Fernando Alonso comfortably out-qualified Felipe Massa on Saturday but never looked likely to beat his team mate on race day.
And while Vitantonio Liuzzi scored point for Force India for the second race in a row, Adrian Sutil seems to have better pace so far.
Take a closer look at how each of the team mates compared in the Australian Grand Prix.
Compare the performances of the drivers in each team. You can get a more detailed breakdown of their qualifying and race statistics including a graph of their lap times by following the ‘Compare…’ links below.
At first Button thought his early switch to slicks had been a mistake. It turned out to be the decision that put him in a position to win the race. On lap eight he was over two seconds faster than any other car on track and he was 4.3s faster on lap nine.
It was a necessary move to pit for slicks. I was struggling for grip on the inters, and the rears were destroying themselves very quickly, so we figured it must be time for dries. As I drove down the pitlane, I could see it was soaking wet and I feared it was a massive mistake on my part. When I left the pits, I went off the circuit and just thought, ‘Oh no!’
Much has already been written about McLaren’s decision to bring Lewis Hamilton in for a second pit stop which almost certainly cost him a podium finish.
Although the gamble to bring him in didn’t pay off it did look as though he’d finally found a way past Fernando Alonso when Webber took the McLaren driver out with two laps to go.
Hamilton had made life difficult for himself by failing to reach Q3 on Saturday – he was over six tenths of a second slower than Button in Q2. And he lost precious time immediately after his second stop by running off the track, without which he could have attacked Alonso sooner and with fresher tyres.
Despite all that, he’s right to be proud of a performance which featured several well-judged passes on other front-runners:
This was probably one of the drives of my life.
Much closer to Nico Rosberg in qualifying than he had been in Bahrain. But made surprisingly little progress after falling down the field early on after being hit at the first corner.
A solid run to fifth, much like his racat Bahrain. But getting passed around the outside of turn 11 by Hamilton must have hurt his pride. Kept his nose clean, though, and was the highest-placed two-stopper in the race.
I had a bad start in the wet and after that we lacked pace and I struggled with the option tyre. The rear degradation was pretty bad so we decided to go for a second stop and get some fresh tyres to try to attack the group ahead. Even with the tyre advantage, it would have been difficult to pass once we caught up and therefore it was good to make up a couple of places when Mark and Lewis had an incident, so I’m pleased with that.
He took pole position and led comfortably until a wheel problem threw him into a high-speed slide at turn 13. You couldn’t have asked much more of him, though it was odd he waited a lap longer than everybody else to change to slick tyres.
I felt that something was wrong one lap earlier than I went off. I had some sparks coming up from the front left wheel; we didn’t know what it was and so wanted to pit. Then, a couple of corners before, I had huge vibrations building up and as soon as I touched the brakes, I had some sort of failure going in to Turn 13 and ended up in the gravel. There was nothing I could have done, I lost the car and that was it. It’s a shame as I think we had the race in total control at every stage, even though the conditions were difficult. But to win you have to finish. It breaks my balls not to get the win, but there’s still a long way to go in this championship.
His race started promisingly. Despite losing a position to Felipe Massa at the start he soon passed the Ferrari driver and caught his team mate.
But it started to go wrong when he delayed his switch to slick tyres until lap ten. He then went off, letting Fernando Alonso past, and ran wide at turn 13 as well losing a position to Hamilton.
Webber was another driver who took an extra pit stop later in the race. This allowed him to jump past Rosberg, who also pitted, but left him behind the Ferraris.
He was on course for at least sixth place when he ran into Hamilton, earning an official reprimand from the stewards.
Leaving the pits I couldn’t get second gear and went wide. I knew I had to make the moves on track. We then decided to pit which worked out okay. At the end of the race we caught the leading guys, but then we had the incident. I apologise to Lewis about that. I lost all down-force in the front of the car when I got close to them, the car lifted and I slid into the back of him.
Alonso out-qualified Massa by over seven-tenths of a second – the biggest gap between any pair of team mates apart from the Renaults.
Despite that Massa was able to keep Alonso behind for much of the race. However he wasn’t able to do anything about Robert Kubica.
I was able to close on Kubica but I never had a real chance of passing him, while behind me Fernando got very close on more than one occasion, making the most of a few errors.
Having comfortably beaten his team mate in qualifying Alonso collided with Button at the first corner, falling to the back of the field. It was a strange incident which made you wonder if Alonso couldn’t see Button in his mirrors, or thought he could intimidate him into backing down.
In his recovery drive he picked off the new cars then passed Pedro de la Rosa and Rubens Barrichello.
Although he’d been much quicker than Massa on Saturday he couldn’t find a way past in the race, but acknowledged he’d been keen not to crash into his team mate. He defended his position from Hamilton very carefully at the end of the race – though without Webber’s intervention it looks like Hamilton was poised to get by after Alonso locked up at turn 13.
When I found myself behind Felipe, maybe I could have gone a bit quicker, but we know it’s very hard to pass in Formula 1 and between team-mates, one should not take any unnecessary risks. If we had managed to get past Kubica, then it might have been a different story, but it wasn’t possible, apart from the fact I also had to defend my position against Hamilton and Webber, who were on fresher tyres than us.
Barrichello also lost places with an extra second pit stop. Although he recovered the place lost to de la Rosa he wasn’t able to recover the position lost to Vitantonio Liuzzi.
It was a good race, but we should have finished in seventh really. We took the chance to change tyres when we did and go for it. I thought everyone else would also come in, which is why I went for that route.
Taken out of the race by Kamui Kobayashi on lap one. Hülkenberg was very enthusiastic about the Melbourne circuit which he hadn’t raced at before this weekend.
Steered clear of the lap one mayhem to take fourth, and gained another place during the pit stops to run third. Vettel’s retirement put him second.
Kubica lapped consistently in his long stint on soft tyres and neither Hamilton nor Massa were able to pass him.
This was a classic example of a driver getting the most out of inferior equipment and coming home ahead of several better-equipped drivers who should have been in front of him.
I managed to jump Massa in the pits and I came out ahead of Button, but it was my first lap on slicks so I could not hold him off. I thought I would pit again later in the race, but the team said we didn’t need to if I could look after the tyres until the end of the race. I tried to take care of them as much as I could, which wasn’t easy because I had Hamilton behind me and then Massa, but in the end my tyres lasted and we managed to get this great result.
It was Petrov’s turn to fall into the Q1 trap, being eliminated along with the cars from the three new teams.
But as in Bahrain he stayed out of trouble at the start and picked up a lot of places. That was all for nothing when he spun off shortly after swapping his intermediates for slicks, while the track was still damp.
We made a change to slick tyres at the same time as most of the field, but when I was on the slicks I got caught out in the braking zone for turn three and got stuck in the gravel.
Comfortably out-qualified his team mate but retired early on with engine failure.
Scored points for the second week in a row but the signs are Sutil has better pace.
Taken out of the race on lap one by Kamui Kobayashi.
Did a remarkable job keeping Michael Schumacher behind but finally cracked a few laps from home. If it hadn’t been for that he’d have scored his first ever point.
I think on the one hand I’m quite happy as I had a long fight with Michael (Schumacher) which was nice. I was under a lot of pressure, but I was able to keep him behind me for many laps until I made a small mistake at Turn 13 with a few laps to go and he managed to pass me.
Did not start the race after a hydraulic power pack failed on the grid and the team were unable to replace it in time.
Led the Virgins before they dropped out and brought the car home for the second race in a row, two laps down.
Gave the HRT F110 its first race finish, five laps down.
Covered four laps before retiring with a hydraulic problem.
Pedro de la Rosa
The Sauber’s kindness to its tyres had been talked up by some pre-season but its performance at Melbourne suggested this claim was wide of the mark. De la Rosa dropped out of the points two laps from home as tyre wear became a serious problem. Like the top four finishers, he made only one stop.
We underestimated the tyre degradation. In the end I really had no rear tyres left. For the last 15 laps it was just a question of how to keep the car on the track. I was absolutely helpless when Michael and Jaime came in the end to overtake me.
Pedro de la Rosa
Suffered a huge crash on the first lap when his front wing came off and lodged beneath his front tyres. He ricocheted off the turn six barrier and ploughed into Buemi and Hülkenberg, eliminating both.
He believes the wing failed of its own accord but it was his third such failure during the weekend. The first occurred when he hit a cone, the second appeared to fail of its own accord. FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer inspected the car during practice.
It looks as if I touched a kerb or another car in turn three. Everything was very close and I don’t really remember anything major, but on the data it looks like there was something. I had no worries about the front wing, but a few corners later it went off and got stuck under the car. At first I had no idea what had happened. I had no control any more.
Made it as far as a pit stop this time, but didn’t get to the end of the race:
It was a real shame that we had a problem just 15 laps from the end of the race when I started to feel that there was something wrong with the way the car was feeling. I came in and we found a problem which we now know to be a camber shim having worked loose, and this was causing the suspension to move around on the left rear. Had we not had the suspension issue I think we would have been looking good for our first chequered flag.
Lucas di Grassi
Stopped with a hydraulic problem.
|Team||Driver||Lap time||Gap||Lap time||Driver||Round|
|McLaren||Jenson Button||1’24.531||-0.653||1’25.184||Lewis Hamilton||Q2|
|Mercedes||Michael Schumacher||1’24.927||+0.043||1’24.884||Nico Rosberg||Q3|
|Red Bull||Sebastian Vettel||1’23.919||-0.116||1’24.035||Mark Webber||Q3|
|Ferrari||Felipe Massa||1’24.837||+0.726||1’24.111||Fernando Alonso||Q3|
|Williams||Rubens Barrichello||1’25.085||-0.663||1’25.748||Nico Hülkenberg||Q2|
|Renault||Robert Kubica||1’25.588||-0.883||1’26.471||Vitaly Petrov||Q1|
|Force India||Adrian Sutil||1’25.046||-0.697||1’25.743||Vitantonio Liuzzi||Q2|
|Toro Rosso||Sebastien Buemi||1’25.638||-0.451||1’26.089||Jaime Alguersuari||Q2|
|Lotus||Jarno Trulli||1’29.111||+0.314||1’28.797||Heikki Kovalainen||Q1|
|HRT||Karun Chandhok||1’30.613||+0.087||1’30.526||Bruno Senna||Q1|
|Sauber||Pedro de la Rosa||1’25.747||-0.030||1’25.777||Kamui Kobayashi||Q2|
|Virgin||Timo Glock||1’29.592||-0.593||1’30.185||Lucas di Grassi||Q1|
This table compares the best lap times achieved by each teams’ drivers in the latest stage of qualifying both their drivers reached.
Race – fastest laps
|Team||Driver||Fastest lap||Gap||Fastest lap||Driver|
|McLaren||Jenson Button||1’29.291||+0.785||1’28.506||Lewis Hamilton|
|Mercedes||Michael Schumacher||1’29.185||+0.696||1’28.489||Nico Rosberg|
|Red Bull||Sebastian Vettel||1’31.556||+3.198||1’28.358||Mark Webber|
|Ferrari||Felipe Massa||1’29.537||-0.170||1’29.707||Fernando Alonso|
|Williams||Rubens Barrichello||1’29.210||No time||Nico Hülkenberg|
|Renault||Robert Kubica||1’29.570||-13.562||1’43.132||Vitaly Petrov|
|Force India||Adrian Sutil||1’43.223||+13.538||1’29.685||Vitantonio Liuzzi|
|Toro Rosso||Sebastien Buemi||No time||1’29.713||Jaime Alguersuari|
|Lotus||Jarno Trulli||No time||1’33.638||Heikki Kovalainen|
|HRT||Karun Chandhok||1’35.045||-46.195||2’21.240||Bruno Senna|
|Sauber||Pedro de la Rosa||1’30.587||No time||Kamui Kobayashi|
|Virgin||Timo Glock||1’34.230||-2.377||1’36.607||Lucas di Grassi|
NB. Drivers in italics were not classified finishers (did not complete 90% of the race distance or more)
Race – average laps
|Team||Driver||Average lap||Gap||Average lap||Driver|
|McLaren||Jenson Button||1’36.837||-0.515||1’37.352||Lewis Hamilton|
|Mercedes||Michael Schumacher||1’38.033||+0.909||1’37.124||Nico Rosberg|
|Red Bull||Sebastian Vettel||1’44.770||+6.773||1’37.997||Mark Webber|
|Ferrari||Felipe Massa||1’37.087||-0.031||1’37.118||Fernando Alonso|
|Williams||Rubens Barrichello||1’37.880||No time||Nico Hülkenberg|
|Renault||Robert Kubica||1’37.044||-31.377||2’08.421||Vitaly Petrov|
|Force India||Adrian Sutil||2’05.632||+27.763||1’37.869||Vitantonio Liuzzi|
|Toro Rosso||Sebastien Buemi||No time||1’38.066||Jaime Alguersuari|
|Lotus||Jarno Trulli||No time||1’41.592||Heikki Kovalainen|
|HRT||Karun Chandhok||1’46.003||-46.458||2’32.462||Bruno Senna|
|Sauber||Pedro de la Rosa||1’38.114||No time||Kamui Kobayashi|
|Virgin||Timo Glock||1’44.031||-46.398||2’30.429||Lucas di Grassi|
NB. Drivers in italics were not classified finishers (did not complete 90% of the race distance or more)
Over to you
What’s your take on how the team mates compared in Melbourne? Who impressed and who disappointed? Have your say in the comments.
2010 Australian Grand Prix
- 2010 Australian Grand Prix – the complete F1 Fanatic review
- Australian GP team-by-team analysis
- 2010 Australian Grand Prix stats and facts
- Melbourne was a blast but F1′s aero problem remains (Australian GP analysis)
- Alonso fourth, Schumacher tenth in their battle from the back in Melbourne
- Australian Grand Prix fastest laps
- Australian Grand Prix in pictures
- Unreliability costs Vettel another win
- Hamilton fumes after strategy mistake
- Button wins thrilling Australian GP
Images (C) Ferrari spa, Renault/LAT, Williams/LAT, Bridgestone, www.mclaren.com, Getty Images/Red Bull, Force India F1 Team, Lotus F1, Virgin Racing, BMW Sauber F1 Team, Motioncompany