Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Albert Park, 2015

Hamilton closing on Vettel and Senna after 34th win

2015 Australian Grand Prix stats and facts

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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Albert Park, 2015Lewis Hamilton took his 34th F1 win in the Australian Grand Prix and now looks likely to surpass Sebastian Vettel as the most successful active driver later this year.

Vettel hasn’t added to his total of 39 wins since the end of 2013. Hamilton has won 12 races in that time, and the stunning pace Mercedes demonstrated yesterday gave every indication he will enjoy a similarly rewarding 2015.

And if this year is as good as last year was for Hamilton he could even overtake his F1 hero Ayrton Senna as the third most successful driver of all time in terms of wins. Senna scored 41 Formula One victories.

Hamilton is making similar inroads on Vettel in the all-time pole positions table. He started at the sharp end for the 39th time this weekend, and Vettel has 45 pole positions.

For the sixth time in his career, Hamilton scored a ‘hat trick’ of win, pole position and fastest lap. The latter was his 21st, putting him level with Fernando Alonso and Gerhard Berger.

Hamilton has decided against using the number one on his car which is reserved for a world champions, making this the first race since the 1994 Australian Grand Prix not to feature a car carrying the number one. For the second year in a row no one has chosen to be number two, and not since the Monaco Grand Prix in 1994 have both those numbers been missing from an F1 grid.

There was some good news for Vettel, however, as he finished on the podium in his first race for Ferrari. Both his new team mate Kimi Raikkonen and predecessor Fernando Alonso won on their Ferrari debuts – the latter after Vettel’s car failed while leading in Bahrain – but under the circumstances it’s unlikely Vettel was ever going to beat either of the W06s.

This was the 30th win for Mercedes, 20th consecutive podium appearance and also their 40th points score in a row. Williams were in the points for the 20th race running.

Three drivers claimed the first points of their career in the race, and two of those were rookies. Felipe Nasr brought his Sauber home in fifth place – the best result ever for a Brazilian driver on his debut. The following are those which finished in the top ten plus some of Brazil’s most significant drivers:

DriverRaceTeamResultNotes
Felipe Nasr2015 Australian Grand PrixSauber5th
Wilson Fittipaldi1972 Spanish Grand PrixBrabham7th
Chico Serra1981 United States Grand Prix WestFittipaldi7th
Nana de Silva Ramos1955 Dutch Grand PrixGordini8th
Emerson Fittipaldi1970 British Grand PrixLotus8thTwo-times world champion
Ricardo Rosset1996 Australian Grand PrixFootwork9th
Fritz d’ Orey1959 French Grand PrixMaserati10th
Pedro Diniz1995 Brazilian Grand PrixForti10th
Nelson Piquet1978 German Grand PrixEnsignDNFThree-times world champion
Ayrton Senna1984 Brazilian Grand PrixTolemanDNFThree-times world champion
Rubens Barrichello1993 South African Grand PrixJordanDNFLongest F1 career
Felipe Massa2002 Australian Grand PrixSauberDNF

Carlos Sainz Jnr also took points home from his first race after finishing ninth. Marcus Ericsson broke his duck after joining Sauber, becoming the first Swedish F1 driver to score points since Stefan Johansson’s remarkable podium finish for Onyx in the Portuguese Grand Prix 26 years ago.

And while he didn’t score a point, at 17 years and 170 days old Max Verstappen became the youngest driver to start an F1 race, beating the previous record by almost two years.

Having failed to score at all in 2014, fifth and eighth for Sauber was their best two-car finish since Nico Hulkenberg and Esteban Gutierrez came in sixth and seventh in Japan two years ago.

However it was a difficult start for the revived McLaren-Honda partnership. Starting their first race together since 1992 – which coincidentally was also in Australia – Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen could manage no higher than 16th and 17th on the grid. This was McLaren’s worst combined qualifying performance since the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix, where Button started tenth and Hamilton 24th after being excluded from qualifying.

Small grid in Melbourne

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Albert Park, 2015By any standards, F1 showed up with a small field in Australia. But this can be measured in different ways.

There were 20 entries admitted, 17 of them qualified (excluding Valtteri Bottas who withdrew and was removed from the official grid) and 15 actually started the race. Not since 1966 has F1 had as few as 17 cars on the grid for the first race of the year, and you have to go back to 1958 to find a season that started with 15 or fewer. The latter was the smallest field ever seen for the opening race of a season – just ten cars made it to Argentina for that year’s curtain-raiser.

In terms of races other than the first event of the year, it’s ten years since F1 had a race with fewer than 15 starters. This, of course, was the notorious United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis where just six cars took the start after the fourteen Michelin runners pulled into the pits at the end of the formation lap due to tyre safety concerns.

The last time F1 had fewer than 17 cars on the official grid was the 1982 San Marino Grand Prix, where a boycott by several of the top teams meant just 14 cars turned up, and two of those failed to take the start.

When the chequered flag came down just eleven cars were classified, the smallest number since the 2008 Australian Grand Prix, where eight drivers were classified and only six were still running at the end.

Over to you

Have you spotted any other interesting stats and facts from the Australian Grand Prix? Share them in the comments.

F1 Fanatic’s 2015 statistics pages will appear later this week.

2015 Australian Grand Prix

Browse all 2015 Australian Grand Prix articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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109 comments on “Hamilton closing on Vettel and Senna after 34th win”

  1. There should be no doubt Hamilton is over or near 45 by the end of the season, and that is a cautious prediction if you ask me…

    1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      16th March 2015, 12:20

      If the Merc remains reliable, which I’m fairly confident it will, then I think we’re in for the largest domination of Formula One in the history of the sport, and Hamilton will likely surpass Ayrton as well.

      Mercedes have such a pace advantage they’re able to actively pursue the wrong race strategy and still win comfortably.

    2. It’s conceivable that Hamilton will win EVERY race this season.

      1. Rosberg will most likely get a few

      2. Considering that he should have won in Brazil, that means he would have been on 8 by now, probably secure on a 10 race winning streak (beating Vettel) before Rosberg has a chance to avenge 2014 Bahrain in the 2015 GP. Unbeaten for how many months?! That would be 2/3rds of a year…

        1. @Strontium: Brazil was the only race Nico won over Lewis fair and square in 2014. Lewis COULD have won at Interlagos had he not spun at turn 4 trying to blitz his in-lap. Even though Lewis was clearly the faster driver during the race and was biding his time, Nico started on pole and made no mistakes during the race. Fair play to him for winning. To say that Lewis SHOULD have won is a little generous.

          1. Comment above meant as reply to @Iestyn Davies

  2. * Alonso’s absence means that Jenson Button remains the only driver who has started all races starting from 2005 French Grand Prix.
    * Previous race where three drivers scored their first points was 2005 United States Grand Prix where Monteiro (3th), Karthikeyan (4th), Albers (5th) and Friesacher (6th) scored. Before that it happened in 1991 San Marino Grand Prix with Lehto (3rd), Häkkinen (5th) and Bailey (6th).
    * Red Bull’s previous single-car-start was 2005 Bahrain Grand Prix, McLaren’s 2001 French Grand Prix and Williams’s 1994 Monaco Grand Prix. Previous time where two Williamses were present but only one started was 1987 Japanese Grand Prix after Mansell was injured.

  3. Max Verstappen retired on the 34th lap of the race, the same lap his father retired on his debut at the 1994 Brazilian Grand Prix.

      1. I spoke too soon it appears haha

      2. Max was driving in 8th place and Jos in 9th place when they retired, so also pretty close. Although it is arguable in which place Jos drove when he flew over Martin Brundle..

    1. That’s a great stat!

  4. – Maldonado hasn’t finished any of his 5 Australian GP’s. He also hasn’t finished any of his Malaysian GP’s

    – Sauber have scored more points in Melbourne than in the whole of 2014. Just like last year, when Williams scored more points in Melbourne than in the whole of 2013.

    – Just like his father, Max Verstappen retired from his first ever GP.

    – Lewis Hamilton took his 7th win out of the last 8 races.

    1. Sauber have scored more points in Melbourne than in the whole of 2014. Just like last year, when Williams scored more points in Melbourne than in the whole of 2013.

      For next year I predict a Mercedes collapse. With Williams and Sauber fighting for the championships. 3 tens behind them are Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull fighting it out. There will be 8 different winners in the first 8 grand prix. Ah one can dream…

  5. @keithcollantine there cannot be many drivers that have never driven in a season without winning a grand prix. lewis is now on his ninth

    1. He is the only one. If you take only full seasons, then Schumacher did it in his first career from 1992-2006 (excluding his partial season for Jordan and Benetton in 1991). That’s 15 consecutive seasons so Hamilton still has a a fair way to go yet.

      1. No if’s and buts, Lewis is the only one.
        4 in 2007 (His rookie year)
        5 in 2008 (His 1st championship year)
        2 in 2009 ( The rule change year when McLaren produced a lemon)
        3 in 2010
        3 in 2011 (He fell out with his dad)
        4 in 2012
        1 in 2013 (His first year with Mercedes)
        11 in 2014 (2nd WDC)
        1 so far in 2015……………………….

        1. Lewis has had a pole in every season as well, Schumacher didn’t manage that

        2. Not being funny but how is falling out with his dad at all relevant to this statistic?

          1. I think it’s an OK short-hand for his obvious personal meltdown that year that definitely affected his work.

          2. @dmw trouble is mentioning this gives the impression that he is mentally weak (I won’t go into that now), and matters like that should not really affect his professional work.

      2. @debaser91 For me, that counts.

        The chance this feat will ever be repeated is almost non existing as Lewis had the luck to jimp straight in a competetive car and have those for his entire career. Yes, here we go, not every Mclaren was the class of the field but they were never Marussias or Caterhams unlike this season funny enough.

        1. I count it too. I think only full seasons should count, or at least seasons where if things had gone to plan a driver would have taken part in every race (i.e. taking into account the effect of injury or bans, like with Michael Schumacher in 1994 and 1999). 15 consecutive years he won races, its a pretty amazing statistic. Of course his comeback spoilt this stat but even so it is pretty remarkable.

          1. 15 consecutive years is an impressive statistic.. but it is obviously different from a percentage of seasons with a win. No such thing as a “half season” a season is a season. It’s like saying Alonso will have a 19/20 season or something like that this year.

        2. The 2013 Mercedes was a hard one to win races with its extreme tyre wear issues. So his single win in Hungary while under huge pressure from Raikkonen could have halted hs run. That race alone highlights how excellent this stat is.

          1. @theoddkiwi Don’t get me wrong. It sure is a great stat it doesn’t happen that often a driver gets places in a GP winning car in his first season.

          2. The 2013 Mercedes was a hard one to win races with its extreme tyre wear issues. So his single win in Hungary while under huge pressure from Raikkonen could have halted hs run. That race alone highlights how excellent this stat is.

            His team mate could win twice. The W03 was a very fast car on single lap pace and Nico used that to win in Monaco. Also, after Mercedes’ tire test the W03 was a lot better on its tires. Lastly, the tires were changed after Silverstone.

    2. ColdFly F1 (@)
      16th March 2015, 12:38

      @guitargraham, and he’s sure to keep (and possibly break) that record for the next 9 years.

  6. If you excluded Vettel partial season in 2007, he had also done the same thing from 2008-2013 but then last season kind of ruined that.

  7. Had Verstappen finished the race in points, all the rookies of 2015 season would scored points in their debut.
    I wonder have this happened before, and if there is, when and where ?

    1. Who was the last F1 driver to win a GP in his rookie year?

        1. @dex @deongunner Well if you mean first full year then the F1 driver to win in his rookie year was Vettel in 2008 with Torro Rosso at Monza.

          1. *last F1 driver

        2. Villeneuve also won in his rookie year.

    2. Well, the 1950 British Grand Prix had all points scorers being rookies.

      1. There was lots of GPs before 1950. Only the world championship started that year.

  8. Verstappen became the youngest ever driver to retire from a race…

    :P

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      16th March 2015, 12:34

      @bradley13 – you beat me.
      Oops – did not see your entry before I added mine below (and updated then).

  9. ColdFly F1 (@)
    16th March 2015, 12:32

    @keithcollantine, cannot believe this was missed: Max Verstappen youngest F1 driver ever.

    1. @coldfly Good point – it’s been stated so many times already I forgot it! Have added a line on that.

    2. Max will have a lot of Youngest F1 driver stats over the next two years.

      1. I hope one of those is youngest race winner too. He seems like a good guy. A hell of a lot more mature than i was at 17.

        1. @lancer033 He has 3 years and 272 days (well, 270 today, tuesday after his debut) to become youngest winner. I wonder when was the last time someone had more time for that record upon debut.

    3. @coldfly youngest to ever retire from a grand prix too

    4. He has two years to break the youngest points scorer record.

  10. 1977 remains the last season without rookie in the opening race

    First time the car # 14 does not started since the 1992 australian GP and car # 21
    since the 2002 Japanese GP

    the first race start for car # 55 since the Canadian GP 1978
    and for car # 33 since the Australian GP 1994

    4th time Hamilton set the pole position of opening race.
    he has tied with Moss and Schumacher and has just one fewer than Clark and Senna

    first time in history, Mclaren qualifies the 2 cars in the back row

    First time since the 1956 British GP , 3 rookies qualified among the first 12 drivers on the grid

    Besides the best finishing position, Felipe Nasr also archived the second best starting position for a Brazilian rookie out of 30 drivers

    the first race since the 1973 Argentine Grand Prix the reigning champion not used the number one in his car

  11. I can’t help thinking “closing in” on Vettel and Senna is a bit premature @keithcollantine !

    I can see how logic leads to that, but still, let’s not tempt fate – or underestimate BE.

    1. I started to disagree with you, until I saw the part about not underestimating BE. Now I’m actually nervous. LOL

    2. Seeing as he’s won 12 of the last 19 races with a dominant car at his disposal, and there are 19 races to go this season while he has a hugely dominant car… He could feasibly surpass both tallies before the midpoint of the season even.

  12. ColdFly F1 (@)
    16th March 2015, 12:51

    McLaren Honda
    – The first time ever that a McLaren Honda was not on the podium in the opening race of the season.
    – The first time ever that the leading McLaren Honda finished outside the top 10 (excl. double DNQ/RET).
    – TBC – the first time a McLaren Honda finished 2 laps behind the leader.

    1. @coldfly those first two are great stats.
      The last one I’ll have to deny you. Brazil ’89, Senna is involved in a first-corner incident, damages the nose, has resulting problems and is never in contention anymore. Finishes 2 laps down.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        17th March 2015, 11:26

        @mattds, you’re right. Missed that one.

        But we can give it to Button that only he and Senna managed that feat with a McLaren Honda;)

  13. If hamilton wins every race this year(19 or 18) depending on germany,he is going to pass or equal Prost 61 wins and Schumacher will be the only driver ahead with 91

    1. Counting all F1 races (including non-championship GPs) since 1946, we get a top ten of:

      91 – Michael Schumacher (D)
      51 – Alain Prost (F)
      48 – Juan Manuel Fangio (RA)
      44 – Jim Clark (GB)
      41 – Ayrton Senna (BR)
      39 – Sebastian Vettel (D)
      37 – Stirling Moss (GB)
      34 – Lewis Hamilton (GB)
      32 – Fernando Alonso (E)
      32 – Jackie Stewart (GB)

      It’s fair to say it’s easy to see Hamilton retiring a clear 2nd best in overall wins. Vettel needs a successful Ferrari period of 12 wins (1 more than Alonso) to get to 3rd place overall. Alonso needs a few McLaren-Honda wins to pull clear of JYS – and 9 to match Senna. ATM, only Hamilton’s wins seem a ‘dead-cert’.

      PS. Not a bad top ten list for best ever F1 driver either ;) @wil-liam

      1. 31 – Nigel Mansell (GB)
        30 – Jack Brabham (AUS)
        30 – Alberto Ascari (I)
        27 – Niki Lauda (A)
        23 – Nelson Piquet (BR)
        23 – Luigi Villoresi (I)
        22 – Damon Hill (GB)
        22 – Giuseppe Farina (I)
        20 – Mika Häkkinen (FIN)
        20 – Kimi Räikkönen (FIN)
        20 – Graham Hill (GB)
        18 – Emerson Fittipaldi (BR)

        Top 22, for reference of a ‘most wins grid’.. Button is next, and needs 3 wins to join Fittipaldi on 18. Tough to see him scoring these at the moment, not only because of the car but also his team-mate. Maybe if it rains? ;)

        PS. Surtees, Behra and Rosier all have more than ten wins, and are likely to be under-rated/forgotten, along with Villoresi, who strictly never won a world championship F1 GP! Nuvolari has only one post war win.. think about that.. that’d be like rating Schumacher on one pole and one podium in his comeback!

      2. @fastiesty just an observation: why do you start from 1946? If you are counting GP’s, then there were lots before 1946. If you count F1, then 1950 is the year to start counting.

        1. @mattds Ah, well I’m going more by the rule sets. Pre-war, they were drawing up a new top formula, noticing the popularity of voiturettes – this eventually became F1.

          Started post-war, and called Formula A, they finally got around to nominating a ‘Formula 1’ champion in 1950 (probably because Germany was banned until then). It’s fair to say that Wimille would have had the first 2 titles, Villoresi pushing him close, and Ascari 1949 with the same from Fangio, while Sommer won 1946, however the new rules only came into force in 1947.

          Add in the pre-war GPs and you have a comprehensive history of GP racing! Overall starts would make interesting reading…

  14. Vettel had the finger and now it seems Hamilton has adopted the smirking thumbs up as his trademark.

    Seb, all is forgiven.

    1. The reason for Vettels finger is because he almost lost it in a accident a year before his debut in Formule 1. Hamiltons thumb is probably to show he can flick a big pen to sign a a contract with a bigger pay check.

      1. I always thought it was due to the fact he won the race so he was No. 1 and the finger represented that, that’s pretty cool actually.

      2. Nice story, but not the real reason… he already did it in 2004

    2. Nah, I still don’t forgive Vettel for rudely waving his index finger at everyone’s face.

      1. @ultimateuzair Why was it rude? Because all fingers apart from the thumb looks like the middle finger?

  15. raikkonen and button have now raced against both jos and max verstappen, with alonso likely to join them in this group when he returns to the cockpit.

    has there been any other examples of drivers having raced against a father and son pair in f1?

    1. Great question! Just did a quick search and came up with Alain Prost vs. Mario + Michael Andretti.

      1. did another search – satoru nakajima (father of kazuki) and nelson piquet (father of nelson jr) both raced against michael schumacher in 1991 – but both kazuki and nelson jr. raced in f1 during schumacher’s first retirement! so close…

      2. Andrea de Cesaris, Riccardo Patrese and Derek Warwick also raced against Mario Andretti (1882) and Michael Andretti (1993)

      3. ah… riccardo patrese vs. mario + michael too

        1. this not a stat on the article. Riccardo Patrese raced against the drivers who finished 6th at 1967 and 2012 Italian GP.

          1. @ericaldonin Such a great stat! From the cigar shaped cars to the change to hybrid turbos in 3 drivers!

          2. @erivaldonin* Plus, if someone like Amon had stuck around, he could have raced someone who raced before the return to power!

    2. Roy Salvadori, Stirling Moss and Maurice Trintignant raced against both Reg and Tim Parnell. And you can add Michele Alboreto to the drivers who raced both Andrettis.

    3. If Max has a kid this year he can race his own son/daughter in 18 years time, he will be 35 Lol

  16. This race saw the highest number of ‘DNS’s since Indy 2005.

    Kimi Raikkonen’s second DNF at the Australian Grand Prix (although he wasn’t running in ’08)

    Mercedes already have more points than Williams, Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull combined.

    First time since Australia 2012 that Sauber has been third in the championship.

    It’s the second time that a McLaren-Honda has finished in 11th place. Ayrton Senna did it at the season-opening Brazilian Grand Prix in 1989. He failed to win the championship this year, just as Jenson Button probably will.

    1. Mercedes already have more points than Williams, Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull combined.

      @craig-o

      1. I think he means in the current championship not in history, that would be unbelievable.

        1. @williamstuart Yeah, I know. That stat was just to much after the terrible race…

  17. I dont think this is a Stat
    But in 1996 Micheal qualified in Melbourne P4 and Retired But his first race finish with Ferrari is in Brazil which is round 2 in 1996 yielded P3 after starting again of P4.

  18. That is hallowed ground, to be honest as much as I like Hamilton I want Senna to stay in the top three for wins where he belongs. Don’t want Hamilton or Vettel to overtake him even though both likely will.

    1. I don’t think it will affect Senna’s legacy. Everyone else’s number will effectively have an asterisk because they were not put out of the sport before they called it quits. I’m not sure that it is an entirely accurate way to view things, but Senna is still compared favorably to Schumacher despite the latter crushing him in most statistical categories. No one views Vettel as superior to Senna despite Vettel’s higher win percentage. No one will say Hamilton is better if he has more wins. Senna is fixed in the firmament like Ascari and Clark, and no statistical onslaught will reach him.

      1. Don’t forget Fangio. He’s out of the top ten now, but I think it’s safe to say that he will always be remembered as “El Maestro”.

        1. Lets not forget also that there are a lot more races in a season making it ‘easier’ to break these records.

          1. And added to the more seasons, drivers like Vettel and Hamilton started in F1 younger, got into competitive cars quicker (in Hamiltons case since day 1), their cars are more reliable than at any time before in F1 and by the time they retire I bet they’ll be in the top 5 for most Grand Prix entered. Plus both Hamilton and Vettel have enjoyed seasons of being in dominant machinery, particularly Hamilton last year and now.

            All of these have a cumulative effect of making it statistically more likely that they’ll score more wins than Senna and Prost. Schumachers total of 91 may be out of reach, but not by that much. For Hamilton to equal Schumi’s 91 wins he’d have to score an average of 8 wins a season for the next seven seasons. Possible, but not probable.

          2. If anything the small margin by which drivers beat some records show how dominant Fangio, Clark etc really were…

  19. First decent-looking noses since 2011.

    First time the McLarens qualifiedd dead last without finishing 1-2 at the end of the race.

    Youngest driver to drive a GP/qualied for a race/drive a blue F1 car/retire/drive a turbo-powered F1 car/drove a street-circuit GP/race against drivers his father raced against/drive for the team holding the licence held by a team his father drove for/drive Pirelli-using F1 cars/drive a Renault-engined F1 car/not be bald/not be blind/deaf / compete wearing a helmet/for awfully long time, etc……

  20. Hamilton deserves this success.
    He and Alonso were the only ones to consistently show that they could make Vettel run for his money on a confrontation. To me was the best driver on 2010 with only one mistake, when the others made a lot more.

    His decision to leave Mclaren for Mercedes still have a lot to give and will go in history as one of the best ever taken, for sure.

    Alonso, for his fighting spirit and hability deserved at least a season like this too, but unfortunately it won’t happen.

    1. Agree with you on all points.

  21. I hope Lewis holds off on signing his new contract with MERC until the very end beause once he signs that contract… Nico is going to start winning. That´s just my opinion. I really do hope that Lewis catches up to Senna, that is going to be sooo gratifying for him.

    Oh and by the way… Had Toro Rosso not screwed up Sainz´ pit stop, would he have ended the race in front of MV @keithcollantine ?? Just curious.

    1. @karter22 Why would Nico start winning as a result of Lewis signing a new contract with Mercedes?

      1. @heisenberg
        Oh, it´s just a hunch of mine. I´l briefly explain. They have got to make it appealing for Lewis to sign a new multi year contract and thus they will back him… Once he signs and they have got him secured… then they can shift their focus on to Nico. I know it may sound stupid to you but that way they lock a major asset to the team and get Nico his title.
        If I am right, you will see that Hamilton all of a sudden will have botched pit stops, all the reliability issues will happen to his car, etc. It´s just my opinion and don´t expect anybody to think like me but surely enough, I will get flamed for this.

        1. Why must people see conspiracy everywhere?

        2. I don’t see that happening, personally, but each to their own.

        3. I honestly don’t think the team cares who wins the title in the sense that they would deliberately damage a car or intentionally cause an issue in a pit stop. Hamilton had some really bad luck last season but it was just that, bad luck…not conspiracy, at least for me. The only time last season where it wasn’t bad luck was in Monaco and Spa, and although he somewhat got away with Monaco, given how badly it backfired on Nico in Spa I really don’t think he will repeat such tactics this year.

    2. Why would letting time pass gain anything for Hamilton? Merc can just put any reasonable driver into that car, and they´ll all be winning. So the only reason to keep him is his marketing-worth, if he wants more money than what there´s in it for marketing, he an be easily replaced by a lot of drivers who would happily go there for less money. Also swapping drivers for smaller names may highlight the cars quality even more, especially towards casual viewers.

      1. While Hamilton’s marketing value is clearly a massive boost for Mercedes and no doubt one of the reason they want to retain him as one of their drivers to say that’s the only reason is rather insulting to both Hamilton & Mercedes. Drivers play a big roll in developing the car, We know from Toto last year just how highly he praises Lewis in working with the team to develop the car, then you take races such a Hungary where Lewis came from the pitlane to finish third, fighting his way through a field where history has shown that you can keep a car much better than yours behind you, For example, Nico was stuck behind Vergne and couldn’t get passed, even when his rear brakes had cooled down and had no issues, Lewis was behind him 2 laps before pulling off a mega move into turn 4 to get passed.

        Could other driver get into the Mercedes and win, of course, there are some very talented drivers on the grid, but could some of those same drivers help the team develop their car with the experience Hamilton has. Could they put some of the moves Lewis put on the grid last year when things had gone wrong. The measure of a driver isn’t what they can do when everything is going right but more about how they can perform when things are going wrong, and if you look at it Lewis had plenty of opportunity last year to crumble in response to reliability issues and other lets say events, but he didn’t. Otherwise Mercedes would replace Hamilton with a cheaper driver, but as Niki said last year…He is worth his money.

  22. ColdFly F1 (@)
    16th March 2015, 22:51

    Melbourne Grand Prix 13-15 March 2015
    The only time that the year (2015) reflects the Cars Entered (20) plus Cars started (15)
    The Month (3) reflects the amount of teams bringing both cars home.

    Need some help with the race day (15th) though.
    But maybe the race weekend started in the 13th, and it was the 13th win for the eventual race-winner in his current team!

  23. 20th consecutive GP with at least 1 Mercedes on the podium – only trails Ferrari (53 in 1999-2002, 22 in 2003-05).

    2 drivers scored points on their debut – also happened in Australia 2014 (Magnussen, Kvyat).

    Second time (after 2002) that a debuting driver has finished 5th in Melbourne driving for a team that had not scored a point the previous season. Both races saw lap 1 finish with fewer than 15 cars running.

    4th Melbourne pole for Hamilton – equals China and Hungary.

    Both of Hamilton’s Melbourne wins have seen him joined on the podium by Rosberg and another German driver.

    Vettel keeps alive his record of either finishing on the podium or not finishing at all in Melbourne.

    Maldonado’s best grid position since USA 2012.

    For every pair of team-mates (excluding the Marussias), the one who qualified higher did better in the race (including Lotus as Grosjean got further than Maldonado).

    Magnussen’s first non-finish since Bahrain 2014. Vettel now has the longest unbroken streak (12).

    Ferrari keep alive their record of scoring points in every season since the start of the Constructors’ Championship.

    35th season in a row in which Ferrari have managed a podium – extends their record.

    66th consecutive season (i.e. every F1 season) in which a British driver has scored points, 35th consecutive season in which at least 1 British driver has finished on the podium, and 27th consecutive season in which at least 1 British driver has led – all extend the current records.

    And some from magnetimarelli.com:

    9th consecutive front-row lockout for Mercedes – first team to manage this.

    First time since Britain 2012 that Button was knocked out in Q1. First time since Brazil 2009 that both McLarens were knocked out in Q1 (although in Malaysia 2010 Button spun in Q1 ruling him out of Q2 but he did ‘reach’ Q2).

    90th race in a row without a non-mechanical DNF for Vettel.

    The last 2 Australian GPs have both seen a Toro Rosso rookie qualify 8th (although only 1 started there) and finish 9th.

    Raikkonen’s first mechanical DNF since Belgium 2013.

    Maldonado’s first non-mechanical DNF since Monaco 2013 (!).

    1. @paulgilb “90th race in a row without a non-mechanical DNF for Vettel.”

      So the last time Vettel crashed was 91 races ago? Amazing.

      That must have been around 4-5 years ago, so probably in 2010 – the famous crash with Webber in Turkey?

  24. Whenever a team scored a 1-2 in Melbourne (1996, 1998, 2000, 2004, 2009) it went on to also win the constructor’s title and the victorious driver won the driver’s championship that same year.

    1. Well, Lewis did not win in Melbourne last year; but he went on to win the title.

      1. @kbdavies

        He means when the winning team scored a 1-2 finish. Lewis did not finish the race last year.

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