Australian grand prix

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Last updated on March 6th, 2018 at 12:30 am

Race start in three minutes. Live updates to follow. 58 laps, 307 kilometres, tons of delicious fossil fuel consumed.

* Raikkonen stalls on the grid. Could be moved to the rear. Huge cloud of smoke from R. Schumacher’s Toyota; didn’t look like tyres. Another formation lap.

* Raikkonen fired up. Will start from pit lane.

* Bad start from Webber, overtaken by Coulthard. Too cautious. Fisichella leading by two seconds halfway through the first lap. M. Schumacher and Raikkonen already up to 14th-15th.

* Order after 3 laps: Fisichella, Trulli, Coulthard, Webber, Heidfeld, Klein, Montoya, Barrichello, Villeneuve (terrible start), Alonso, Button, R. Schumacher.

* Fisichella fastest: 1 min 28.387. Webber closing on Coulthard. Fisichella faster still: 1 min 28.137.

* Alonso takes Villeneuve, who re-takes the Spaniard. JV hasn’t forgotten how to race. Fisichella again faster: 1 min 28.053. But Trulli is holding him—only 2.2 seconds behind.

* Alonso just shed a chunk of underbody hitting a curb. Ralf Schumacher and Button closing in on the Alonso/Villeneuve duel. Top eight unchanged after nine laps. M. Schumacher 15th behind Takuma Sato. Coulthard is holding people up; this might actually help them, because it’ll force them to conserve tyres.

* Fisichella into the 1:27s, and now lapping backmarkers. Heidfeld quick, too; catching Webber.

* Killer move from Webber, diving inside a baulked Coulthard on the grass. Doesn’t make it stick. Coulthard now fastest of all: 1 min 26.853! Alonso ahead of Villeneuve. Second-placed Trulli pits for fuel. So does Heidfeld.

* First retirement: Albers, in his first race. Ralf Schumacher pits, as does Webber. Trulli eighth after his stop. Sato pits.

* 35 laps remain. M. Schumacher yet to pit, now running tenth. Webber third—ahead of Trulli. Fisichella, Montoya pit.

* Coulthard will end up in second place after the first pit stops are completed; incredible. Alonso is now fastest: 1 min 25.683.

* Current leader Barrichello pits on the same lap as Raikkonen and Montoya.

* Schumacher pits. Race order after all frontrunners have pitted: Fisichella (by 12 secs), Coulthard, Webber, Barrichello, Montoya, Trulli, Alonso, Klein, Heidfeld, Massa (yet to pit), Raikkonen, M. Schumacher.

* Alonso timed at 319 kmh (200 mph). Judging by in-car footage, that Renault is running light wing loads; Alonso is very busy. Now ahead of Trulli for sixth.

* Webber still third, 3.4 seconds clear of Barrichello and right behind Coulthard (lots of carbon fibre dust from the Red Bull under brakes). Raikkonen 10th, M. Schumacher 11th several seconds adrift.

* Some body damage to Raikkonen’s McLaren. May be blocking right-side radiator. M. Schumacher closing in.

* Trulli’s second pit stop on lap 36 of 57.

* The reliability of these things is absurd; still only the one retirement. Webber pits. Raikkonen, Villeneuve also.

* Button takes Trulli for 11th. Fisichella leads by 15 seconds. Barrichello beginning to monster Coulthard; M. Schumacher (low on fuel) tormenting Webber (just refueled).

* Fisichella and M. Schumacher pit.

* Heidfeld nails M. Schumacher. Heidfeld out; Schumacher moves away s-l-o-w-l-y … and into the pits. Retired.

* Great drive from Barrichello, who’ll be second after all pit stops. Current leader Alonso pits.

* Race order with 9 laps to go: Fisichella, Barrichello, Alonso, Coulthard, Webber, Montoya, Klein, Raikkonen. Villeneuve is 14th; his Sauber teammate, who started way behind him, is 10th.

* Alonso stalking Barrichello.

* Four laps to go. Leading order unchanged. Webber suddenly much closer to Coulthard.

* Last lap: Fisichella seven seconds clear.

* Fisichella wins. “Perfect, perfect race,” his crew tell him via radio. It was. Barrichello second (from 11th on the grid), Alonso third (from 13th). Others in the points: Coulthard (stunning drive), Webber, Montoya, Klein, Raikkonen.

Posted by Tim B. on 03/05/2005 at 09:58 PM
    1. OK, my family has officially lost it.  My dad and brothers are all big Ferrari fans, but today they went out to the local Ferrari dealer and bought something like $200 worth of T-shirts, hats and whatnot (which means I need to figure out where to get Williams stuff around here just to be rebellious.) Then I get home just before the start of the race, and find that my dad’s and brother’s hair has been dyed red!  I told them that if I found the dog was red I was going to call the ASPCA, but fortunately that doesn’t seem to be the case.  They’re making an even bigger deal out of this than opening day of baseball season (and around this house, that’s saying something.)

      Posted by Vexorg on 03/05 at 10:45 PM • #


    1. Thanks for live blogging the race. I’m a racing neophyte and the blogging made it more enjoyable. Just a note, I’m watching from Melbourne, Florida.

      Posted by Silk on 03/05 at 11:23 PM • #


    1. The new qualifying standard sucks. The one tire set per race sucks. The one engine for two races standard sucks. Other then that, a great race.

      Posted by swassociates on 03/06 at 12:24 AM • #


    1. Great race! Can the Renault’s be for real and have similar showings the rest of the season?

      Great thing about the AGP is that, in Texas, we get to watch it live at a decent hour [9 p.m.].

      Posted by Wallace-Midland Texas on 03/06 at 12:27 AM • #


    1. 57 laps?  No wonder Iowahawk called you a sissy…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 03/06 at 12:45 AM • #


    1. True, This and the two North American races are about the only ones we get to watch at a reasonable time over here (and with CBS meddling, I’m not even so sure about those two.)

      Posted by Vexorg on 03/06 at 01:01 AM • #


    1. Great drive by Fisichella. I thought it rather ballsy of him that he called himself the favorite before qualifying, but it isn’t bragging if you can back it up. :^)

      What the hell happened to BAR-Honda??? Second in the Manufacturers’ title last year and now this?

      Posted by Spiny Norman on 03/06 at 01:17 AM • #


    1. I watched paint dry , a lot more exciting.

      Posted by raider580 on 03/06 at 01:46 AM • #


    1. The name changed from last year, but it was still just a tedious procession for the race leader. Nevertheless the new rules seem to have had the desired effect.

      That technical director from the Minardi team though, he sure is a whinger isn’t he? Totally unable to accept responsibility for his own incompetence, blaming everyone but himself. I’ll bet I can guess which way he votes.

      Posted by Jim Geones on 03/06 at 06:33 AM • #


    1. I’m watching Fisichella on the podium right now.  How strange to hear the Italian anthem played for the winning driver, instead of the winning team.  Great to see him get a win he can actually celebrate, after the fiasco in Brazil last year (when he was only awarded the victory a few days after the race).

      Man of the race was Coulthard, definitely.  The Red Bull cars looked better than the Jaguars ever did.  The big disappointments were the BARs and Toyotas, the latter of which look like the new Jaguars.

      Posted by Damian P. on 03/06 at 09:42 AM • #


    1. Must… do… this… Must!

      The cars on the track go round and round,
      round and round,
      round and round,
      The cars on the track go round and round,
      All through the day!

      Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 03/06 at 11:36 PM • #


  1. Thanks, Tim – now I didn’t have to watch the race at all.  Your summary was much more exciting, and much more quick.

    Forza Azzurri!

    Posted by Nightfly on 03/07 at 11:13 AM • #