The first race weekend of the season is over, and we’ve rounded up some stats from the 2018 Australian Grand Prix. 100 podiums for Vettel, 65 races without a podium for Alonso, and a disaster for Haas. Read all the very best stats from Melbourne!
Seven poles for Lewis Hamilton is a new Australian Grand Prix record, surpassing Ayrton Senna’s six, all of which were taken at Adelaide. Hamilton extends the overall pole record to 73. It’s also his fifth pole in a row at Albert Park. He’s started from the front at every season-opening Grand Prix since the start of the hybrid era.
Lewis Hamilton took pole by 0.664 seconds, the largest pole margin at this track since 2011.
Lewis Hamilton’s pole lap – a 1:21.164 – was over ten seconds faster than the first pole time set here in 1996 by Jacques Villeneuve (a 1:32.371). This is quite remarkable considering the track has undergone no major changes in that time.
The 2018 Australian Grand Prix pole time was 1.024 seconds quicker than the 2017 pole time.
Mercedes have now taken five poles at Albert Park, putting them equal with Ferrari and McLaren for most poles at this track.
It wasn’t all rosy at Mercedes this weekend though. Valtteri Bottas’ qualifying crash meant that it was the first time in the hybrid era that their two cars haven’t both qualified within the top three at Albert Park. Fifteenth is also the lowest grid slot Bottas has ever had at the Australian Grand Prix.
The largest gap between team-mates in qualifying was at Mercedes, with Lewis Hamilton out-performing Valtteri Bottas by 0.925 seconds. The smallest gap, meanwhile, was at Ferrari, with Kimi Raikkonen being 0.010 seconds faster than Sebastian Vettel.
Max Verstappen recorded his best qualifying at Albert Park with fourth, bettering his fifth place start in both the 2016 and 2017 seasons. If Verstappen had put all of his best sector times together in one lap in qualifying, he would’ve started second on the grid.
It was also Lance Stroll’s best qualifying here (fourteenth, improving on last year’s lowly nineteenth) and Stoffel Vandoorne’s best Australian Grand Prix starting slot (twelfth, better than last year’s eighteenth).
Despite switching to Renault, Carlos Sainz recorded his worst qualifying position at this track. In the past three years he’s qualified eighth in 2015, seventh in 2016 and eighth again in 2017. This weekend he qualified ninth.
RACE DAY STATS
From 200 Grand Prix entries, Vettel has finished on the podium in 100 of them – an impressive 50% podium rate. Vettel joins an elite club of only three other drivers (Alain Prost, Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton) to have recorded 100 podiums.
Victory in the 2018 Australian Grand Prix marked Sebastian Vettel’s 48th career win and his ninth win for Ferrari, equalling his team-mate’s number of wins for the Scuderia. Vettel also equals Jenson Button’s tally of three wins at Albert Park, and joins Button and Michael Schumacher as the only back-to-back winners at this track.
Only two of the last nine Australian Grands Prix have been won from pole. Lewis Hamilton has finished runner-up at Albert Park for the past three consecutive years.
After finishing in the top ten, Lewis Hamilton has finished in the points on 26 consecutive occasions. If he has another points scoring finish at the next round in Bahrain, he’ll equal Kimi Raikkonen’s record of 27.
With second on the grid, Kimi Raikkonen enjoyed his best qualifying at Albert Park since he took pole here in 2007. On Sunday, Raikkonen took his first Australian Grand Prix podium since he won the race for Lotus in 2013. Kimi overtakes Michael Schumacher in the Albert Park podium tally. Schumacher has five podiums here to his name, Raikkonen now has six.
With Daniel Ricciardo coming home in fourth and Max Verstappen finishing sixth, Red Bull have had 38 consecutive races in the points. The current run is the longest in the team’s history.
Haas recorded their best qualifying, with Kevin Magnussen setting the fifth fastest time and Romain Grosjean sixth fastest. It was an all Haas third row on the grid following Daniel Ricciardo’s grid drop. It wasn’t such a good story on Sunday though. After a strong race which saw the pair run as high as fourth and fifth, the team lost 22 points due to issues at the pit stops. They’re 22 very valuable points lost, considering the score is almost half of what they scored in total during the 2017 season. It was the team’s first double DNF since the same event in 2017.
Despite competing in every Australian Grand Prix since 2014, Kevin Magnussen and Marcus Ericsson have only completed the race once each.
In seven Australian Grand Prix appearances, Romain Grosjean has only made it to the finish of the race twice.
Fernando Alonso finished the Australian Grand Prix for the first time since 2014. His fifth place finish means he currently sits in his highest position in the Drivers’ Championship since the 2014 Brazilian Grand Prix. The race marked 65 Grands Prix since the Spaniard’s last podium.
McLaren finished in the points with both cars, equalling their tally of a single double points finish in 2017 after just one round in 2018.
For the first time, Brendon Hartley started a Grand Prix without a grid penalty.
On their F1 debuts, both for Williams, both Lance Stroll in 2017 and Sergey Sirotkin in 2018 qualified nineteenth, and both retired from the race with brake issues.
Sebastian Vettel (the race winner) and Daniel Ricciardo (fourth) both equalled their best finishing position in the Australian Grand Prix.
Stoffel Vandoorne (ninth) and Lance Stroll (fourteenth) both recorded their best finishing position at the Albert Park track, with Vandoorne improving on thirteenth from the 2017 race, and Stroll managing to see the chequered flag in Australia for the first time.
Carlos Sainz (tenth) and Esteban Ocon (twelfth) both recorded their worst Australian Grand Prix result. Sainz is still yet to finish outside of the points at this track, however.
Sebastian Vettel leads the Drivers’ Championship for the first time since the 2017 Belgian Grand Prix. Ferrari lead the Constructors’ Championship for the first time since the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix.
Nicky Haldenby is a freelance writer from Scarborough, England. After graduating from the University of Hull in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. Now in its fourth season, the blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics. Nicky also writes at F1Destinations, and sister site GPDestinations, where he shares regular race previews and articles focussed around the latest in Formula 1 calendar and venue news. In 2017 and 2018, he wrote for Badger GP. Nicky can also be heard regularly as a guest on various Formula 1 radio shows and podcasts.