Formula1: Australian GP
18 March 2012 - Wheels News
An opening lap crash set the tone for a grueling season-opening Australian Grand Prix. Jenson Button dominated throughout the race to claim the first Grand Prix victory of the 2012 season.
Button said: "Oh fantastic, what a great way to start the year, guys! Seriously, fantastic. Shows what a winter does. The car is beautiful and she's quick. Thanks guys."
Button's team mate Lewis Hamilton held onto second place for most of the race but was finally passed by Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel and had to settle for the third podium spot.
The race for fourth place continued to be a battle between Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, Red Bull's Mark Webber. Ultimately the Red Bull veteran trumped Alonso who had to settle for fifth place ahead of Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi.
During the final two laps of the race Pastor Maldonado could've secured a fifth place finish but crashed against the barriers, ending a fantastic effort for the F1 rookie.
Raikkonen, one of six former world champions in the field, impressed on his return from two years out of the sport to finish seventh for Lotus after starting 17th on the grid.
Lotus' Romain Grosjean who trumped F1 veteran and team mate Kimi Raikkonen crashed out in lap 3. Mercedes Michael Schumacher looked set for a third place podium unfortunately the veteran crashed out in lap 11.
Daniel Ricciardo finished ninth on his home race debut for Toro Rosso despite an accident at the start, while the last point was won by Force India's Paul Di Resta in 10th.
Felipe Massa's run of bad luck continued in 2012 as the Ferrari driver was relegated to the back of the grid after a minor scrap with Kobayashi.
Sauber's Sergio Perez had started right from the back after changing his gearbox overnight but finished a creditable eighth, the same place he claimed on his Formula 1 debut in Australian 2011 before both he and Kobayashi were disqualified for technical infringements.
Race results from the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park
- Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1h 34min09.565 seconds
- Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull +2.1
- Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren +4.0
- Mark Webber (Australia) Red Bull +4.5
- Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari +21.5
- Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) Sauber +36.7
- Kimi Räikkönen (Finland) Lotus +38
- Sergio Perez (Mexico) Sauber +39.4
- Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Toro Rosso +39.5
- Paul di Resta (Britain) Force India +39.7
- Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso +39.8
- Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes +57.6
- Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Williams + 1 lap
- Timo Glock (Germany) Marussia + 1 lap
- Charles Pic (France) Marussia + 2 laps
- Bruno Senna (Brazil) Williams + 4 laps
Ret Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari
Ret Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) Caterham
Ret Vitaly Petrov (Russia) Caterham
Ret Michael Schumacher (Germany) Mercedes
Ret Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus
Ret Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) Force India
DNS Pedro de la Rosa (Spain) HRT
DNS Narain Karthikeyan (India) HRT