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Australia  2005 Australian Grand Prix
Race details
Race 1 of 19 in the 2005 Formula One season
Circuit Albert Park.svg
Date March 6, 2005
Official name Foster's Australian Grand Prix
Location Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit, Melbourne, Australia
Course Parkland street circuit
5.3 km (3.3 mi)
Distance 57 laps, 302.1 km (188.1 mi)
Scheduled Distance 58 laps, 307.4 km (191.4 mi)
Weather Cool, partly cloudy
Attendance 118,200[1]
Pole position
Driver Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Renault
Time 3:01.460 (aggregate)
Fastest lap
Driver Spain Fernando Alonso Renault
Time 1:25.683 on lap 24
Podium
First Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Renault
Second Brazil Rubens Barrichello Ferrari
Third Spain Fernando Alonso Renault
Demonstration event held in Melbourne just before the start of the 2005 Grand Prix

The 2005 Australian Grand Prix was a Formula One race held at the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit on March 6, 2005.

Contents

Summary

The 2005 Australian Grand Prix was run under partly cloudly skies with temperatures around 20 °C (68 °F). The starting grid strongly reflected the results of a summer rainstorm which struck the Saturday qualifying session. Giancarlo Fisichella (who would earn a career-second pole) and other drivers who qualified before the storm had posted respectable lap times; anyone caught in the downpour would suffer a poor grid position. Several drivers, including reigning champion Michael Schumacher, would forego a timed lap on Sunday's qualifying session, opting instead to save their engines and tyres for the race. Schumacher and Takuma Sato, who shunted heavily during Saturday's deluge, would take the further step of an engine change– since they were destined to start from the back of the grid anyway.

Race

The first attempt to start the race was yellow flagged, due to the stalled McLaren of Kimi Räikkönen, who would eventually start the abbreviated race (57 laps from 58) in pit lane. When the red lights did finally go out, front row starters Fisichella and Jarno Trulli protected their positions and led the rest of the field through the first lap. Starting third in his home grand prix, Mark Webber– in his Williams debut– was outsprinted to the first corner by David Coulthard's Red Bull. Rubens Barrichello and Fernando Alonso each moved up three spots on the first lap, showing more of their cars' true potential than what was seen in the rain-soaked qualifying. Sato made the best start, moving from last place to 14th. Jacques Villeneuve had the worst start– his first in the Sauber– as he dropped five positions on the opening lap after losing forward momentum in a first-corner position skirmish.

As Fisichella and Trulli raced away at the front, Coulthard began to gradually fall back, holding up Webber, Nick Heidfeld (also making his Williams debut), Christian Klien, Juan Pablo Montoya and Barrichello. Several seconds further back was Villeneuve, struggling to hold off a charging Alonso, who was himself just ahead of Jenson Button and Ralf Schumacher (in his first start for Toyota). Close behind were Felipe Massa, Sato, the elder Schumacher, and Räikkönen, who doggedly pursued the champion but could not find a way past. The four rookies were a little further back: the two Jordans of Tiago Monteiro and Narain Karthikeyan led the Minardi duo of Patrick Friesacher and Christijan Albers.

Alonso passed Villeneuve, only to have the Canadian retake the position moments later. But just before the first round of pit stops, Alonso would finally find a way around the former champion, saving any podium hopes for the young Spaniard. While passing backmarkers on lap 15, Coulthard and Webber nearly collided with one another; Webber briefly went onto the grass, but no serious damage was done. After lap 17, unable to pull out of the pits due to a gearbox problem, Albers retired his Minardi, which had lost second gear as early as the formation lap. This was the only mechanical retirement of the afternoon.

Fisichella remained firmly in command after his first pit stop, although he briefly relinquished the lead while refueling. Barrichello gained the most in the pits, as he moved up from eighth to fourth place; Alonso continued his hard charge, gaining four positions as well. However, Trulli's Toyota slowly began dropping back, getting passed again and again; it would later turn out to be a blistered rear tyre, which would affect him for the remainder of the race. Teammate Ralf Schumacher had a problem of his own, and was forced to pit twice in quick succession to tighten a loose safety harness. Räikkönen was able to get by the elder Schumacher into tenth (his starting grid position) and pull away from the champion in pursuit of Heidfeld.

After Michael Schumacher's second stop, he emerged from the pitlane just ahead of Heidfeld, who thought he saw an opening going into the third turn. Schumacher, who momentarily lost sight of Heidfeld's Williams in his mirrors, closed the door on his fellow German, forcing him onto the grass. With no traction on the grass, Heidfeld braked in vain, sliding into the side of the F2004M, pushing both cars into the gravel. Heidfeld's race was finished; although Schumacher was able to get his Ferrari back on track, nevertheless he retired in the pits soon thereafter, due to collision damage.

Montoya went onto the grass briefly at Turn Eight as he prepared to make his second call to pitlane; this, plus another off-track excursion while tangling with a backmarking rookie, cost him valuable time. When he later lost part of his rear deflector, Montoya eased up to finish the race and to preserve his Mercedes-Benz power plant for the next race. Teammate Räikkönen also lost a significant portion of his deflector, which became imbedded under his side barge board; mechanics were later seen removing it during a pit stop.

After the second round of stops, the final order of finish was nearly determined. While most of the field slowed to conserve engines, Alonso continued pushing hard on Barrichello's heels. Barrichello, despite battling a brake balance problem, was able to answer the challenge, and held off Alonso for second. Fisichella, who flawlessly managed the gap to his nearest opponent all race long, easily took the chequered flag for his second career victory. He never put a foot wrong, and his R25 chassis, although not seriously challenged, performed flawlessly to claim the inaugural race of the season. Teammate Alonso clocked the fastest lap of the race, and was noticeably the fastest car on track for most of the event.

Interestingly, both BARs pulled into the pits on the final lap of the race; by not officially finishing the event, they have effectively exempted themselves from the new two-race engine rule. By taking advantage of this loophole in 2005 regulations, they may replace the cars' Honda engines in Malaysia without incurring any penalty. The loophole was immediately closed, as a car was in future required to have a genuine technical problem to be entitled to a new engine.

Classification

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 6 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Renault 57 1:24:17.336 1 10
2 2 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Ferrari 57 +5.553 11 8
3 5 Spain Fernando Alonso Renault 57 +6.712 13 6
4 14 United Kingdom David Coulthard Red Bull-Cosworth 57 +16.131 5 5
5 7 Australia Mark Webber Williams-BMW 57 +16.908 3 4
6 10 Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya McLaren-Mercedes 57 +35.033 9 3
7 15 Austria Christian Klien Red Bull-Cosworth 57 +38.997 6 2
8 9 Finland Kimi Räikkönen McLaren-Mercedes 57 +39.633 10 1
9 16 Italy Jarno Trulli Toyota 57 +1:03.108 2  
10 12 Brazil Felipe Massa Sauber-Petronas 57 +1:04.393 18  
11 3 United Kingdom Jenson Button BAR-Honda 56 Retired 8  
12 17 Germany Ralf Schumacher Toyota 56 +1 Lap 15  
13 11 Canada Jacques Villeneuve Sauber-Petronas 56 +1 Lap 4  
14 4 Japan Takuma Sato BAR-Honda 55 Retired 20  
15 19 India Narain Karthikeyan Jordan-Toyota 55 +2 Laps 12  
16 18 Portugal Tiago Monteiro Jordan-Toyota 55 +2 Laps 14  
17 20 Austria Patrick Friesacher Minardi-Cosworth 55 +4 Laps 16  
Ret 1 Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari 42 Accident 19  
Ret 8 Germany Nick Heidfeld Williams-BMW 42 Accident 7  
Ret 21 Netherlands Christijan Albers Minardi-Cosworth 16 Gearbox 17  

References

Notes

Previous race:
2004 Brazilian Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
2005 season
Next race:
2005 Malaysian Grand Prix
Previous race:
2004 Australian Grand Prix
Australian Grand Prix Next race:
2006 Australian Grand Prix

External links

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