 30th March 2009, 14:32

    Like I said before, Barrichello scored a podium finish with the fifth different team: Jordan (1994 Pacific Grand Prix, 1995 Canadian Grand Prix), Stewart (1997 Monaco Grand Prix, 1999 French Grand Prix, 1999 European Grand Prix), Ferrari (dozens of times), Honda (2008 British Grand Prix) and Brawn (2009 Australian Grand Prix).

    The only other driver, that I recall, to do the same was Riccardo Patrese: Arrows, Brabham, Alfa Romeo, Williams and Benneton.

    Barrichelo was, for the second time, part of a 1-2 finish, behind an english team-mate, that marked a team’s maiden win: 1999 European Grand Prix, Johnny Herbert with a Stewart, 2009 Australian Grand Prix, Jenson Button with a Brawn.

    About Brawn’s new team status, I think the main difference comes from the Mercedes engine, that, after all, had to be placed in the car after the project was done, and, in a lucky strike, worked perfectly with their chassis, perhaps much better than the Honda engine would do…

    • Barrichello was not 2nd in the 1999 European Grand Prix – Jarno Trulli was. Barrichello finished 3rd.

  3. Alex P said on 30th March 2009, 16:40

    Doesn’t anyone find it interesting that they only deployed the saftey car after button had completed his pit stop ??????

    • Patrickl said on 30th March 2009, 16:52

      Yeah that was bizarre. Button didn’t even need to hurry to the pits. They simply waited for him to come in in his own due time.

    • matt said on 30th March 2009, 17:47

      I heard the driver was having a ‘comfort brake.’

    • ajokay said on 31st March 2009, 10:25

      Yes, I found it interesting, and then I thought they did the right thing by not ruining the leader’s race as they did so many times last year.

  4. Alex P said on 30th March 2009, 16:53

    Point 2 vettle knocked back 10 place in malayisa for taking out Kubisa but Barrichello takes out 3 people and nothing ????

  5. John H said on 30th March 2009, 20:56

    When was the last race we had two Brits on the podium? Any ideas. It must be something like Ervine and Hill/ Herbet or something in the 90s?

    • Jay Menon said on 31st March 2009, 1:25

      The last one I remember is at Silverstone in 99. David Coulthard and Eddie Irvine were on the podium in first and second while Ralf was third. Damon Hill turned in fifth, Johnny Herbert was also in the race, can’t remember his position

      I can’t remember any others.

  6. boyce said on 30th March 2009, 20:57

    Button is the fifth British driver to win in Australia since the Grand Prix moved to Melbourne in 1996 after Hill, Couthard (twice), Irvine and Hamilton.

  7. Hajnr said on 30th March 2009, 22:19

    The 2009 Australian GP was a Mercedes 1-2-3-4!!!!

    Mercedes SL 65 AMG Safety Car
    Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes
    Rubens Barrichelo Brawn-Mercedes
    Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes

  8. SoLiD said on 31st March 2009, 1:40

    What I was thinking….
    Could it be that Jenson’s period between his first en second victory could be a record? :)

  9. Daniel said on 31st March 2009, 2:33

    In fact, Tom, he was 3rd, and it takes part of the idea away, but he was still part of a double podium finish that marked a team’s maiden win…

  10. Brendan said on 31st March 2009, 2:48

    When was the last time that a single engine manufacturer powered everyone on the podium?

    • ajokay said on 31st March 2009, 10:38

      I’m gonna take a guess at the 1997 Luxembourg Grand Prix:

      1 – Villeneuve – Williams Renault
      2 – Alesi – Benetton Renault
      3 – Frentzen – Williams Renault

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