Timo Glock's girlfriend tries his helmet on for size. Perhaps she'll be in the car later instead of him?
|1||S Vettel||Red Bull|
|3||M Webber||Red Bull|
|10||S Buemi||Toro Rosso|
Neither HRT car managed to qualify within the 107% required, and the FIA have confirmed the pair are not allowed to race.
Team principal Colin Kolles is still proud, though: "The circumstances in which we arrived were not as desired. We created a miracle again, but it wasn't enough. We'll be back stronger than ever in Malaysia. There we will have more time to test the car and show where the F111 really belongs.
The class of 2011 comes together for a photo.
Vettel stormed to pole position yesterday, about eight tenths faster than everyone else. He played it down though: "In the end, it doesn't matter if you're in front by one thousandth or a little bit more."
Tweet from @MikeGascoyne: 15 mins to pit lane opening. Tension building up, off to pit wall, see you there
Now, let's get you set up with some links and data. Live timing: http://www.formula1.com/live_timing/live_timing.html
Autosport will have lap by lap updates: http://live.autosport.com/commentary.php/id/324
The BBC live stream and updates can be found here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/9436948.stm
Two drivers to watch, after a relatively poor qualifying: Nick Heidfeld, who was thoroughly outshone by Petrov in the Renault. Rubens Barrichello who spun his Williams and thwarted his own qualifying chances.
They start 18th and 17th respectively.
I'm also curious what Michael Schumacher can achieve, starting 11th on the grid, and sandwiched between two Toro Rossos.
The HRT garage is pretty quiet, although both cars are in there. As per the rest of the weekend, there are mechanics around just one of the cars.
The BBC are showing Jake and Eddie taking on Lewis and Jenson around the Top Gear track in a McLaren transporter.
McLaren transporter. They're running through some tricky parking moves between cones with vases on.
Button: "F1 is so competitive at the moment, we've had five different teams winning the world championship in five different years. You can't have one slip up during the season."
After some time in the big transporter, the boys are let loose in a couple of McLaren supercars. That looks more fun!
Comment from Stuart Taylor: how many safety cars today? I'm going for 4
Back to Albert Park and the cars are on the grid. Nothing changes, as Red Bull mechanics block any view of the rear of the car.
Vettel: "We have a long race ahead of us... it's a challenging track, new tyres, first time, the same fuel in the car. Really looking forward but it's not going to be easy."
More from Vettel: "Generally, the tyres behave differently on track when we are driving to when we are starting. It's a new challenge, we had some practice in the winter but this is the first time we all go at the same time."
Tweet from @InsideFerrari: The race is about to start: 20 minutes to the formation lap. Both Felipe and Fernando are going to the grid.
Jenson Button: "I'm pretty happy with where I am, after what we've been through I think this is a great place to be. Our starts are pretty good, I don't know whether they're using KERS or not, no one knows, that makes it very exciting for the stretch down to the first corner."
Tweet from @WilliamsF1Team: If we don't win, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a home win for Mark! http://twitpic.com/4dsnia
Vitaly Petrov: "All weekend we have quite a good car, so we must be proud of our place on the start grid. We just need to focus on this race now."
The drivers are heading to the front of the grid for a minute's silence in respect to Japan and the other recent natural disasters.
A lot of the grid still talking though, a minute's silence isn't really practical when you've got an imminent race to prepare for.
Christian Horner: "First of all, the gap is irrelevant, position is the thing that's important. We were delighted to get the pole... disappointed not to lock out the front row. We didn't use KERS yesterday, it was a strategic decision. We'll see how it pans out today.
"KERS has advantages and disadvantages... yesterday we elected not to use it. We just need to wait and see. The performance of the car was very good, Sebastian was in awesome form... so we go into the race, it's a bit of a voyage of discovery especially with the new tyres and the rear wing. It's going to be fascinating to see how it unfolds."
A view from the marshalling post via @elephino_
Tweet from @autosportlive: The drivers now head back towards their cars and begin to focus on the job immediately in hand. 58 laps of hard racing await them.
|Local timezone||+1100 GMT|
|Number of laps||58|
The traditional Qantas flypast.
|(source Mercedes GP)|
|Gear changes||56 per lap|
Tweet from @sarahholtf1: A two-stop strategy should work in Melbourne but the word is teams are still mulling over two or three stops. #bbcf1
Mercedes live data shows Michael Schumacher adjusting his steering wheel in the cockpit on the grid.
The pole on our thread has now closed, and the overwhelming majority went for Vettel - leading in and out of the first corner.
The mechanics are clearing the grid for the formation lap.
The top runners will be starting on the softer tyre, the top ten all with yellow sidewalls.
Schumacher is the first man to choose his tyres and he's gone for softs as well.
Everyone got off the grid cleanly, no dramas yet.
Tweet from @autosportlive: It looks like most of the drivers with an open choice of tyres have opted for the soft compound as well.
Vettel leads the pack back onto the main straight and they begin to re-form the grid.
Vettel gets a good start, Webber gets ahead of Hamilton down the line but the McLaren keeps the position.
Completely clean first corner, just one Virgin car running wide.
Petrov had a great start, up to fourth.
Barrichello went off track and is now last.
Alonso fell down to 10th, up to 9th now. Massa improved upwards, Button currently chasing him for 5th position.
Michael Schumacher also pits.
You'd suspect that Mercedes and Toro Rosso came together - Schumacher had a rear puncture.
Paul di Resta is up to 10th from 14th on the grid.
Race Control: DRS is enabled.
Button takes the inside line to try and get past Massa, but the Ferrari keeps position. For now...
This is the first use of DRS and, drum roll please... makes no difference.
Button was close enough behind Massa to use his rear wing, it flipped up as they rounded onto the main straight, and it had zero effect.
Rubens ran into the gravel on the opening lap, similar to his issue in qualifying. Back up to 15th at the moment.
Alonso has passed Rosberg, so is up to P7 now.
Team radio from Button (about Massa): "He's got to stop moving on the straight like he is."
Vettel isn't scampering away with the lead as we might have expected, still just a three second gap to Hamilton.
|Felipe Massa||vs.||Jenson Button|
Tweet from @OfficialRGP: Nick says that the track is quite low grip at the moment.
Lewis Hamilton puts in the fastest lap of the race so far.
Alonso has caught up to the back of Button, so the McLaren is stuck between two Ferraris now.
Buemi has overtaken Paul di Resta, who in turn is trying to hold off his teammate Sutil for 11th position.
Team radio from Webber: "Rears are starting to go."
Exactly the same message from Vettel on the radio.
Red Bull mechanics are getting ready for a stop - a little earlier than they would like.
Lower is better on that graph, obviously.
Maldonado has pulled off track.
Button took to the escape road and got past Massa, which means he should give the place back.
However, Alonso has got past Massa, so he may have to give back two places.
Webber has pitted, blink and you'll miss it. Hard tyres on the Red Bull.
Fernando Alonso pits and Ferrari bolt on some scrubbed soft tyres.
Race Control: Incident to be investigated.
Button tells his team that he was ahead and Massa pushed him off track, hence he took to the escape road and legitimately has the position.
Felipe Massa has pitted, so there's no way the position can just be reversed. Any penalty would be a drive through or similar.
Vettel pits from the lead.
Race Control: Drive through for Button for exceeding the track limit.
Hamilton inherits the lead, with Petrov up to second, but neither have stopped yet.
Vettel returned to the track in third position, so he should be safely back in the lead when the other two pit.
Alguersuari, Buemi and Heidfeld have all pitted.
Alonso puts in the fastest lap so far - 1:31.904.
Hamilton pits from the lead.
Hamilton returns to the track behind Vettel but just in front with Button, and Jenson doesn't push the position.
Rosberg, Kobayashi and Sutil all pit.
Kovalainen locks up and bounces across the grass as he regains control of the Lotus. Heikki is currently in 13th.
Button takes his drive through.
With the pit lane impediment, we're looking at about a 22 second penalty for Button.
Kovalainen runs wide.
Alguersuari and Kovalainen pit - that's two stops for Jaime now.
Trulli has also stopped.
Buemi gets past Sutil, although he has also used plenty of excess run off to make the position stick.
Glock pits, as Renault report they were worried about damage on Heidfeld's car but after the stop found nothing to concern.
Button pits for his actual stop.
He returns to the track just in front of Paul di Resta, who starts pushing for position.
Heikki Kovalainen is out, his car off to the side of the track.
Rubens passes Kobayashi in a great overtaking move for 9th position.
Glock has pitted and it looks like he's out of the race for now.
Schumacher also takes to the garage and climbs out of the car.
|N Rosberg||vs.||R Barrichello|
And they hit!
Track is clear.
Rubens appeared to have front wing damage, whilst smoke plumes from Rosberg's car. Both are continuing on for now.
Pérez pits from the top 10.
Yellow flags as Rosberg has pulled over to the side of the track. Both Mercedes cars out.
Barrichello pits for a new front wing.
Comment from Stuart Taylor: "between 99 and 100%, how much would you say that was Rubens's fault?" - Brundle
Rosberg and Rubens come together.
Button has successfully used his rear wing to make a pass!
He moved up to 7th, passing Kobayashi.
Race Control: Incident between Rosberg and Barrichello to be investigated.
Webber pits from third.
Tweet from @OfficalLRGP: Actually we think there is some slight bodywork damage on Nick's car, probably from lap 1. Still he is pushing on and will keep battling.
About halfway through, Vettel continues to lead, building up a gap to Hamilton, with Petrov clinging on to third place.
Race Control: Drive through penalty for car 11 (Barrichello) for causing a collision.
Rubens serves his drive through.
Glock is back out on track, after appearing to retire earlier. Currently last.
Michael Schumacher: "I had a good start, I made up quite a few positions. I was already past Kobayashi but then first corner, everything got a bit tight and I had to slow down... I got going again, as I turn into turn three, somebody knocked on my right rear...
"The consequence was I had a puncture, and destroyed the rear tyre coming back to the pits and that destroyed the rear floor... I'm pretty sure we had bent suspension, it wasn't equal. Entertaining twenty laps I did, but it wasn't worth it and the team quite rightly decided for safety to come in and not to risk anything."
Heidfeld and Massa both pitted whilst I was busy listening to Schumacher.
Hamilton runs really wide, the McLaren bouncing across the grass.
David Coulthard is suggesting the McLaren has a broken undertray which may explain the lack of control.
Kobayashi has pitted.
Tweet from @clubforce: Paul's engineer telling him to 'keep pushing'...Good job Paul on your F1 racing debut!
Vettel continues to lead with a 12 second gap over Hamilton now.
Sparks fly under Hamilton's car. He doesn't seem to be losing too much time but may not be able to chase Vettel.
Team radio to and from Vettel: "Have you got no grip left?"
"It's really bad now, tyres starting to go off."
Vettel pits from hte lead.
Hamilton also pits, meaning Vettel has to go around the McLaren mechanics. Bit of extra pressure, but a decent stop.
Petrov pits for Renault, and further back Alguersuari in for Toro Rosso.
Hamilton's team radio confirms they don't want to make another stop, so it's all about managing the tyres for him now.
Paul di Resta pits.
Button pits from fifth place.
Beautiful stop for Jenson there.
Petrov is down to fifth after getting caught up behind Alguersuari coming out of the pits.
Pérez is doing a great job in 8th, ahead of teammate Kobayashi in 9th.
Pérez just put in the fastest lap of the race: 1:29.962.
Alonso is closing up to Webber now, he had the opportunity to use the DRS on this lap but was too far back to make the difference.
Tweet from @MarussiaVirgin: Jérôme's times are just under a second away from TRU. It'll be interesting to see how they compare after they have both stopped. JdA in now
|Sergio Pérez on lap 41|
Mark Webber pits from third place, allowing Alonso through.
Further down the order, Barrichello also pits. Fourth time for the Williams.
Webber runs wide at turn three, struggling to get his tyres warmed up.
Alonso pits now as well, will he come out in front of Webber?
Yep, Alonso easily makes it out in front of the Red Bull. No sign of Webber at all actually!
There's Webber now, he's catching back up to the Ferrari.
|F Alonso||vs.||M Webber|
Webber sets the fastest lap of the race - 1:29.686
Team radio to Alonso: "Remember to use the KERS."
Fastest lap for Alonso: 1:29.608.
Ted Kravitz reports that there has been a planned swap of position at Force India, Sutil now ahead of Paul di Resta in 11th and 12th.
Button overtakes Massa... finally! 6th position for the McLaren.
Eight laps to go.
Team radio to Hamilton: "Eight laps to go. Please look after the car, the car is damaged."
Massa puts in the fastest lap of the race so far 1:29.451.
Pérez has only stopped once, and it looks like that's all he will do!
Rubens Barrichello pits and heads to the garage, it looks like a double retirement for Williams as well.
Hamilton's times are falling off quite rapidly now. He's just got six more laps to nurse the car home.
Massa is chasing Buemi hard for 9th position, but so far the Ferrari can't make it through. Vettel is closing up behind the pair to lap them.
The Ferrari is through, pretty easily as Massa outbrakes Buemi to get past.
Alonso is catching up to Petrov now. Three laps remain and just a couple of seconds in it. Does he have enough time?
David Coulthard: "He's got plenty of experience of following Petrov, but not much experience of passing him."
|V Petrov||vs.||F Alonso|
Sebastian Vettel wins the Australian Grand Prix!!
Hamilton comes in second, and Petrov third.
Alonso didn't have the laps to make the difference.
Mark Webber has pulled off track immediately after the finish line, stopping at the end of the pit lane.
Team radio from Vettel: "Thank you boys, fantastic race. Really controlled, thank you very much. Excellent stop. We learnt a lot today, keep that in mind."
Tweet from @autosportlive: It was a typical commanding performance from the world champion, who starts his title defence in the best possible way.
Tweet from @MikeGascoyne: Good race from Jarno, in the end that was the pace we expected from winter testing, got to get in right in malaysia
Driver of the day is a toss up between Petrov and Pérez, and on balance, Sergio gets it. A rookie driver, finishes 7th on a one-stop strategy, when everyone around him stops at least twice, sometimes thrice.
Who are you handing driver of the day to?
The top three take to the podium, with new black Pirelli caps.
Your race winner.
And they spray the champaaaaagne.
Petrov on the podium.
Christian Horner confirms Red Bull haven't had KERS on their car at all this weekend.
Interview with Christian Horner: "We were a bit nervous about telling everyone before the race, but we ran it on Friday, we weren't happy about the reliability, we thought it was a potential risk, so we took it off both cars.
"It's quite a complex system, it's an interesting technology, but Adrian being Adrian, he wouldn't compromise."
Interview with Martin Whitmarsh: "It's a healthy result, inevitably you're always going to be disappointed if you haven't won the race. Lewis did a great job, his pace was not quite Sebastian's but not too far behind, he then damaged the car. He had an excursion but it either broke of it's own accord or in that excursion. From that point on, he was losing a lot of downforce...
"I think Jenson, unlucky at the start... I'd say Felipe was reasonably spirited in his defence, and Jenson felt he had no alternative to leave the track to get past him... we asked the FIA what do you want us to do, we got no advice... Jenson did a great job to fight his way back and get some solid points. Overall it would be nice to have two cars on the podium, but two weeks ago I would have taken this result quite happily."
Press conference quotes - Sebastian Vettel: "Obviously it was a good race, in the end things calmed down a bit... I don't think it was an easy race, the start was crucial. Being on the clean side, I had a good getaway but I didn't know it was enough until I saw Lewis and Mark battling for position...
"After my stop it was crucial to get past Jenson which I could do immediately... after that I think the second part of the race, I didn't know what was going on behind with Lewis, if he was dropping off or not... All in all a very good race, I think there was a lot of things to learn today."
Press conference quotes - Lewis Hamilton: "A week or two ago, we were not expecting to be anywhere near the top five. It's the longest the car's ever lasted. I think it's a great achievement for us. Strategy is one we can work on but generally we've got good pace and I'm looking forward to the next race."
Lewis: "The plank and part of the floor is massively damaged. I don't know when it happened, it might have happened when I went off but I think it happened before that."
Press conference quotes - Vitaly Petrov: "I am very happy to sit with these guys here, the whole weekend was pretty good for us. We came here with some new parts, from free practice our car looks strong. Qualifying was not too bad. We just focused on our race, today I think the team did everything perfectly. We must be proud of our place today."
Interview with Jenson Button: "I got an okay start, and then I was surprised to see Petrov on the inside, then I got stuck behind Massa. That was the worst move of the race because he was so slow. He's the most difficult person to overtake. He blocked very well but he just slowed us both down massively. I tried to overtake him round turn 11, he went so deep in the corner, pushed me wide... I was in front before we entered the corner, and then I didn't know what to do.
As soon as Ferrari saw that happen, they pitted Massa, and as soon as that happens you get a drive through, so I don't know if that was on purpose or not. I got a drive through, and then I had to fight my way through which was quite fun but being that far back was quite frustrating because the pace was better than that."
So that was it, the first race of the year done and dusted. It wasn't an epic but it was a decent start to 2011.
The racing seems quite different to last year, there is still plenty to get used to - both for us and for the drivers.
Red Bull look supreme, epic pace even without KERS. Vettel makes the best start to his championship defence, Webber as usual struggles at home.
Petrov did an amazing job, particularly compared to Heidfeld who had a really tough day.
Both Williams and Mercedes suffered double DNFs, so there is nowhere to go but up from them for the rest of the season.
I'm signing off now, so we must make a date in our diaries for two weeks time when F1 rolls into Malaysia. More early starts, but equally, plenty more fun and games to come.
Have a great day and see you soon!
All content in the series Australia 2011
Filed under Lap by lap coverage
Previous post Australia 2011 - Qualifying results
Next post Australia 2011 - Race results
365 F1 stories