The 2019 F1 Australian GP turned out to be a surprise indeed with Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas picking up the win from Lewis Hamilton while Ferrari struggled.
It was a bright start for Hamilton with pole for Australian GP but his actual race start didn’t go well which allowed Bottas to take the lead and eventually dominate the proceedings to score his first win in Australia along with the maximum point available.
Hamilton had to settle for second with damage to his floor while Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen completed the podium as Ferrari struggled with Sebastian Vettel in fourth and Charles Leclerc fifth ahead of best of the rest leader Haas’ Kevin Magnussen.
A lot happened over the weekend, here’s some key stats and information:
- Bottas took his career’s fourth grand prix win, first Australian GP victory and also first since the 2017 Abu Dhabi GP.
- Mercedes scored their 88th win, its fourth in Australia and first since the 2016 season. With Hamilton in second, it was also its 45th 1-2 finish in F1 and 181st podium.
- Hamilton scored his 135th career podium while Bottas his 31st and Verstappen’s 23rd. It was also Verstappen’s sixth consecutive podium since 2018 Japanese GP.
- It was also Honda’s first podium finish in the V6 era as it became the fourth manufacturer to do so. It was its first since the 2008 British GP when Rubens Barrichello ended up third.
- With 26 points available for the first time in F1 to a driver, Bottas is the first drive to achieve that feat with his career’s 11th fastest lap.
- Hamilton scored his career’s 84th pole. It was also his eighth in Australia as he equaled Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna to have eight pole positions in a grand prix – Schumacher has the record in Japanese GP and Senna in San Marino GP. He has now six consecutive poles in Australia but has no race wins still since 2015.
- All three fresh rookies, Lando Norris, Alexander Albon and George Russell, out-qualified their more experienced teammates but none finished in points, with Norris the highest placed in 12th. Antonio Giovinazzi is also in his first full year but has two grand prix to his name.
- Lance Stroll gained the most places with seven in the race after he started 16th and finished ninth. It was also his first point for new team Racing Point and his first in Australia in three attempts. It was also Racing Point’s first constructors’ points.
- Daniil Kvyat scored a point on his third F1 start for Toro Rosso and in general. He last scored in the 2017 US GP but it is still not the record of scoring a point after a long gap.
- With Kimi Raikkonen’s points result, it meant Alfa Romeo Racing recorded its first F1 points finish since the 1984 European GP.
- Haas equaled its best of sixth in Australian GP. It was the team’s first points finish in Australia since 2016 and first for Magnussen since his podium in 2014, while Grosjean is yet to finish any of the races in Australia since his sixth place in 2016 for Haas.
- With only only his second time in Australian GP, Leclerc scored in the grand prix for the first time.
- Nico Hulkenberg ended up seventh which was his fourth time in Australian GP.
- With Carlos Sainz’s DNF, it ended the Spaniard’s streak of Australian GP points finish since his debut in 2015.
- Daniel Ricciardo’s love/hate with Australian GP continues with his third DNF to go with one DSQ in eight of his home races where he is yet to score a podium. He got the podium in 2014 but was disqualified.
- With Pierre Gasly unable to score for Red Bull in his first race with them, he thereby joined Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel, Ricciardo and Kvyat in the unwanted list.
- Robert Kubica returned to F1 with his first grand prix race since 2010 Abu Dhabi GP. Had its worst-ever qualifying position of 20th with previous being 19th in 2009 Hungarian GP. He kept his non-scoring record in Australian GP, now for the fifth time. Despite the long gap, he doesn’t hold the record of longest time between two grand prixs – whether in days or entries.
- The Q1 was incredibly tight with first to 16th separated by exactly one second.
- Not a single driver was given a penalty during the weekend apart from few drivers/teams getting fines for pitlane speeding and unsafe releases.
The stats were compiled by Jack Elleker and Darshan Chokhani