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Australia 2011 - Race highlights // Full coverage of the first Grand Prix of the new F1 season

Published by Christine

Virgin run wide at turn one
Virgin run wide at turn oneCredit: Force India F1

We've been through two days of great build up, practice sessions with mixed results, a qualifying with plenty to discuss, and all for this - the Australian Grand Prix. The first race of the 2011 wasn't a classic but it certainly held it's own and got the season off to a fantastic start.

From rookie drivers showing the veterans how it's done, to collisions, overtaking, penalties, and smoky retirements, those couple of hours in Albert Park had a little bit of everything.

Vettel took the win, making the best possible start to his championship defence, but McLaren are close behind him, as is... maybe... Renault?

If you missed any of the race, or simply want to remind yourself what happened, relive the action minute by minute.

As it happened: 2011 Australia - The Race

  • 06:00

    Good morning, it's race day and we're live for the Australian Grand Prix!

  • 06:02

    It's quite early in the UK, and getting on for evening in Albert Park.

  • 06:02

    We've had four excellent sessions of F1 action so far this weekend, but it's all been building up to this. The race.

  • 06:03

    It looks a lot brighter at the track now than previously - the driver's have already been up and about for the parade: http://yfrog.com/hsl6updj

  • 06:04

    If you're following along live, then please join in the comments at Sidepodcast: https://sidepodcast.com/post/live-australia-2011-the-race

  • 06:05

    We've got a poll going on over there - who will be leading out of the first corner? Make sure you have your say.

  • 06:05

    If you fancy something a bit more, well, fancy, whilst commenting, check out https://sidepodcast.com/dashboard for Twitter, live updates and this here FBFB all in one place.

  • 06:06

    If you've missed any of the F1 action so far, I can recommend taking two minutes (exactly) to catch up: https://sidepodcast.com/news/mark-webber-and-jenson-button-lead-free-practice-friday-in-australia and https://sidepodcast.com/news/sebastian-vettel-takes-pole-position-for-the-australian-grand-prix

  • 06:08

    It's David Coulthard's 40th birthday today, and Mercedes GP presented him with a book of photographs and a cake shaped like the Scottish flag.

  • 06:11

    Isabell DoreenTimo Glock's girlfriend tries his helmet on for size. Perhaps she'll be in the car later instead of him?

  • 06:12
    Qualifying Positions
    1S VettelRed Bull
    2L HamiltonMcLaren
    3M WebberRed Bull
    4J ButtonMcLaren
    5F AlonsoFerrari
    6V PetrovRenault
    7N RosbergMercedes
    8F MassaFerrari
    9K KobayashiSauber
    10S BuemiToro Rosso
  • 06:13

    Neither HRT car managed to qualify within the 107% required, and the FIA have confirmed the pair are not allowed to race.

  • 06:13

    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.

  • 06:13

    Driver photoshootThe class of 2011 comes together for a photo.

  • 06:15

    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."

  • 06:16

    TweetTweet from @MikeGascoyne: 15 mins to pit lane opening. Tension building up, off to pit wall, see you there

  • 06:17

    Now, let's get you set up with some links and data. Live timing: http://www.formula1.com/live_timing/live_timing.html

  • 06:18

    Autosport will have lap by lap updates: http://live.autosport.com/commentary.php/id/324

  • 06:18

    The BBC live stream and updates can be found here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/9436948.stm

  • 06:23

    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.

  • 06:23

    They start 18th and 17th respectively.

  • 06:25

    I'm also curious what Michael Schumacher can achieve, starting 11th on the grid, and sandwiched between two Toro Rossos.

  • 06:26

    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.

  • 06:29

    The BBC are showing Jake and Eddie taking on Lewis and Jenson around the Top Gear track in a McLaren transporter.

  • 06:30

    McLaren transporterMcLaren transporter. They're running through some tricky parking moves between cones with vases on.

  • 06:33

    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."

  • 06:34

    After some time in the big transporter, the boys are let loose in a couple of McLaren supercars. That looks more fun!

  • 06:37

    QuoteComment from Stuart Taylor: how many safety cars today? I'm going for 4

  • 06:38

    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.

  • 06:40

    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."

  • 06:41

    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."

  • 06:41

    TweetTweet from @InsideFerrari: The race is about to start: 20 minutes to the formation lap. Both Felipe and Fernando are going to the grid.

  • 06:42

    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."

  • 06:42

    Weather

    18°C

    Track24°C
    Humidity62%
    Wind speed4.7mps
  • 06:44

    TweetTweet from @WilliamsF1Team: If we don't win, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a home win for Mark! http://twitpic.com/4dsnia

  • 06:44

    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."

  • 06:45

    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.

  • 06:46

    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.

  • 06:49

    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."

  • 06:49

    A view from the marshals postA view from the marshalling post via @elephino_

  • 06:53

    TweetTweet 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.

  • 06:54
    Circuit Data
    Albert Park
    Local timezone+1100 GMT
    First race1996
    Number of laps58
    Circuit length5.303km
    Race distance307.574km
    Start offset0.000km
  • 06:55

    FlypastThe traditional Qantas flypast.

  • 06:55
    Race Data
    (source Mercedes GP)
    Average speed230kph
    Full throttle69%
    Gear changes56 per lap
  • 06:57

    TweetTweet from @sarahholtf1: A two-stop strategy should work in Melbourne but the word is teams are still mulling over two or three stops. #bbcf1

  • 06:57

    Mercedes live data shows Michael Schumacher adjusting his steering wheel in the cockpit on the grid.

  • 06:59

    The pole on our thread has now closed, and the overwhelming majority went for Vettel - leading in and out of the first corner.

  • 06:59

    The mechanics are clearing the grid for the formation lap.

  • 07:00

    The top runners will be starting on the softer tyre, the top ten all with yellow sidewalls.

  • 07:00

    Schumacher is the first man to choose his tyres and he's gone for softs as well.

  • 07:01

    Everyone got off the grid cleanly, no dramas yet.

  • 07:02

    TweetTweet from @autosportlive: It looks like most of the drivers with an open choice of tyres have opted for the soft compound as well.

  • 07:02

    Vettel leads the pack back onto the main straight and they begin to re-form the grid.

  • 07:03

    Green flagRace started.

  • 07:04

    Vettel gets a good start, Webber gets ahead of Hamilton down the line but the McLaren keeps the position.

  • 07:04

    Completely clean first corner, just one Virgin car running wide.

  • 07:04

    Petrov had a great start, up to fourth.

  • 07:04

    Barrichello went off track and is now last.

  • 07:05 Lap 1

    Alguersuari pits.

  • 07:05 Lap 1

    Alonso fell down to 10th, up to 9th now. Massa improved upwards, Button currently chasing him for 5th position.

  • 07:06 Lap 1

    Michael Schumacher also pits.

  • 07:06 Lap 1

    You'd suspect that Mercedes and Toro Rosso came together - Schumacher had a rear puncture.

  • 07:07 Lap 2

    Paul di Resta is up to 10th from 14th on the grid.

  • 07:07 Lap 3

    Race Control: DRS is enabled.

  • 07:08 Lap 3

    Button takes the inside line to try and get past Massa, but the Ferrari keeps position. For now...

  • 07:08 Lap 3

    This is the first use of DRS and, drum roll please... makes no difference.

  • 07:09 Lap 4

    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.

  • 07:10 Lap 5
    Driver Positions
    PosDriver
    10Sebastian Vettel
    20Lewis Hamilton
    30Mark Webber
    42Vitaly Petrov
    53Felipe Massa
  • 07:11 Lap 5

    Rubens wideRubens ran into the gravel on the opening lap, similar to his issue in qualifying. Back up to 15th at the moment.

  • 07:12 Lap 6

    Alonso has passed Rosberg, so is up to P7 now.

  • 07:13 Lap 6

    RadioTeam radio from Button (about Massa): "He's got to stop moving on the straight like he is."

  • 07:13 Lap 6

    Vettel isn't scampering away with the lead as we might have expected, still just a three second gap to Hamilton.

  • 07:15 Lap 8
    One to Watch
    Felipe Massavs.Jenson Button
    5th+0.3s6th
  • 07:15 Lap 8

    TweetTweet from @OfficialRGP: Nick says that the track is quite low grip at the moment.

  • 07:16 Lap 8

    Lewis Hamilton puts in the fastest lap of the race so far.

  • 07:16 Lap 9

    Alonso has caught up to the back of Button, so the McLaren is stuck between two Ferraris now.

  • 07:17 Lap 9

    Buemi has overtaken Paul di Resta, who in turn is trying to hold off his teammate Sutil for 11th position.

  • 07:17 Lap 9

    RadioTeam radio from Webber: "Rears are starting to go."

  • 07:19 Lap 11

    Exactly the same message from Vettel on the radio.

  • 07:19 Lap 11

    Red Bull mechanics are getting ready for a stop - a little earlier than they would like.

  • 07:19
    Recent Lap Times
    Felipe Massa
    Lap 6
    1:33.700
    Lap 71:34.004
    Lap 81:33.833
    Lap 9
    1:33.869
    Lap 10
    1:34.490
  • 07:20

    Lower is better on that graph, obviously.

  • 07:20

    Maldonado has pulled off track.

  • 07:21

    Button took to the escape road and got past Massa, which means he should give the place back.

  • 07:21 Lap 12

    However, Alonso has got past Massa, so he may have to give back two places.

  • 07:21 Lap 12

    Webber has pitted, blink and you'll miss it. Hard tyres on the Red Bull.

  • 07:23 Lap 13

    Fernando Alonso pits and Ferrari bolt on some scrubbed soft tyres.

  • 07:24 Lap 14

    Race Control: Incident to be investigated.

  • 07:24 Lap 14

    Button escape roadButton 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.

  • 07:25 Lap 14

    Felipe Massa has pitted, so there's no way the position can just be reversed. Any penalty would be a drive through or similar.

  • 07:25 Lap 14

    Vettel pits from the lead.

  • 07:25
    Pit Stop Analysis
    DriverFelipe Massa
    TeamFerrari
    Pit lane23.842s
    Stopped4.3s
  • 07:26 Lap 15

    Race Control: Drive through for Button for exceeding the track limit.

  • 07:26 Lap 15

    Hamilton inherits the lead, with Petrov up to second, but neither have stopped yet.

  • 07:27 Lap 16

    Vettel returned to the track in third position, so he should be safely back in the lead when the other two pit.

  • 07:27 Lap 16
    Pit Stop Analysis
    DriverSebastian Vettel
    TeamRed Bull
    Pit lane22.603s
    Stopped3.4s
  • 07:28 Lap 16

    Alguersuari, Buemi and Heidfeld have all pitted.

  • 07:28 Lap 16

    Alonso puts in the fastest lap so far - 1:31.904.

  • 07:28 Lap 16

    Hamilton pits from the lead.

  • 07:29 Lap 17

    Hamilton returns to the track behind Vettel but just in front with Button, and Jenson doesn't push the position.

  • 07:29 Lap 17

    Rosberg, Kobayashi and Sutil all pit.

  • 07:29 Lap 17
    Pit Stop Analysis
    DriverLewis Hamilton
    TeamMcLaren
    Pit lane23.227s
    Stopped4.2s
  • 07:30 Lap 17

    Kovalainen locks up and bounces across the grass as he regains control of the Lotus. Heikki is currently in 13th.

  • 07:30 Lap 18

    Button takes his drive through.

  • 07:31 Lap 18

    With the pit lane impediment, we're looking at about a 22 second penalty for Button.

  • 07:31 Lap 18

    Kovalainen in the grassKovalainen runs wide.

  • 07:31 Lap 18

    Alguersuari and Kovalainen pit - that's two stops for Jaime now.

  • 07:32 Lap 18

    Trulli has also stopped.

  • 07:32 Lap 19

    Buemi gets past Sutil, although he has also used plenty of excess run off to make the position stick.

  • 07:33 Lap 20

    Glock pits, as Renault report they were worried about damage on Heidfeld's car but after the stop found nothing to concern.

  • 07:34 Lap 20
    Driver Analysis
    DriverSebastian Vettel
    TeamRed Bull
    Position1
    Started1
    Stops1
    Last lap1:31.810
    Best lap1:30.800
  • 07:34 Lap 20

    Button pits for his actual stop.

  • 07:35 Lap 21

    He returns to the track just in front of Paul di Resta, who starts pushing for position.

  • 07:36 Lap 22

    Heikki Kovalainen is out, his car off to the side of the track.

  • 07:37 Lap 22

    Rubens passes Kobayashi in a great overtaking move for 9th position.

  • 07:38 Lap 23

    Glock has pitted and it looks like he's out of the race for now.

  • 07:38 Lap 23

    Schumacher also takes to the garage and climbs out of the car.

  • 07:39 Lap 23
    One to Watch
    N Rosbergvs.R Barrichello
    8th+0.4s9th
  • 07:39 Lap 23

    And they hit!

  • 07:39 Lap 23

    Yellow flagYellow flags.

  • 07:39 Lap 23

    Green flagTrack is clear.

  • 07:40 Lap 24

    Rubens appeared to have front wing damage, whilst smoke plumes from Rosberg's car. Both are continuing on for now.

  • 07:40 Lap 24

    Pérez pits from the top 10.

  • 07:41 Lap 24

    Yellow flagYellow flags as Rosberg has pulled over to the side of the track. Both Mercedes cars out.

  • 07:41 Lap 25

    Barrichello pits for a new front wing.

  • 07:41 Lap 25

    QuoteComment from Stuart Taylor: "between 99 and 100%, how much would you say that was Rubens's fault?" - Brundle

  • 07:42 Lap 25

    Rosberg and Rubens come togetherRosberg and Rubens come together.

  • 07:43 Lap 25

    Button has successfully used his rear wing to make a pass!

  • 07:43 Lap 25

    He moved up to 7th, passing Kobayashi.

  • 07:43 Lap 26

    Race Control: Incident between Rosberg and Barrichello to be investigated.

  • 07:44 Lap 27
    Driver Positions
    PosDriver
    10Vettel
    20Hamilton
    30Webber
    42Petrov
    50Alonso
    62Massa
    7-3Button
    81Kobayashi
    91Buemi
    106Sutil
  • 07:44 Lap 27

    Webber pits from third.

  • 07:45 Lap 27
    Top Speeds
    Sector 1Barrichello270kph
    Sector 2Sutil292kph
    Sector 3Kobayashi297kph
    Speed trapButton313kph
  • 07:46 Lap 28
    Lapped Cars
    PosDriverLaps Down
    13S Pérez1
    14J Alguersuari1
    15R Barrichello1
    16J Trulli1
    17
    J D'Ambrosio2
  • 07:46 Lap 28

    Alonso pits.

  • 07:47 Lap 29

    TweetTweet 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.

  • 07:47 Lap 29

    About halfway through, Vettel continues to lead, building up a gap to Hamilton, with Petrov clinging on to third place.

  • 07:48 Lap 29

    Race Control: Drive through penalty for car 11 (Barrichello) for causing a collision.

  • 07:49 Lap 30

    Rubens serves his drive through.

  • 07:51 Lap 31

    Glock is back out on track, after appearing to retire earlier. Currently last.

  • 07:52 Lap 32

    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."

  • 07:53 Lap 32

    Heidfeld and Massa both pitted whilst I was busy listening to Schumacher.

  • 07:53 Lap 33
    Retirements
    DriverReasonLap
    MaldonadoMechanical12
    KovalainenMechanical22
    SchumacherFloor damage23
    RosbergAccident24
  • 07:54 Lap 33

    Hamilton runs really wide, the McLaren bouncing across the grass.

  • 07:55 Lap 34

    David Coulthard is suggesting the McLaren has a broken undertray which may explain the lack of control.

  • 07:55 Lap 34

    Kobayashi has pitted.

  • 07:55 Lap 34

    TweetTweet from @clubforce: Paul's engineer telling him to 'keep pushing'...Good job Paul on your F1 racing debut!

  • 07:57 Lap 35

    Vettel continues to lead with a 12 second gap over Hamilton now.

  • 07:57 Lap 35

    Hamilton sparksSparks fly under Hamilton's car. He doesn't seem to be losing too much time but may not be able to chase Vettel.

  • 07:58 Lap 36

    RadioTeam radio to and from Vettel: "Have you got no grip left?"

    "It's really bad now, tyres starting to go off."

  • 07:59 Lap 36

    Vettel pits from hte lead.

  • 07:59 Lap 37

    Hamilton also pits, meaning Vettel has to go around the McLaren mechanics. Bit of extra pressure, but a decent stop.

  • 08:00 Lap 37

    Petrov pits for Renault, and further back Alguersuari in for Toro Rosso.

  • 08:01 Lap 37

    Hamilton's team radio confirms they don't want to make another stop, so it's all about managing the tyres for him now.

  • 08:01 Lap 37

    Paul di Resta pits.

  • 08:02 Lap 38

    Button pits from fifth place.

  • 08:02 Lap 38

    Beautiful stop for Jenson there.

  • 08:03 Lap 39
    Fastest Laps
    DriverLapTime
    F Alonso311:30.081
    F Alonso291:30.097
    S Vettel171:30.800
  • 08:03 Lap 39

    Petrov is down to fifth after getting caught up behind Alguersuari coming out of the pits.

  • 08:04 Lap 39

    Pérez is doing a great job in 8th, ahead of teammate Kobayashi in 9th.

  • 08:05 Lap 40

    Pérez just put in the fastest lap of the race: 1:29.962.

  • 08:06 Lap 41

    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.

  • 08:07 Lap 41

    TweetTweet 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

  • 08:07 Lap 42
    Lap Analysis
    Sergio Pérez on lap 41
    Sector 130.1271kph
    Sector 223.7291kph
    Sector 336.5297kph
  • 08:07 Lap 42

    Mark Webber pits from third place, allowing Alonso through.

  • 08:08 Lap 42

    Further down the order, Barrichello also pits. Fourth time for the Williams.

  • 08:08 Lap 42

    Webber runs wide at turn three, struggling to get his tyres warmed up.

  • 08:09 Lap 43

    Alonso pits now as well, will he come out in front of Webber?

  • 08:10 Lap 43

    Yep, Alonso easily makes it out in front of the Red Bull. No sign of Webber at all actually!

  • 08:10 Lap 44

    There's Webber now, he's catching back up to the Ferrari.

  • 08:11 Lap 44
    One to Watch
    F Alonsovs.M Webber
    4th+0.3s5th
  • 08:11 Lap 44

    Webber sets the fastest lap of the race - 1:29.686

  • 08:13 Lap 46

    RadioTeam radio to Alonso: "Remember to use the KERS."

  • 08:14 Lap 46

    Fastest lap for Alonso: 1:29.608.

  • 08:16 Lap 48

    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.

  • 08:17 Lap 48
    Battle For 1st
    PosDriverGap
    1stVET--
    2ndHAM+11.3
    3rdPET+32.6
    4thALO+42.6
  • 08:17 Lap 48

    Button overtakes Massa... finally! 6th position for the McLaren.

  • 08:20 Lap 50
    Inter-Team Battle
    Toro Rosso
    Sébastien Buemi9th
    Jaime Alguersuari
    14th
  • 08:20 Lap 50

    Eight laps to go.

  • 08:21 Lap 51
    Championship Prediction
    PosDriverPts
    1S Vettel25
    2L Hamilton18
    3V Petrov15
    4F Alonso12
    5M Webber10
  • 08:22 Lap 51

    RadioTeam radio to Hamilton: "Eight laps to go. Please look after the car, the car is damaged."

  • 08:22 Lap 51

    Massa puts in the fastest lap of the race so far 1:29.451.

  • 08:23 Lap 52

    Pérez has only stopped once, and it looks like that's all he will do!

  • 08:23 Lap 52

    Rubens Barrichello pits and heads to the garage, it looks like a double retirement for Williams as well.

  • 08:23 Lap 52
    Recent Lap Times
    Lewis Hamilton
    Lap 48
    1:30.785
    Lap 491:30.753
    Lap 501:31.010
    Lap 51
    1:31.312
  • 08:24 Lap 52

    Hamilton's times are falling off quite rapidly now. He's just got six more laps to nurse the car home.

  • 08:26 Lap 54
    Recent Lap Times
    Sébastien Buemi
    Lap 49
    1:32.579
    Lap 501:32.093
    Lap 511:31.957
    Lap 52
    1:32.448
  • 08:26 Lap 54

    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.

  • 08:27 Lap 55

    The Ferrari is through, pretty easily as Massa outbrakes Buemi to get past.

  • 08:28 Lap 55
    Sector 1 Comparison
    DriverTimeSpeed
    S Vettel30.3272kph
    L Hamilton30.7261kph
    V Petrov30.6269kph
  • 08:28 Lap 55

    Alonso is catching up to Petrov now. Three laps remain and just a couple of seconds in it. Does he have enough time?

  • 08:28 Lap 55

    David Coulthard: "He's got plenty of experience of following Petrov, but not much experience of passing him."

  • 08:29 Lap 56
    One to Watch
    V Petrovvs.F Alonso
    3rd+2.2s4th
  • 08:30 Lap 57
    Driver Positions
    PosDriverStops
    10S Vettel2
    20L Hamilton2
    33V Petrov2
    41F Alonso3
    5-2
    M Webber3
  • 08:31 Lap 57

    FInal lap.

  • 08:33 Lap 58

    Chequered flagSebastian Vettel wins the Australian Grand Prix!!

  • 08:33 Lap 58

    Hamilton comes in second, and Petrov third.

  • 08:34

    Alonso didn't have the laps to make the difference.

  • 08:34

    Mark Webber has pulled off track immediately after the finish line, stopping at the end of the pit lane.

  • 08:35

    RadioTeam 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."

  • 08:35

    TweetTweet from @autosportlive: It was a typical commanding performance from the world champion, who starts his title defence in the best possible way.

  • 08:37
    Championship Standings
    PosDriverPts
    1S Vettel25
    2L Hamilton18
    3V Petrov15
    4F Alonso12
    5M Webber10
    6J Button8
    7S Pérez6
    8K Kobayashi4
    9F Massa2
    10S Buemi1
  • 08:37

    TweetTweet 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

  • 08:39

    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.

  • 08:39

    Who are you handing driver of the day to?

  • 08:40
    Race Winner
    DriverSebastian Vettel
    TeamRed Bull
    Race time1:29:30.259
    Race distance307.574km
    Average speed206.184km/h
  • 08:41

    The top three take to the podium, with new black Pirelli caps.

  • 08:42

    Race winnerYour race winner.

  • 08:44

    And they spray the champaaaaagne.

  • 08:44

    Petrov on the podiumPetrov on the podium.

  • 08:45

    Christian Horner confirms Red Bull haven't had KERS on their car at all this weekend.

  • 08:46

    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."

  • 08:49

    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."

  • 08:49
    Final Gaps
    PosDriverGap
    1stVET1:31.946
    2ndHAM+22.2
    3rdPET+30.5
  • 08:52

    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."

  • 08:52

    Vettel:

  • 08:54

    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."

  • 08:55

    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."

  • 08:56

    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."

  • 08:58

    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."

  • 09:00

    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.

  • 09:00

    The racing seems quite different to last year, there is still plenty to get used to - both for us and for the drivers.

  • 09:01

    Red Bull look supreme, epic pace even without KERS. Vettel makes the best start to his championship defence, Webber as usual struggles at home.

  • 09:01

    Petrov did an amazing job, particularly compared to Heidfeld who had a really tough day.

  • 09:02

    Both Williams and Mercedes suffered double DNFs, so there is nowhere to go but up from them for the rest of the season.

  • 09:03

    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.

  • 09:03

    Have a great day and see you soon!

All content in the series Australia 2011