Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Albert Park, 2017

Faster cars lead to Melbourne’s shortest ever grand prix

2017 Australian Grand Prix stats and factsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Faster cars, more durable tyres – and an aborted start – produced the shortest Australian Grand Prix ever seen at Melbourne’s Albert Park circuit.

Sebastian Vettel took just one hour, 24 minutes and 11.672 seconds to win yesterday’s race, trimming 4.085 seconds off the previous shortest race, held in 2004. But he was helped by the fact this year’s race was shortened by one lap after the first attempt to start it was abandoned.

2017 Australian Grand Prix in pictures
So this wasn’t the fastest race ever seen at Albert Park. That remains the 2004 race, run over the full 58 laps and won by Michael Schumacher at an average speed of 219.010kph in his Ferrari F2004.

Vettel averaged 215.408kph over yesterday’s 57 laps, making this the third-quickest Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne. The 2007 race, won by Kimi Raikkonen at an average speed of 215.893kph, was also quicker.

Yesterday’s race was also the first time since 2013 this race has run Safety Car-free, as the record-setting 2004 race also was.

Lewis Hamilton started the Australian Grand Prix from pole position for the sixth time, tying Ayrton Senna’s record. It was also his and Mercedes fourth in a row at this track.

However Vettel came through to win for Ferrari on Sunday, raising the prospect of a much closer championship fight this year than in recent seasons. This was only the ninth time Mercedes have been defeated in the 60 races since the V6 hybrid turbo engine formula was introduced, and the first time anyone other than them or one of their drivers has led the constructors or drivers championships for almost three years.

Formula One’s most successful team took their 225th victory a year and a half since their last one. The sports next most prolific winners, McLaren, don’t look like adding to their 182 wins any time soon.

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Vettel is the fourth-highest driver on the all-time winners list with 43. He needs eight more to catch third-placed Alain Prost.

The race winner also made a late bid to claim fastest lap. He wasn’t the only driver hunting for fastest lap, however – both Max Verstappen and Daniil Kvyat were trying to take it, but it went to serial fastest lap collector Kimi Raikkonen. He now has 44 which is more than any driver in F1 history bar Schumacher, who has a whopping 77.

Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Valtteri Bottas, Albert Park, 2017
Bottas took his tenth career podium finish
Hamilton headed the field in the opening laps which was the 100th time he’d led a grand prix. He is the second driver to reach a century of races in the lead, having started 189 races. This is another tally led by Schumacher, who led 142 of the 306 races he started.

His new team mate Valtteri Bottas reached the podium on his debut for Mercedes. It’s the tenth time Bottas has appeared on the rostrum, the others all having come at Williams.

For the third year running only one Red Bull started the race from the grid. Daniel Ricciardo was stuck in the pits when the race began yesterday, while in the two previous years Daniil Kvyat hit trouble before the start was given. Ricciardo’s troubles meant he failed to extend his run of 17 consecutive points finishes.

Kvyat did get to start the race this time and made it to the chequered flag. His record in Melbourne therefore stands at two ‘Did Not Starts’ for Red Bull and two ninth places for Toro Rosso. His 58th race start also meant he surpassed Vitaly Petrov as Formula One’s most experienced Russian driver. The pair are the only Russians ever to race in F1.

Sixth place for Romain Grosjean in the race twelve months ago was a stunning debut performance for Haas. This time Grosjean took sixth in qualifying, giving them their highest grid position to date. However they were the only team not to get either of their cars to the chequered flag in the race.

Finally, Esteban Ocon scored his first point on his debut for Force India. He is the 334th driver in F1 history to join the points-scorers, though of course there are many drivers who previously finished in sixth to tenth positions but did not score because a different points system was used.

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

2017 Australian Grand Prix

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102 comments on “Faster cars lead to Melbourne’s shortest ever grand prix”

  1. Haha, nice headline. Mostly the missing lap, though. Then again, Sebastian Vettel would at least have scored points in 2004’s race, which is a major improvement from the slow-train we’ve had to endure in the past couple of years!

    1. @proesterchen by my rough maths (with about 85 – 88 seconds for the lap that didn’t happen yesterday) Vettel would have been 7th, between Jenson Button and Jarno Trulli, just about on the lead lap. all sounds good till you realize he would have started 2004 from a absolutely dominant pole position 1.952 seconds ahead of Michael Schumacher!!!!

      1. Well, except that 2004 rules would have required 2017’s cars to carry the full race load (105kg, or close enough) during their fast lap on Saturday, which would’ve put them easily several seconds off Michael Schumacher’s 2004 pole.

        1. Iets just compare the times. They are completely different spec cars, different weight size, power train.

          1. Doing just that, Michael Schumacher turned the fastest lap of the 2004 race, and a quicker lap than his Saturday pole, in 1:24.125.

            Kimi Raikkönen edged out the competition for yesterday’s quickest lap in 1:26.538. (+2.413 secs)

        2. @proesterchen I’m pretty sure that basically amounted to the first stint load – refueling was still allowed in 2004.

          1. Sure, but the 2017 car would finish the race quicker fully fueled from the start than having to stop and refuel mid-race with the currently available fueling technology. :P

          2. @proesterchen No, refuelling is the much quicker way to go.

        3. If you start adding rules from one era to other you will have serious issues with drs, refueling, qualifying engines, gearboxes and tires and whatnot…

      2. (Vettel) would have started 2004 from a absolutely dominant pole position

        on paper yes, but would he make it through the formation lap?*
        @rick1984

        * no refuelling between quali and race in 2004.

        1. @f1-liners I doubt Schumacher would have gone 1.7s faster in qualifying without the first stint fuel in the car – more like a few tenths at best. Put otherwise, it seems that at least in single lap pace the F2004 had nothing on the W08.

      3. So ignoring qualify and for arguments sake sticking Vettel on Pole would a 2004 car still beat 2016 car? Would be really interesting to compare them both.

        1. Well Kie, yes it would. Of course if it wasn’t allowed to refuel it wouldn’t. But if it was it would. If the 2017 car was also allowed to refuel was equipped for in-race refuelling it would propably mince the 2004 cars though. Not terribly complicated me thinks

          1. Thanks Memba Berries…

            Yeha I’m saying no refuelling, but does that mean the 2004 doesn’t finish the race?

            Anyway you answered my question, ie: if equal 2017 would win.

          2. Kie, yes, you are correct – I do not believe that any of the cars in 2004 had a fuel tank that was large enough to make it to the end of the race at full racing speed.

            Symonds has stated in the past that they tended to use around 195kg of fuel in the V10 era, or about 250 litres. I believe that most teams would have designed their tank to hold around 130 – 140 litres at most so they would have the option of running a one stop race, as is commonly the case at venues like Monza, but no more.

            To be honest, there have been so many changes in the regulations from 2004 to now that making a comparison is pretty pointless. Everything, from the design of the cars through to the way that the race weekend is run is different, down to something as simple as the pit lane speed limit being reduced (remember that they reduced the limit from 2013 onwards).

            Even the circuit itself is not 100% comparable this year – for example, Turns 11 and 12 now have significantly higher kerbs to stop the drivers cutting the corners in the way that they used to in 2004.

          3. taaa ANON that nailed it for me! Like you say the variables are much more than you’d think of ALA Pit land speed…

            Slighty off topic, are any of the tracks nigh-on identicial to there 2004 counterparts? I’m guess even if the layout is the same, Kerbs etc will change.

          4. Kie, I think that all of the tracks are at least subtly different – for example, Interlagos has been resurfaced since 2004, making the track faster, but then again they have also raised a number of the kerbs in the first and middle sectors to stop the drivers cutting across them so much, slowing those corners down.

            That said, Albert Park is one of the circuits which is reasonably close to how it was in 2004, even if not quite exactly the same. Suzuka is probably the circuit that is closest in terms of both layout and in terms of the kerbs, though I think that the kerbs in the Degner’s and around the hairpin might have been raised slightly over time and I think that a few sections of the track have been resurfaced (Spoon corner and the hairpin).

    2. Everyone forgetting in 2004 they used 18 V10 engines, 1 per race weekend?
      In 2017 they are going to use 4 V6 Turbo Hybrids. Just shows how impressive the current Power Units are.
      If the 2004 cars were limited to 4 engines a season, with or without refueling the V10s would be heavier and obviously not as fast as they were.
      If we were allowed to use 18 V6 Turbo Hybrids a season, the benefits are faster, lighter engines.
      The engines would be by far stronger than the v10s, now they are just stronger than the v10s.

      1. @foreverred Exactly! People tend to forget about the technological advancements made and just care about noise, speed and lots of crashes. If you want that, go watch Nascar. F1 is so much more than that, it’s like the Nasa of motorsport.

        1. @addvariety

          F1 used to be the Nasa of motorsport. Now it’s just following trends of other racing series and car companies. LMP1 engines are far more advanced in terms of efficiency, producing similar power and using less fuel while having to last much longer as well. They’re also not nearly as expensive as F1 engines.

          1. Baron, with regards to the cost, we don’t actually know if the engines at Le Mans are cheaper as none of the factory teams involved have ever revealed how much they spend on them.

            Whilst they were competing, Audi made clear that they would never sell their engines to a private customer because they believed that no customer could ever afford them, and Audi had no intention of even trying to make them affordable for a private customer either.

            As none of the factory teams have ever made their hybrid units available for sale, we have no idea what it would cost more or less for a privateer to use a factory LMP1 power unit in their car than in F1, only that no privateer can afford to run one (as Rebellion have shown, even the non hybrid LMP1-L category is barely affordable for privateers).

            With regards to longevity, I think that you will find that there is not as much of a difference in terms of engine life between F1 and the WEC as you think.

            Currently, the ACO limits a factory works team to five engine units per season – that effectively works out as one engine for the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the remaining engines do two sprint race weekends.

            For this season, we know that the teams are now limited to four engines, so each engine will have to last for at least five race distances. Accounting for the race simulations teams run in practise, plus qualifying and the race, the power units used in F1 will need to have a lifespan of about 4,000-4,500km.

            That is pretty comparable, if not slightly higher, than the distance the LMP1 cars cover in the sprint races – a 6 hour sprint race usually covers about 1,100km so, allowing for practise laps and qualifying, the teams probably cover about 1,500km per sprint race weekend. In sprint configuration, therefore, they probably don’t cover more mileage.

            For Le Mans itself, you are looking at covering around 5,500 – 6,000km – more, certainly, but equally the engines are likely to be tuned down slightly compared to their sprint configuration.

            The fact that it is actually feasible for an F1 engine to last for long enough at Le Mans was highlighted by the fact that, a few years ago, it was reported that Renault wanted to adapt the Signatech-Alpine branded LMP2 cars to accept their F1 engines.

            The main reason it never happened wasn’t because of technical issues, but because the ACO changed the regulations to specify that only production car derived engines could be used in the LMP2 class.

        2. I’m backing Baron on this one. Lemans is the NASA of motorsports even it is a silly term.

        3. F1 is … like the Nasa of motorsport.

          Insofar as you mean Never A Straight Answer

  2. Ferrari are the first team to lead the Constructors’ who are not Mercedes since just before Malaysia 2014, when ironically it was lead by McLaren after the double podium of Australia 2014.

  3. So it was the fastest, but not really…

    1. @pastaman The title says “shortest” (i.e. time) not fastest (i.e. average kph)

      1. @jeffreyj ah I see, thanks

      2. @jeffreyj Yeah, misleading indeed. Because if you continue on taking the headline literally, it makes no sense at all. Faster cars don’t lead to a shorter grand prix. And it probably wasn’t even the shortest ever grand prix either (just guessing here). But click baiting seems to work. :(

        1. @addvariety the actual shortest F1 race in history just so happened to be the Australian GP of 1991. It was cancelled after something like 15 laps (or 25 minutes) due to rain. Senna won it.

        2. @addvariety Just because you have misunderstood something does not make it misleading. Shortest and fastest are not the same thing, as someone else has already explained.

          1. @keithcollantine Maybe I’m completely wrong, but you exactly point out the problem that I notice. The title says “Faster cars lead to Melbourne’s shortest ever grand prix”. @chrischrill points to the Australian GP that was held in Adelaide, but I’m just talking about the fact that there were a lot more Grand Prix races in Melbourne in which they race for 57 laps. And I know, a lap in itself says nothing about the distance, but in this case the distance covered was equal. The 1999, 2005, 2006, 2014 and 2016 Grand Prix of Australia were all held in Melbourne and all only over 57 laps (or 302.271 km), just like 2017.

            So yeah, this wasn’t the “shortest ever grand prix” (in Melbourne). That’s my primary issue with the title.

            Second thing is that the title suggests that due to the fact the cars have become faster, the grand prix has become shorter (“lead to”) which is just wrong.

        3. @addvariety: Well, it is the shortest completed race, in terms of time, ever in Australia. How would you prefer to have it worded?

          “Faster cars lead to Melbourne’s shortest ever grand prix (in minuters from start to finish) to run its full distance” would be a useless headline. It was also not the quickest since the average speed was slower. It was, however, very much the shortest.

          1. “Faster cars lead to Melbourne’s shortest ever grand prix (in minuters from start to finish) to run its full distance (minus one lap due to an extra formation lap)”

  4. since the V6 hybrid turbo engine formula was introduced, and the first time anyone other than them or one of their drivers has led the constructors or drivers championships.

    Not true. Mclaren led the 2014 constructors’ championship after the Australian GP of 2014. Mclaren had 33 points and Mercedes had 25 then.

    1. Not true. Mclaren led the 2014 constructors’ championship after the Australian GP of 2014. Mclaren had 33 points and Mercedes had 25 then.

      “or one of their drivers” – Rosberg led the WDC after Australia 2014.

      If that “or” had been “and”, then it would have been untrue. :)

      1. so i guess the stat would be better phrased:
        ‘since the V6 hybrid turbo engine formula was introduced, and the first time anyone other than them (Merc) has led the constructors championship.’

    2. ooooh burrrnnn!!! ;) kidding

    3. Good point – duly tweaked.

    4. Yeah, it’s the first time in the V6 hybrid era that a non-Mercedes driver is leading the driver’s championship but it’s not the first time another team is leading the constructor’s championship.

  5. Lance Stroll is the third rookie since 2014 with a Belgian mother, opting to represent his father’s country (the other 2 being Lotterer and Verstappen).

    1. Hmm…not sure if your wording is accurate. Lance was born and raised in Canada, so I don’t see where there was ever any option for him to race as a Belgian. From what I can see he’s never lived in Belgium either, nor does he speak Dutch. Canada is not ‘his father’s country’ any more than it is also Lance’s country.

      1. @robbie Does Lance speak French (though I guess I don’t think someone from Wallonia would sound like someone from Quebec – I don’t speak French so I wouldn’t know)?

      2. @robbie, strictly speaking, the driver’s nationality is officially defined as being that of the nation which gave him a racing licence. That is why Grosjean is officially designated as a French driver despite the fact that, by birth, he is a Swiss driver (although he is a French-Swiss dual national); it is also why we have the historical example of Rindt who, although he was technically a German national, was classed as Austrian because he raced under an Austrial licence.

        I’d agree that, in the case of Stroll, his ties with Belgium are more tenuous – as far as I am aware, he is registered only as a Canadian national (even though he could register as a Canadian-Belgian dual national) and, as you say, was born in Canada and grew up there.

        1. No it is the nationality on their passport, duel citizens can choose.

    2. technically 4th – Vandoorne with Belgian mother represents father’s country ;)

  6. From 6 laps down a few years ago to just one compared to the fastest F1 races, that’s a real improvement.

  7. Currently there’s not refueling, so I think it’s impressive

    1. That’s a really good point actually.

    2. But pitstops take time… And then you are stuck behind other cars turbulent air ( every season in past couple decades). Also these cars have more power than any previous era and 8 speed boxes.

      1. No, refuling saves time, otherwise they would not do it. It was not mandatory to refuel. Imagine they refueled in the middle in this race while doing the one tyre change, that would take extra 8 seconds or something? But it would save about 47 seconds from having to run only half the fuel on average. Closer to 80 seconds back in the day when cars were using ~160 kg per race.

        And that’s according to my quick calculation in excel, not taking into account the extra time losses of more tyre degradation due to a heavier car.

    3. LehonardEuler
      27th March 2017, 16:03

      Last but not least, dry cars are at least 127kg heavier than those of 2004 (595kg to 722kg):
      http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2013/08/20/why-f1-cars-keep-getting-heavier/
      https://www.formula1.com/en/championship/inside-f1/rules-regs/Scrutineering_and_weighing.html

      So, no refulling and 21.3% heavier, I think that is a very interesting feat.

      Also, a little bit more maths: 2004 race had 1 pit stop for the winner, and assuming that cars needed 120kg for the race, average weight during the race should have been 600kg+60kg/2=630kg, while for 2017 would be 722kg+105kg/2 = 774,5kg, which is a net difference of +144.5kg, or +22.9%

      Does anyone have more accurate fuel consumption figures for the 2004 cars?

    4. MG421982 (@)
      27th March 2017, 16:22

      You’re right, but refuelling means longer pit-stops: like 10sec long… which contributed to the final race time.

      1. @corrado-dub But refuiling once in Albert park saves 80 seconds overall.

      2. Just the weight difference by running with less fuel will give far more than 10s advantage. It’s just don’t make sense to believe that running loaded of fuel for the entire race is faster than pitting one time for refuel and running lighter.

  8. Ah, stats and facts. Always one of my favourite articles after a race weekend.
    Thanks Keith :-)

  9. Despite losing the race, Merc still has some qualifying streaks going:

    16 consecutive poles. 8 short of the record held by Williams.

    28 consecutive front row starts. 7 short of the tecord held by Williams.

    Perez has 11 straight points finishes – longest of any other driver. (I’m impressed by this one)

    The winners of the first F1, WRC, and Indy races are all named Sebastian. If Loeb wins in Rallycross this weekend then it will be 4 for 4!

    1. The winners of the first F1, WRC, and Indy races are all named Sebastian. If Loeb wins in Rallycross this weekend then it will be 4 for 4!

      Well spotted, @gitanes.

      I would add Sébastien Buemi for Formula E (won both the 1st 2017 season race (in 2016) and first race in the year 2017)!

    2. @gitanes I’m not sure I’d count Sebastian as Sebastien though – but close enough, I guess

      1. It’s the same name in a different language. Both are forms of the Latin name “Sebastianus”.

    3. Sergio Perez has been classified as finishing a race for 31 races (meaning he had completed more than 90% of the race distance when his car broke down, crashed, etc). The last time he wasn’t classified as completing a race was the 2015 Hungarian GP.

    4. Yet Perez has a Ton of Naysayers. Perez’s problem was not being born in London apperently. I remember when the McLaren fans wanted him gone.

  10. first time since 2007 Ferrari started Australian GP on front row and first time since the same year they won the Australian GP previously its Kimi and now its Sebastian.
    Sebastian won the Australian GP first time also with Redbull in his 3rd year with the team and he repeated the same feat with Ferrari by winning the Australian GP for 3rd year with the team.
    Hamilton can easily surpass the Highest No.of Pole by a driver if he takes another 7 in the next 19. He can surpass the no.of podiums of Senna if he step on the rostrum two more times as He was on 105 vs Ayrton who amassed 106.

  11. First time Ferrari won the first race of the season since 2010 (Bahrain)

  12. First time in hybrid era Mercedes was beaten not because of a problem for their car/driver. Or did Ferrari beat them fair and square sepang 2015? Can’t remember.

    1. I think merc were beat for tyre wear in a couple races, but on pure speed in past 3 year? Obviously ricciardo at Monaco 16 nearly.

    2. Well whichever way you put it they were beaten on pure pace in singapore 2015

    3. mark jackson
      27th March 2017, 17:57

      I think Mercedes problem was Lewis destroying his tires early on.

      1. They would still have been slower if he hadn’t. Vettel had him pegged for the first stint without breaking a sweat, then went considerably longer on those tyres so clearly taking less life from them, and then never let the Mercedes get close to him during the second stint driving only as quickly as he needed to.

        If Hamilton had driven more conservatively Vettel may even have overtaken him on track, and would definitely have had him through an overcut.

        Hamilton still finished ahead of a more conservative Bottas so he drove the fastest race the Mercedes was capable of and gave himself the only slim chance they had of beating a quicker Ferrari by hammering it at the begining of his stints.

        1. @philipgb

          If Hamilton had driven more conservatively Vettel may even have overtaken him on track, and would definitely have had him through an overcut.

          No, the overcut was not a thing here. After Hamilton pitted, he was easily faster than Vettel until he got caught up behind Verstappen.

  13. Why were many drivers hunting for fastest lap ??

    1. (they could because) tyres held up better than expected. @square-route

      1. @f1-liners
        Oh okay. So they wanted to set fastest lap just for brownie points? That’s .. umm .. risky !!?

        1. @square-route
          that’s why engineers tried to stop them

      2. but wouldn’t this mean that the drivers still aren’t able to go full throttle every lap of the race?
        because if they were, they would hunt for fastest lap at every lap, I guess…

        1. Ill advised to ‘hunt for fastest lap’ when carrying too much fuel ;)
          (from memory each extra kg equals roughly 0.03sec, @alfa145)

  14. Melbourne was Bottas’s 78th race, meaning he has now eclipsed his car number in races. This leaves only recent rookies – Wehrlein, Giovanazzi, Palmer, Sainz, Stroll and Ocon – as having competed in less races than their car number. Vandoorne, despite this being his rookie year, has already equalled his car number thanks to last year’s subbing.

    1. @thenewno2 Giovanazzi shouldn’t count. I believe 36 is one of Sauber’s team appointed numbers. All the others have their own.

      1. @dragon86 Well it doesnt matter what number Giovanazzi chooses since the lowest he can pick is 4 and he has made only one race.

  15. At this rate, Monza will be finished in almost an hour!

    1. The expected reduction in lap time will be smallest in Monza, because the new cars are much faster in corners, but no faster or slower on the straights, so the low donwforce tracks will see the least amount of reduction in lap time. Barcelona should be quick.

      1. @mateuss Theres nothing that stops them from using all this new aero to make an low drag configuration and they should have more power and fuel than last year.

        1. @rethla I mean they will be faster, but not that much faster as in Barcelona. They will probably run super skinny wing and less paraphernalia in the T wing and monkey seat area. But the tyres are much more draggy, and the car is wider. And the only power increase will come from engine development, which is valued at few tenths.

          Monza was not a fuel limited race, and the fuel flow limit is the same.

  16. Lewis Hamilton now has been in lead more than 3000 laps i think! Only M.S. have more.

    1. 15120 km over 3014 laps according to my calculations, correct. the top10 of that list looks like this:

      Schumacher 5069
      Hamilton 3014
      Senna 2982
      Vettel 2758
      Prost 2712
      Mansell 2089
      Clark 1954
      Stewart 1915
      Alonso 1769
      Lauda 1620

  17. Bottas stats
    – he lost the record of longest career with a single team – which is now back to Stirling Moss, having been with Lewis Hamilton before Hamilton moved to Mercedes
    – continues to have the most points in F1 history without a win. This is a good season to get rid of that one

    1. I meant to say Jim Clark not moss. Clark spent his whole career at Lotus

  18. It was only fourth time as all teams got a car into Q2. Previously that had happened in 2009 European and Japanese Grands Prix as well as 2014 United States Grand Prix.

    1. Now this is a good stat! Every team had at least one car in Q2.

  19. Getting fastest lap just signals a driver that can’t be bothered for most of the race. Why would you want that accolade?

    1. Sorry this isn’t aimed at Kimi, it’s more a general point… what value exactly does fastest lap hold? It seems to have absolutely no value.

      1. Sundar Srinivas Harish
        28th March 2017, 5:27

        They probably want the fastest lap award? Or maybe Liberty is mulling points for fastest laps and pole – but I suppose they’d have introduced that before the race.

    2. Some guys like going fast

    3. @john-h Really? Is that what it means? I don’t see the logic in that statement. You can get fastest lap in a variety of situations. Kimi said that he was saving fuel and was unsure about tire life after terrible understeer in the first stint. Then 2 laps from the end when he was freed from these concerns he pushed hard to escape Verstappen for good. Also Bottas, Verstappen, Vettel, Kvyat all went for fastest lap each for his own reasons. It’s ridiculous to say any of them wasn’t trying all race beforehand.

      1. I was probably being too harsh @montreal95, I do know what you mean. It just seems so pointless to get fastest lap of the race, I mean its usually just the one that has the freshest tyres (late stopping or otherwise).. and if you have fresh tyres at the end of the race when the fuel is burnt off, then you probably haven’t been using them in the best way.

        1. @john-h Sometimes it’s like you said, but there are many other reasons to get fastest lap. Just from this race:

          Kvyat-had to make use of his skewed strategy and try to close in and attack Perez quickly
          Bottas+Vettel-psychological reason that we should never underestimate! Bottas was effectively called off from attacking Lewis. So he went for it to prove he had pace to spare. Vettel wanted to say, Lewis, I’m holding you off easily without even pushing, see I have pace to spare!
          Kimi-had many problems earlier in the race, and wanted to distance himself from Max when finally was let off the leash.

          These are just examples from the last race. There are many other reasons as well. One such, which may have been also present in this race and is also psychological: going for the fastest lap, really pushing the car, is great fun! After the whole race of listening to the pitwall and driving “to a delta” drivers want to have fun. It’s not pointless, it’s necessary. Many a driver, some of them WDC’s have quit F1 because it stopped being fun for them. It’s just became another job, and you cannot give 100% at 300kph when it’s like that for you. That’s why you never hear of drivers being punished by their team for trying for fastest lap. They may tell them to stop on the radio, but they know it’s “necessary evil” from their point of view.

  20. The 4 most recent drivers to score their first point (Vandoorne, Wehrlein, Palmer, Ocon) all did so with a single point, unlike all of the previous 13.

    Hamilton keeps alive his record of at least 1 pole per season since his debut in 2007.

    Ricciardo’s first no-score since Russia 2016. Longest unbroken streak – Perez with 11 (last no-score was Hungary 2016).

    Ricciardo’s first non-finish since Russia 2015. Longest unbroken streak – Perez with 13 (last non-finish was Austria 2016).

    Raikkonen keeps alive his record of at least 1 fastest lap each year since his comeback.

    14th year in a row in which Massa has scored points.

    60th year in a row in Ferrari have scored points (every year of the Constructors’ Championship), and 37th year in a row in which they have scored at least 1 podium – both extending their records.

    23rd year in a row in which at least 1 Ferrari-powered car has scored a fastest lap, and 25th year in a row in which at least 1 Ferrari-powered car has led – both extending their records.

    6th Melbourne pole for Hamilton – his most at any circuit. His 7th podium in Melbourne – equalling Shanghai.

    Both drivers to have managed 62+ poles scored their 62nd poles in Australia.

    Ferrari now have more Melbourne wins than McLaren (7 vs 6).

    First Italian to start a race since Liuzzi in 2011.

    First time Perez has been classified ahead of his team-mate in Australia (he did cross the line ahead of Kobayashi in 2011 before both were DSQ’d).

    First driver to finish on the podium in his first race for Mercedes since Fangio and Kling managed a 1-2 in France 1954.

    Thanks to magnetimarelli.com and statsf1.com for some of these.

  21. Mercedes have yet again not won a race after a second formation lap

  22. I seem to recall that Ham was on tyres that had done two fast quali laps. If he did any direct warming – spinning them up – on the additional formation lap (false departure or approach to grid) then it might have actually been a factor in his early pitstop.

    1. @didaho that is not correct, the tyre info given during qualifying was faulty. He was on a new set of US tyres in Q2 when he did his fastest lap.

    2. @didaho – No, Toto Wolff confirmed that the on-screen-graphic was wrong during qualification – they used unused tyres for Hamilton’s fasted run in Q2.

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