|2012 Australian Grand Prix|
Race 1 of 20 in the 2012 Formula One season
|Date||18 March 2012|
|Official name||2012 Formula 1 Qantas Australian Grand Prix|
|Location||Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit
5.303 km (3.295 mi)
|Distance||58 laps, 307.574 km (191.12 mi)|
Air Temp 22 °C (72 °F)
|Driver||Lewis Hamilton (McLaren-Mercedes)|
|Driver||Jenson Button (McLaren-Mercedes)|
|Time||1:29.187 on lap 56|
|First||Jenson Button (McLaren-Mercedes)|
|Second||Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull-Renault)|
|Third||Lewis Hamilton (McLaren-Mercedes)|
The 2012 Australian Grand Prix (formally, the 2012 Formula 1 Qantas Australian Grand Prix) was a Formula One motor race held on 18 March 2012 as the opening round of the 2012 Formula One season. It was the 77th race in the combined history of the Australian Grand Prix that dates back to the 100 Miles Road Race of 1928, and the 17th time the event has been held at the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit at Albert Park.
The race, contested over 58 laps, was won by McLaren driver Jenson Button who took his third victory at the Albert Park Circuit. Reigning double World Champion Sebastian Vettel, driving for Red Bull Racing, finished in second place, while polesitter and Button's McLaren teammate Lewis Hamilton completed the podium. Australian Mark Webber was fourth, his best result in his home Grand prix.
Button got the better start of the two McLarens leading the pack into turn one. He was followed by Hamilton, Schumacher, Rosberg, Vettel and Grosjean who had dropped three places. Both Senna and Ricciardo collided with each other forcing them to pit and re-join at the back. There was also contact between Webber, Vergne and Hülkenberg, the latter being forced to retire. On lap two Vettel passed Roserg for fourth place, while at turn thirteen Grosjean and Maldonado made contact, the Lotus driver's steering arm becoming snapped, forcing him to retire.
On lap ten Schumacher retired with a greabox problem, after running offside the first turn, this promoted Vettel into third place. The first round of stops began with Massa on lap 14, the Ferrari driver complaining of a loss of grip in his rear tyres. Several other drivers pitted around the same time, foreshadowing a switch to a three-stop strategy. Pérez elected to stay out aiming for a one stop strategy, as he did the previous year. Race leader Button pitted on lap sixteen, breifly giving the lead to Hamilton, who conceded it when he pitted on the next lap, also endind up behind Pérez. Pérez was later overtaken by both Hamilton and Vettel on lap twenty one. On lap twenty four Pérez made his one and only pitstop, dropping him down to thirteenth place.
Due to a steering problem, Petrov retired his Caterham on the start/finish straight beside the pit wall. The position of the car was dangerous so the safety car was deployed on lap thirty seven to allow a truck to recover it. Several drivers took this opportunity to pit, including the two McLaren drivers. During this Vettel managed to take second place from Hamilton. The race resumed on lap forty two. On lap forty six Ferrari driver Massa and Williams driver Senna clashed at turn three, both cars developed punctures, and retired from the race as a result.
On lap fifty eight, the final lap, Maldonado, while attempting to overtake Alonso for fifth place, applied too much throttle too soon while still on the astroturf through the apex of turn seven, ending up in the wall uninjured. Rosberg made contact with Pérez on the approach to the fast chicane at turns 11 and 12, allowing Räikkönen to overtake both of them, Rosberg limped home with a left rear puncture to finish twelfth. Jenson Button went on to win the race, his third at the Albert Park Circuit in four years. Vettel crossed the line second, two seconds behind Button, while Hamilton held Webber off long enough to finish third. Webber crossed the line fourth, his best result at his home Grand Prix.
|5||2||Mark Webber||Red Bull-Renault||1:27.117||1:26.297||1:25.651||5|
|6||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||1:26.773||1:25.982||1:25.668||6|
|9||12||Nico Hülkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||1:27.464||1:26.314||1:26.451||9|
|10||16||Daniel Ricciardo||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1:27.024||1:26.319||no time||10|
|11||17||Jean-Éric Vergne||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1:26.493||1:26.429||11|
|15||11||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1:27.469||1:27.086||15|
|17||15||Sergio Pérez||Sauber-Ferrari||1:26.596||no time||22 1|
|107% time: 1:32.214|
|—||22||Pedro de la Rosa||HRT-Cosworth||1:33.495||DNQ 2|
|—||23||Narain Karthikeyan||HRT-Cosworth||1:33.643||DNQ 2|
- ^1 — Sergio Pérez took a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change.
- ^2 — Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan failed to set a lap time within 107% of the fastest time recorded in Q1. As a result, both cars failed to qualify for the race.
- Heikki Kovalainen was given a five-place grid penalty at the next race for overtaking cars on a restart prior to passing the safety car line.
Championship standings after the raceEdit
Drivers' Championship standingsEdit
Constructors' Championship standingsEdit
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.