Venue: Albert Park, Melbourne, Victoria
Laps: 58 laps
Race start: 1400 HRS SIN
A narrow street track with a blend of medium-length straights and tight corners that calls for a medium-high downforce set-up. Grip is on the low side. The pitlane is quite long and having fewer pitstops can save time. Held later in the day this year, track temperatures will be slightly cooler. Super-soft and medium compound tyres will be provided.
New season, new cars: The 2009 regulations, which include wider, driver-adjustable front wings, smaller rear wings and diffusers, cleaned-up bodywork, KERS and slick dry-weather tyres, required every team to design their cars from scratch. Whether these will produce the increase in overtaking opportunities that they were designed to create remains to be seen.
Shaking up of the establishment: McLaren have admitted that they are on the backfoot, while the former Honda team, now called Brawn GP, have produced what appears to be a front-running car. Toyota and Renault are bullish about their chances of winning races, while BMW and Ferrari remain quietly confident of their championship challenge.
Diffuser protest: Several teams have voiced their concern over Williams, Toyota and Brawn's exploitation of a loophole in the regulations on diffusers. Renault have been the most vocal, and while the FIA has so-far declared the devices, some teams may lodge a protest with the stewarts on Thursday or Sunday after the race.
Albert Park usually churns out races of both extremes - a single team may dominate the proceedings, or there may be wheel-to-wheel action and accidents up and down the grid. The most anticipated season-opener in decades takes place after lunch on Sunday - stay tuned!
And the shenanigans have begun - Renault, Red Bull, Ferrari and BMW-Sauber have lodge enquiries about the Williams, Toyota and Brawn diffusers.
Cars confirmed to run KERS: Ferrari (both), Renault (both), BMW-Sauber (Heidfeld only)
Stewards clear teams' diffusers
Thursday, March 26th 2009, 12:51 GMT
Brawn GP, Williams and Toyota have been given the go-ahead to take part in the Australian Grand Prix after the FIA stewards rejected a protest against the design of their diffusers late on Thursday night.
Following more than four hours of presentations and discussions between the stewards and the various teams involved in the dispute, the FIA issued a statement confirming that the stewards believe the cars are legal.
Ferrari, Renault and Red Bull Racing had lodged protests against their rivals because they believed the designs of their diffusers were illegal. BMW Sauber had also been due to join the protest, but their complaint was rejected on a technicality after it was not correctly submitted in time.
The teams, however, have confirmed they will appeal against the stewards' decision, which will force the matter to go to a hearing of the FIA's International Court of Appeal.
Such a meeting cannot take place until after the Malaysian Grand Prix, meaning that Brawn GP, Williams and Toyota will unofficially be racing under appeal at this weekend's race in Australia and would likely be subject to another appeal at Sepang.
Free Practice 1 times
Driver Car number Team Fastest Lap
1 Nico Rosberg 16 Williams-Toyota 1:26.687
2 Kazuki Nakajima 17 Williams-Toyota 1:26.736
3 Kimi Raikkonen 4 Ferrari 1:26.750
4 Rubens Barrichello 21 Brawn 1:27.226
5 Heikki Kovalainen 2 McLaren-Mercedes 1:27.453
6 Jenson Button 20 Brawn 1:27.467
7 Felipe Massa 3 Ferrari 1:27.642
8 Timo Glock 10 Toyota 1:27.710
9 Adrian Sutil 18 Force India-Mercedes 1:27.993
10 Fernando Alonso 7 Renault 1:28.123
11 Nick Heidfeld 6 BMW Sauber 1:28.137
12 Jarno Trulli 9 Toyota 1:28.142
13 Robert Kubica 5 BMW Sauber 1:28.511
14 Giancarlo Fisichella 19 Force India-Mercedes 1:28.603
15 Sebastien Buemi 12 Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:28.785
16 Lewis Hamilton 1 McLaren-Mercedes 1:29.042
17 Mark Webber 14 Red Bull-Renault 1:29.081
18 Nelson Piquet Jr. 8 Renault 1:29.461
19 Sebastien Bourdais 11 Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:29.499
20 Sebastian Vettel 15 Red Bull-Renault 1:32.784
Vettel stopped on the track with hydraulic failure.
Australian GP free practice session two times
1. ROSBERG Williams 1m26.053s
2. BARRICHELLO Brawn 1m26.157s
3. TRULLI Toyota 1m26.350s
4. WEBBER Red Bull 1m26.370s
5. BUTTON Brawn 1m26.374s
6. GLOCK Toyota 1m26.443s
7. NAKAJIMA Williams 1m26.560s
8. VETTEL Red Bull 1m26.740s
9. SUTIL Force India 1m27.040s
10. MASSA Ferrari 1m27.064s
11. RAIKKONEN Ferrari 1m27.204s
12. ALONSO Renault 1m27.232s
13. FISICHELLA Force India 1m27.282s
14. HEIDFELD BMW 1m27.317s
15. KUBICA BMW 1m27.398s
16. BOURDAIS Toro Rosso 1m27.479s
17. KOVALAINEN McLaren 1m27.802s
18. HAMILTON McLaren 1m27.813s
19. PIQUET Renault 1m27.828s
20. BUEMI Toro Rosso 1m28.076s
no hamilton . thanks haha
Originally posted by gigabyte14:
his car broke down in practice 3 today...
Australian GP free practice session three times
1. ROSBERG Williams 1m25.808s
2. TRULLI Toyota 1m25.811s
3. BUTTON Honda 1m25.981s
4. MASSA Ferrari 1m26.020s
5. NAKAJIMA Williams 1m26.078s
6. BARRICHELLO Honda 1m26.348s
7. WEBBER Red Bull 1m26.355s
8. GLOCK Toyota 1m26.410s
9. KUBICA BMW 1m26.514s
10. HEIDFELD BMW 1m26.555s
11. KOVALAINEN McLaren 1m26.652s
12. HAMILTON McLaren 1m26.714s
13. VETTEL Red Bull 1m27.009s
14. SUTIL Force India 1m27.062s
15. BOURDAIS Toro Rosso 1m27.152s
16. BUEMI Toro Rosso 1m27.192s
17. ALONSO Renault 1m27.357s
18. FISICHELLA Force India 1m27.492s
19. PIQUET Renault 1m27.739s
20. RAIKKONEN Ferrari 1m28.801s
End of Q1 - Buemi, Piquet, Sutil, Fisichella and Bourdais are out. The entire field was covered by less than 2 seconds.
Massa to win this opening race.
It's anyone's guess now.
Heidfeld, Alonso, Nakajima, Kovalainen and Hamilton are out at the end of Q2. The world champion did not even set a lap time. The top 14 were covered by less than a second.
mclarens are out =)
Button and Barrichello lock out the front row! Vettel and Kubica line up behind them.
hohoho, good luck to mclaren this year....
is jenson button going to win this time round? haha
brawn's team looks strong, looks like they have a much better car then mclaren themselves. and they just got virgin as their sponsor. damn nice!
Provisional Australian GP grid
1. BUTTON Brawn
2. BARRICHELLO Brawn
3. VETTEL Red Bull
4. KUBICA BMW
5. ROSBERG Wiliams
6. MASSA Ferrari
7. RAIKKONEN Ferrari
8. WEBBER Red Bull
9. HEIDFELD BMW
10. ALONSO Renault
11. NAKAJIMA Williams
12. KOVALAINEN McLaren
13. BUEMI Toro Rosso
14. PIQUET Renault
15. FISICHELLA Force India
16. SUTIL Force India
17. BOURDAIS Toro Rosso
18. HAMILTON McLaren *
19. TRULLI Toyota **
20. GLOCK Toyota **
* Penalty of 5 places for unscheduled gearbox change - qualified 15th
** Laptimes deleted for rear wing infringement - qualified 8th and 6th respectively
Toyota shuffled back
Timo Glock and Jarno Trulli have been stripped of their grid positions for the Australian Grand Prix for a flexible wing infringement.
Glock had qualified sixth on the grid, with Jarno Trulli two places further behind, for their Toyota team at Albert Park.
However, following post-qualifying technical inspections by the FIA, it was found that the team's rear wing elements were in breach of the rules.
A statement issued by the FIA said: "The Stewards have received a report from the Technical Delegate that the upper rear wing elements of cars No. 9 and 10 are showing extreme flexibility in contravention of Article 3.15 of the 2009 Formula One Technical Regulations.
"The Stewards have heard the explanation from a representative of Panasonic Toyota Racing and have examined the cars in question.
"The Stewards concur with the opinion of the Technical Delegate and find the cars contravene the requirements of Article 3.15 of the 2009 Formula One Technical Regulations.
"It is the Stewards decision that cars number 9 and 10 be excluded from the Qualifying Session Official Classification."
Article 3.15 of the technical regulations states that wings must not have 'any degree of freedom' and 'remain immobile in relation to the sprung part of the car.'
The results mean that Trulli and Glock will start the race from the back of the grid.
Toyota said it will not appeal the decision.
Post-qualifying car weights
1. Jenson Button 664.5kg
2. Rubens Barrichello 666.5kg
3. Sebastien Vettel 657kg
4. Robert Kubica 650kg
5. Nico Rosberg 657kg
6. Felipe Massa 654kg
7. Kimi Raikkonen 655.5kg
8. Mark Webber 662kg
9. Nick Heidfeld 691.5kg
10. Fernando Alonso 680.7kg
11. Kazuki Nakajima 685.3kg
12. Heikki Kovalainen 690.6kg
13. Sebastien Buemi 675.5kg
14. Nelson Piquet 694.1kg
15. Giancarlo Fisichella 689kg
16. Adrian Sutil 684.5kg
17. Sebastien Bourdais 662.5kg
18. Lewis Hamilton 655kg
19. Jarno Trulli 660kg
20. Timo Glock 670kg
What a race!
1. Button Brawn GP (B) 1h34:15.784
2. Barrichello Brawn GP (B) + 0.807
3. Trulli Toyota (B) + 1.604
4. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) + 2.914
5. Glock Toyota (B) + 4.435
6. Alonso Renault (B) + 4.879
7. Rosberg Williams-Toyota (B) + 5.722
8. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) + 6.004
9. Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) + 6.298
10. Sutil Force India-Ferrari (B) + 6.335
11. Heidfeld BMW Sauber (B) + 7.085
12. Fisichella Force India-Ferrari (B) + 7.374
13. Webber Red Bull-Renault (B) + 1 lap
14. Vettel Red Bull-Renault (B) + 2 laps
15. Kubica BMW Sauber (B) + 3 laps
16. Raikkonen Ferrari (B) + 3 laps
Australian GP result - 58 laps
1. BUTTON Brawn
2. BARRICHELLO Brawn +0.8s
3. HAMILTON McLaren +2.9s
4. GLOCK Toyota +4.4s
5. ALONSO Renault +4.8s
6. ROSBERG Williams +5.7s
7. BUEMI Toro Rosso +6.0s
8. BOURDAIS Toro Rosso +6.2s
9. SUTIL Force India +6.3s
10. HEIDFELD BMW +7.0s
11. FISICHELLA Force India +7.3s
12. TRULLI Toyota +26.6s*
13. WEBBER Red Bull +1 lap
14. VETTEL Red Bull +2 laps
15. KUBICA BMW +3 laps
16. RAIKKONEN Ferrari +3 laps
R. MASSA Ferrari +13 laps
R. PIQUET Renault +34 laps
R. NAKAJIMA Williams +41 laps
R. KOVALAINEN McLaren +58 laps
Fastest lap: ROSBERG 1m27.706s
Happy to see Barrichello on the podium again :)
trulli was penalised twice?
Yes, once after qualifying and once again after the race. Toyota are going to appeal the latter decision, claiming that Hamilton pulled over and drove slowly.