Sunday, 18 March 2012

Button unbeatable down under - 2012 Australian Grand Prix Review

Button leads the field into turn one
McLaren's strong start to the season continued in the Australian Grand Prix. After locking out the front row in qualifying yesterday, Jenson Button stormed to victory with team mate Lewis Hamilton in third. Reigning champion Sebastian Vettel seperated the two Brits on the podium.

The German started from sixth on the grid and admitted that second was the best result possible for his Red Bull Racing team after reliability isssues and under par performances in testing and free practice. Mercedes AMG's extreme pace couldn't transfer into podium finishes for Michael Schumacher or Nico Rosberg with Schumacher retiring with gearbox issues despite leapfrogging Romain Grosjean for third on the first lap. Nico Rosberg came home in 12th.

Webber had his best ever home Grand Prix result
Lotus' fine testing and qualifying form carried over into the race with Kimi Raikkonen redeeming himself from a qualifying mistake with a seveth place finish on his return. Romain Grosjean couldn't convert his superb third placed grid slot into a good race result after retiring with suspension damage on lap two after colliding with Pastor Maldonado who had a great race himself, constantly running in the points until crashing on the last lap. Fernando Alonso finished in what could be called a shock 5th place for Ferrari after their poor early form. Massa however struggled with bad tyre wear and pace and only briefly made it into the top 10 before retiring on lap 47. 

Perez once again impressed with a one stop strategy
With the two McLarens pulling out a lead of over 10 seconds, the fight over the other points paying positions hotted up with a long trail of cars forming behind the one stopping Saubers. 

whilst Senna was classified 16th after completing over 75% of the race distance. The 2 HRTs of Narain Karthikeyan and Pedro De La Rosa did not take part in the race after qualifying under 107% of the Pole time on Saturday.

Jenson Button set the fastest lap of the race with a 1 minute 29.187

This was Button's third win inOz

Pos  Driver        Team                       Time
 1.  Button        McLaren-Mercedes           1h34:09.565
 2.  Vettel        Red Bull-Renault           +     2.139
 3.  Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes           +     4.075
 4.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault           +     4.547
 5.  Alonso        Ferrari                    +    21.565
 6.  Kobayashi     Sauber-Ferrari             +    36.766
 7.  Raikkonen     Lotus-Renault              +    38.014
 8.  Perez         Sauber-Ferrari             +    39.458
 9.  Ricciardo     Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +    39.556
10.  Di Resta      Force India-Mercedes       +    39.737
11.  Vergne        Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +    39.848
12.  Rosberg       Mercedes                   +    57.642
13.  Maldonado     Williams-Renault           +     1 lap
14.  Glock         Marussia-Cosworth          +     1 lap
15.  Pic           Marussia-Cosworth          +    2 laps
16.  Senna         Williams-Renault           +    4 laps

Not classified/retirements:

Driver        Team                         On lap
Massa         Ferrari                      47
Kovalainen    Caterham-Renault             42
Petrov        Caterham-Renault             37
Schumacher    Mercedes                     11
Grosjean      Lotus-Renault                2
Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes         1
Karthikeyan   HRT-Cosworth                 DNS
De la Rosa    HRT-Cosworth                 DNS
Pictures from 

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