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Australia  2006 Australian Grand Prix
Race details
Race 3 of 18 in the 2006 Formula One season
The Albert Park Circuit
The Albert Park Circuit
Date April 2, 2006
Official name LXXI Foster's Australian Grand Prix
Location Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit
Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia
Course Parkland street circuit
5.30 km (3.33 mi)
Distance 57 laps, 302.271 km (187.822 mi)
Weather Fine
Attendance 103,000[1]
Pole position
Driver United Kingdom Jenson Button Honda
Time 1:25.229
Fastest lap
Driver Finland Kimi Räikkönen McLaren-Mercedes
Time 1:26.045 on lap 57
Podium
First Spain Fernando Alonso Renault
Second Finland Kimi Räikkönen McLaren-Mercedes
Third Germany Ralf Schumacher Toyota

The 2006 Australian Grand Prix was the third race of the 2006 Formula One World Championship. It was held on the weekend of March 31–April 2, 2006 at Albert Park, Melbourne. The race was won by Fernando Alonso, with Kimi Räikkönen second, and Ralf Schumacher third.

The Australian Grand Prix had been the season opener since 1996, but this race was held later due to the 2006 Commonwealth Games being held in Melbourne at the time of the opening round. The season was instead opened in Bahrain. Australia regained its first round slot of the season for 2007.

Contents

Friday Drivers

Constructor Nat Driver
Williams-Cosworth Austria Alexander Wurz
Honda United Kingdom Anthony Davidson
Red Bull-Ferrari Netherlands Robert Doornbos
BMW Sauber Poland Robert Kubica
MF1-Toyota Germany Markus Winkelhock
Toro Rosso-Cosworth Switzerland Neel Jani
Super Aguri-Honda -

Qualifying results

From [2]:

Pos Nat Name Constructor Part 3 Part 2 Part 1
1 United Kingdom Jenson Button Honda 1:25.229 1:26.337 1:28.081
2 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Renault 1:25.635 1:26.196 1:27.765
3 Spain Fernando Alonso Renault 1:25.778 1:25.729 1:28.569
4 Finland Kimi Räikkönen McLaren-Mercedes 1:25.822 1:26.161 1:27.193
5 Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya McLaren-Mercedes 1:25.976 1:25.902 1:27.079
6 Germany Ralf Schumacher Toyota 1:26.612 1:26.596 1:28.007
7 Australia Mark Webber Williams-Cosworth 1:26.937 1:26.075 1:27.669
8 Germany Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:27.579 1:26.014 1:27.796
9* Canada Jacques Villeneuve BMW Sauber 1:29.239 1:26.714 1:28.460
10 Italy Jarno Trulli Toyota no time 1:26.327 1:27.748
11 Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari 1:26.718 1:28.228
12 United Kingdom David Coulthard Red Bull-Ferrari 1:27.023 1:28.408
13 Italy Vitantonio Liuzzi Toro Rosso-Cosworth 1:27.219 1:28.999
14 Austria Christian Klien Red Bull-Ferrari 1:27.591 1:28.757
15 Germany Nico Rosberg Williams-Cosworth 1:29.422 1:28.351
16 Brazil Felipe Massa Ferrari no time 1:28.868
17 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Honda 1:29.943
18 Netherlands Christijan Albers MF1-Toyota 1:30.226
19 United States Scott Speed Toro Rosso-Cosworth 1:30.426
20 Portugal Tiago Monteiro MF1-Toyota 1:30.709
21 Japan Takuma Sato Super Aguri-Honda 1:32.279
22 Japan Yuji Ide Super Aguri-Honda 1:36.164
Note
Jacques Villeneuve had an engine change after Friday Practice, dropping him 10-places on the grid on Sunday and hence started from 19th on the grid.

Race

The race began with an unusual spin of Juan Pablo Montoya as he completed the formation lap. He lined up at the back of the grid, however Fisichella then stalled his engine on the grid, forcing the start to be red-flagged. Fisichella had to start from the pitlane, while Montoya reclaimed his grid position.

As in 2002, the race had a first-lap accident. Felipe Massa was the victim in an incident involving himself, Nico Rosberg and Christian Klien. The Williams and Red Bull effectively sandwiched Massa's Ferrari as the Brazilian attempted to squeeze through a gap too small, pitching him into the wall hard and out of the race. Rosberg returned to the pits without the rear wing. Klien continued the race unharmed.

These incidents called the Safety Car on the very first lap. Fisichella spun but continued, again in the Jones corner. Alonso passed Button when the SC was recalled two laps later, in the start/finish straight.

On the third lap, Christian Klien had some problem with his suspension and crashed the barriers near Clark Chicane, and destroyed his car. Klien went out walking, happily. This crash had left many pieces of rubbish on the track, and the Safety Car went out again to help the stewards clean the zone. When the race continued, Räikkönen attacked Button and gained his place. Montoya tried that as well, though unsuccessful for many laps.

Vitantonio Liuzzi made an exciting pass on Michael Schumacher, by the Sports Centre turn.

The race continued uneventful for another 10 laps when pit stops began with Montoya, Button and Trulli. Fernando and Räikkönen stopped, giving Mark Webber the lead of his home Grand Prix. A gearbox failure then eliminated him.

Another uneventful stint was run until lap 32 when Montoya touched the grass in the Prost turn, but managed to return to the track. Michael Schumacher also had the same grass cross, although the German champion could not make it back and struck the barriers. He himself said that his car was not easy to drive, and that the tires were not warm enough. This incident called the Safety Car for the third time. Many drivers used this SC situation to go to pits. Räikkönen entered just before Montoya, making a queue. Thankfully for the Woking Team there was not much delay.

On lap 35 the Safety Car was off and the race restarted. Alonso had a strategy to give an enormous gap with the SC and slow down the cars behind, and then blasted off and leave Räikkönen and Heidfeld with the trouble of Albers, creating a 3-second gap between the two leading cars.

The 36th lap called the Safety Car once again. Vitantonio Liuzzi had jumped to the grass, crossed the road, bumped the left barrier, crossed the road again and struck the right barrier near Whiteford, leaving his car completely destroyed. The race restarted on lap 40, and Fernando did exactly the same thing and got a little advantage from Räikkönen. After the incident Liuzzi blamed Villeneuve, saying that the Canadian had screwed up one of his best races.

Lap 39 brought another incident to the race. Tiago Monteiro abandoned due to a mechanical problem. Lap 46 took Montoya out of the race as he crossed the kerbs in the curve where Schumacher had had his accident. This caused the car to jump momentarily, causing an electrical problem which forced a total shutdown of the car, thus making him retire.

The Australian Grand Prix was not free of incidents in the last laps. On the very final lap, in the final 2 corners, Jenson Button blew his engine, causing Fisichella right behind him to be covered in oil and struggling to control the car. Button ended up stalling the car about 10 metres from the finish line.

Alonso wrapped up his tenth career victory, while Räikkönen grabbed the second place on the podium and Ralf Schumacher scored what proved to be the sole podium for Toyota in the season.

From [3]:

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 1 Spain Fernando Alonso Renault 57 1:34:27.870 3 10
2 3 Finland Kimi Räikkönen McLaren-Mercedes 57 +1.8 secs 4 8
3 7 Germany Ralf Schumacher Toyota 57 +24.8 secs 6 6
4 16 Germany Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 57 +31.0 secs 8 5
5 2 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Renault 57 +38.1 secs 2 4
6 17 Canada Jacques Villeneuve BMW Sauber 57 +49.5 secs 19 3
7 11 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Honda 57 +51.9 secs 16 2
8 14 United Kingdom David Coulthard Red Bull-Ferrari 57 +53.9 secs 11 1
9 21 United States Scott Speed¹ Toro Rosso-Cosworth 57 +78.8 secs 18
10 12 United Kingdom Jenson Button² Honda 56 +1 lap 1
11 19 Netherlands Christijan Albers MF1-Toyota 56 +1 lap 17
12 22 Japan Takuma Sato Super Aguri-Honda 55 +2 laps 21
13 23 Japan Yuji Ide Super Aguri-Honda 54 +3 laps 22
Ret 4 Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya McLaren-Mercedes 46 Electrical 5
Ret 18 Portugal Tiago Monteiro MF1-Toyota 39 Mechanical 20
Ret 20 Italy Vitantonio Liuzzi Toro Rosso-Cosworth 37 Accident 12
Ret 5 Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari 32 Accident 10
Ret 9 Australia Mark Webber Williams-Cosworth 22 Transmission 7
Ret 15 Austria Christian Klien Red Bull-Ferrari 4 Accident 13
Ret 8 Italy Jarno Trulli Toyota 0 Accident 9
Ret 10 Germany Nico Rosberg Williams-Cosworth 0 Accident Damage 14
Ret 6 Brazil Felipe Massa Ferrari 0 Accident 15

Notes

  1. Scott Speed finished eighth but had 25 seconds added to his race time for lack of attention to yellow flags. Speed was also fined $5000 for using abusive language during a post-race hearing.
  2. Jenson Button retired on the finish line due to engine failure, deliberately giving up a points-scoring position, to avoid a 10 place position penalty in the next race.
  3. Takuma Sato was reprimanded by the stewards for lack of attention to blue flags.
  4. Giancarlo Fisichella started from the pit-lane after stalling on the grid, causing a one lap shortening of the race.
  5. Juan Pablo Montoya spun on the formation lap to the grid but was able to move back to fifth (now fourth) place on the grid due to Fisichella stalling.
  6. Lap Leaders: Jenson Button 1–3 (3); Fernando Alonso 4–19, 23–57 (51); Kimi Räikkönen 20 (1); Mark Webber 21–22 (2).
  7. Ralf Schumacher served a pitlane drive-through penalty for exceeding the pitlane speed limit and dropped to 8th place.
  8. Murray Walker made a return to the commentary box for a one-off with Australia's Network Ten.

Standings after the race

Note, only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.

Drivers' Championship standings[3]
Pos Driver Points
1 Spain Fernando Alonso 28
2 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella 14
3 Finland Kimi Räikkönen 14
4 Germany Michael Schumacher 11
5 United Kingdom Jenson Button 11
Constructors' Championship standings[3]
Pos Constructor Points
1 France Renault 42
2 United Kingdom McLarenMercedes 23
3 Italy Ferrari 15
4 Japan Honda 13
5 Germany BMW Sauber 10

References

  1. ^ "Aussie GP to revert to opening race in 2007". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 2006-04-02. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2006/04/02/1606688.htm.  
  2. ^ Domenjoz, Luc et al.. Formula One Yearbook 2006-2007. Chronosports S.A.. p. 96. ISBN 2-84707-110-5.  
  3. ^ a b c Domenjoz, Luc et al.. Formula One Yearbook 2006-2007. Chronosports S.A.. p. 99. ISBN 2-84707-110-5.  

External links

Previous race:
2006 Malaysian Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
2006 season
Next race:
2006 San Marino Grand Prix
Previous race:
2005 Australian Grand Prix
Australian Grand Prix Next race:
2007 Australian Grand Prix
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