Four drivers have a 100% finish rate at the Australian Grand Prix, two drivers have never failed to reach Q3 at Albert Park and Carlos Sainz has never failed to score here. Here’s everything you need to know about each driver’s record at the Australian Grand Prix!
?? Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton has taken pole position at seven Australian Grands Prix, including in every season since 2014. Another pole this weekend will see him take a record-equalling eighth pole at the same circuit. From his last five poles here, however, Hamilton has only converted the 2015 one into a race victory, finishing as runner-up in all of the last three seasons. 2014 is the only year where Hamilton has failed to finish at Albert Park, while he was also disqualified from the 2009 event after having found to have been lying to the race stewards. 2008 and 2010 are the only times that Hamilton has been beaten in qualifying here on pace. The 2010 race is the last time that Hamilton gained a position from his starting place at this track, though part of that can be put down to his high pole rate. The defending champion has led the Australian Grand Prix on eight of his twelve appearances.
?? Valtteri Bottas
Aside from his thirteenth place on his F1 debut at Albert Park in 2013 and his DNS in 2015 due to a back injury, Valtteri Bottas has scored points in every season at the Australian Grand Prix. He’s taken one podium finish here, with third place on his Mercedes debut in 2017. Last season, Bottas could finish only thirteenth after a crash in the final part of qualifying saw him demoted to fifteenth on the grid. 2013 and 2016 are the only seasons where Bottas has failed to reach the final part of qualifying at Albert Park, though 2013 is also the only time he’s beaten a team-mate in qualifying at the track. The Finn is yet to start from the front row of the grid for a race here. He’s never lost a position from his starting place in a race at the track.
?? Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian Vettel has won each of the last two Australian Grands Prix and has finished on the podium at Albert Park in all but one of his last eight visits to the track. In fact, every time Vettel has finished a race at the circuit, he’s finished on the podium. He retired from all of his first three visits to the track in 2007, 2008 and 2009, retiring as a result of a collision with Robert Kubica in the latter race when he was running in second place with three laps to go. Vettel has led laps on seven of his eleven appearances at Albert Park. The German has taken three pole positions at the track, but is yet to do so with Ferrari. However, he has qualified in the top three in all of the last three seasons. 2012 and 2014 are the only seasons where Vettel has failed to reach the final part of qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix
?? Charles Leclerc
Charles Leclerc made his Formula 1 debut at Albert Park last season. He was eliminated in the first part of qualifying, failing to beat his team-mate and lining up eighteenth on the grid. He gained five positions in the Grand Prix to finish thirteenth.
?? Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen’s F1 debut at the Albert Park track in 2015 is the only time the Dutch driver has retired from the Australian Grand Prix. It’s also the only time he’s failed to score points at the track, finishing a best of fifth in 2017. Verstappen has qualified in the top five in all of the last three seasons in Melbourne, beating his team-mate each time. Carlos Sainz is Verstappen’s only team-mate to have out-qualified him at this circuit, having done so in 2015. Verstappen is yet to gain a position from his starting place during a Grand Prix at Albert Park,
?? Pierre Gasly
Pierre Gasly made his first appearance at Albert Park last season, but had a weekend to forget. After being unable to qualify any higher than last on the grid, the Frenchman retired after just thirteen laps with an engine failure.
?? Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo briefly became the first Australian in F1 history to finish on the podium at their home race when he finished as runner-up in 2014. The celebrations were short-lived however, as Ricciardo was disqualified for a fuel-flow irregularity. Since then, his best result at the track has been fourth – which he scored in both 2016 and 2018. He’s recorded two DNFs here, in 2013 and 2017. 2014 marks Ricciardo’s only front row start at the Australian Grand Prix, while 2013 is the only season where he’s failed to qualify in the top ten in Melbourne. The Australian has been beaten by his team-mate in qualifying in both of the last two seasons at the track. Last season, he was demoted to eighth on the grid after failing to slow down during a red flag period in Free Practice. Ricciardo is yet to lose a position in every race he’s finished in Australia.
?? Nico Hulkenberg
Nico Hulkenberg failed to finish the Australian Grand Prix on his first two visits to the track and failed to even start the race in 2013. Since then however, he’s finished the race at Albert Park in every year and has finished in the points in every year except 2017, when he finished eleventh. His best finish here is sixth place, which he scored in 2015. Hulkenberg has reached the final part of qualifying at the circuit three times, including last season. His best qualifying result at the track is seventh in 2014, a grid position which he took again in 2018 – the result of Daniel Ricciardo’s grid penalty. 2010 and 2016 are the only seasons where Hulkenberg has been beaten by a team-mate at Albert Park. In all the races he’s finished here, the German has never lost a position from his starting place.
?? Romain Grosjean
Romain Grosjean has competed in the Australian Grand Prix on seven occasions, but has only finished the race twice. He finished tenth in 2013 and recorded a sixth place finish on his first race appearance with Haas in 2016. Grosjean’s best qualifying result at the track came on his first appearance at the circuit, when he qualified third in 2012. He’s had four further Q3 appearances, and was eliminated in Q1 in 2014 and 2016. Last season marked only the second time that the Frenchman was out-qualified by his team-mate at the track.
?? Kevin Magnussen
Kevin Magnussen scored his first, and so far only, Formula 1 podium on debut at the 2014 Australian Grand Prix. That’s the only time he’s scored points at the track. He failed to start the race on his final appearance for McLaren at the track in 2015 after his engine failed on the way to the grid and has retired from each of the last two Albert Park races. His only finish other than his podium result at this circuit is twelfth for Renault in 2016. Last year marked the first time Magnussen has appeared in the top ten in qualifying at the Australian Grand Prix since his first appearance, on which he qualified fourth – his best grid slot so far. 2014 and 2018 are also the only years where the Dane has beaten his team-mate in qualifying at the track. Magnussen has gained two places in each of the two races which he’s finished at the circuit.
?? Carlos Sainz
Carlos Sainz has never failed to score at the Australian Grand Prix. He finished ninth in both 2015 and 2016, a best of eighth in 2017 and came home tenth last year for Renault. He’s also never failed to reach the final part of qualifying at the circuit, with a best qualifying position of seventh in 2016. He’s beaten his team-mate in qualifying at the track on half of his four Albert Park appearances. The Spaniard has never finished higher than his starting place at this track.
?? Lando Norris
Lando Norris is yet to drive at the Albert Park circuit.
?? Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez has scored in half of his eight appearances at the Australian Grand Prix. He also finished in the top ten on his F1 debut at the track in 2011, but was disqualified for having an illegal rear wing. His best finish here is seventh, scored for Force India in 2017. Perez has never reached the final part of qualifying at Albert Park, though he did qualify in the top ten in 2016 – but only the top eight progressed to Q3 in the ill-fated elimination qualifying system. Perez has beaten his team-mate in qualifying here in all of the last three years, but was beaten in every year before that. 2016 is the only year in which the Mexican failed to gain positions from his starting place during an Australian Grand Prix.
?? Lance Stroll
Lance Stroll is yet to score a point at the Australian Grand Prix. He retired from the event on his Grand Prix debut and finished fourteenth with Williams last season. Stroll is also yet to qualify above fourteenth at the track, being eliminated in Q1 in 2017 and in Q1 in 2018, beating his team-mate in qualifying at Albert Park for the first time last season.
?? Kimi Raikkonen
Kimi Raikkonen will become the most experienced driver at the Albert Park circuit this weekend with his seventeenth Australian Grand Prix appearance. It’s a track at which the Finnish driver has won twice, most recently with Lotus in 2013, and has finished on the podium a further four times, including a third place finish with Ferrari last season. Raikkonen has failed to finish the Australian Grand Prix five times, but has scored on every other occasion. He even scored an eighth place finish despite retiring before the end of the race in 2008. Raikkonen has had two front row starts at Albert Park, including pole position on his Ferrari debut in 2007. He also started on the front row here last season. There have been just three occasions where Raikkonen has failed to reach Q3 in Melbourne, most recently in 2014, while last season marked the fifth time he’s beaten a team-mate in qualifying at the track. 2018 was the first time Raikkonen has finished the race in a position lower than where he started it.
?? Antonio Giovinazzi
Antonio Giovinazzi made his Grand Prix debut with Sauber at the Albert Park track in 2017. Giovinazzi stepped in to replace Pascal Wehrlein ahead of the final practice session. He qualified less than two tenths of a second slower than team-mate Marcus Ericsson, narrowly missing out on reaching the second part of qualifying. Giovinazzi finished a respectable twelfth in the race, two laps down on the leader.
?? Daniil Kvyat
Daniil Kvyat has a mixed history at the Australian Grand Prix. He finished ninth on debut for Toro Rosso at the track in 2014, and finished in the same position on his most recent appearance at the track in 2017. In both 2015 and 2016 however, the Russian failed to start the race. Transmission issues in 2015 and electrical problems in 2016 prevented him from making the grid. Those two years are also seasons in which Kvyat failed to qualify in the top ten at Albert Park. His best qualifying position here is eighth, which he scored in 2014. Kvyat has never beaten a team-mate in qualifying at the track and hasn’t gained a position from his starting place in either of the races which he has started.
?? Alexander Albon
Alexander Albon has never driven at the Albert Park track.
?? Robert Kubica
Robert Kubica has only completed the Australian Grand Prix once so far in his career. That was on his last visit to the track in 2010, where he finished as runner-up. The Pole has a 100% Q3 appearance rate at the track, and has beaten his team-mate in qualifying here on three of his four appearances. He qualified on the front row for the event in 2008.
?? George Russell
George Russell has no past F1 experience at Albert Park.
After graduating in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. Now in its sixth 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 GPDestinations. In 2017 and 2018, he wrote for Badger GP. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast.