Mika Hakkinen, McLaren-Mercedes MP4-13, 1998

Raikkonen matches Hakkinen’s race win tally

2013 Australian Grand Prix stats and factsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Mika Hakkinen, McLaren-Mercedes MP4-13, 1998Kimi Raikkonen’s 20th career victory ties him with Mika Hakkinen as the second most successful Finnish F1 driver of all time in terms of race victories.

Raikkonen began his F1 career in 2001, the year Hakkinen retired from the sport. He previously won the Australian Grand Prix in 2007, and on that occasion Fernando Alonso also finished second. However Sebastian Vettel, third in yesterday’s race, was still three months away from making his F1 debut.

Raikkonen won from seventh on the grid in car number seven. It was only the 21st time a race has been won from that position, yet Raikkonen has done it three times now.

He scored his maiden win from seventh in Malaysia in 2003, and did it again in Canada in 2005. The only other time it’s been done since then was also at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, by Jenson Button in 2011.

This was the first time a Lotus car had won the first race of a season since 1978. On that occasion Mario Andretti won the Argentinian Grand Prix in Buenos Aires in a Lotus 78, going on to win the drivers’ championship in the year Lotus won their last constructors’ title.

The identity of the team which won the opening round of the season has changed every year since 2006. And a different constructor has won each of the last five races:

Track Winner Team
2006 Bahrain International Circuit Fernando Alonso Renault
2007 Albert Park Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari
2008 Albert Park Lewis Hamilton McLaren
2009 Albert Park Jenson Button Brawn
2010 Bahrain International Circuit Fernando Alonso Ferrari
2011 Albert Park Sebastian Vettel Red Bull
2012 Albert Park Jenson Button McLaren
2013 Albert Park Kimi Raikkonen Lotus

Raikkonen also added the 38th fastest lap of his career, meaning he is now just three behind Alain Prost who has the second-highest count. And with his next one he’ll be past halfway to Michael Schumacher’s record tally of 77.

Sebastian Vettel achieved his 37th career pole position and for the second time in his career did so on Sunday. He did likewise at Suzuka in 2010, another occasion when qualifying was postponed to Sunday due to rain.

The only other time this happened was at Suzuka in 2004, when the circuit was closed on Saturday due to an approaching typhoon.

Drivers, Melbourne, 2013Speaking of 2004, that was the last time a field with less experience than this one lined up for a Grand Prix, as noted here earlier:

It was also the youngest field ever assembled for a Grand Prix, with an average age of 27 years and 61 days. The youngest was Esteban Gutierrez (21 years, 230 days) and Mark Webber is now the grid’s eldest driver, aged 36 years and 211 days yesterday.

Jenson Button never looked likely to score a fourth victory in Australia which would have put him level with Michael Schumacher as the most successful driver in this race.

But his ninth place finish did move him past the milestone of 1,000 points, which only Schumacher, Alonso and Vettel have managed. It’s a rather meaningless tally, however – F1 has used three different points systems since Button’s career began and several more before that.

Raikkonen was joined on the podium by Alonso and Vettel, making this the 27th time in F1 history the podium was filled entirely by champions.

Only once in F1 history have more drivers led a race than the seven who took turns at the head of the field on Sunday. That was the famed 1971 Italian Grand Prix, which ended with five drivers crossing the line covered by 0.61s.

Here are the five races which featured seven or more leaders:

Race Leaders Drivers who led
1971 Italian Grand Prix 8 Clay Regazzoni, Ronnie Peterson, Jackie Stewart, Francois Cevert, Mike Hailwood, Jo Siffert, Chris Amon, Peter Gethin
1973 Canadian Grand Prix 7 Ronnie Peterson, Niki Lauda, Emerson Fittipaldi, Jackie Stewart, Jean-Pierre Beltoise, Jacky Oliver, Peter Revson
1975 British Grand Prix 7 Carlos Pace, Clay Regazzoni, Tom Pryce, Jody Scheckter, Jean-Pierre Jarier, James Hunt, Emerson Fittipaldi
2008 Canadian Grand Prix 7 Lewis Hamilton, Nick Heidfeld, Rubens Barrichello, David Coulthard, Jarno Trulli, Timo Glock, Robert Kubica,
2013 Australian Grand Prix 7 Sebastian Vettel, Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Adrian Sutil, Kimi Raikkonen

Among yesterday’s leaders was Adrian Sutil, who led a race for the first time on his F1 comeback. This was the fourth race led by Force India, and the first time they have led two in a row.

Start, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2008On each occasion the race was led by a different driver: Giancarlo Fisichella (Spa 2009), Paul di Resta (Bahrain 2012) and Nico Hulkenberg (Interlagos 2012).

Hulkenberg’s first appearance for new team Sauber did not go well as he failed to make the start due to a fuel pressure problem. In three appearances at Albert Park he is yet to complete a racing lap, having been involved in first-lap collisions in 2010 and 2012.

Finally, five drivers made their debut in yesterday’s race, which was the most since the Bahrain Grand Prix three years ago. Hulkenberg made his first start in that race and is still part of the F1 field, but Vitaly Petrov, Lucas di Grassi, Bruno Senna and Karun Chandhok have all been and gone.

Spotted any other interesting stats and facts from the Australian Grand Prix? Share them in the comments.

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