The 2005 Australian Grand Prix, officially advertised as the LXX Foster's Australian Grand Prix was the opening round of the 2005 FIA Formula One World Championship, which took place at the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit in Melbourne, Australia, on 6 March 2005. The race would see Giancarlo Fisichella claim victory on his debut for Renault, as defending World Champion Michael Schumacher retired with damage.
The winter had seen several changes made to the field, with Jaguar and Ford the notable absentees over the winter. Jaguar had become Red Bull having been bought by the Austrian drinks firm, while Jaguar's former owners Ford had ended all of their F1 programmes, including their long standing partnership with Cosworth. The small British firm would continue to supply F1 engines, however, with Red Bull and Minardi using their latest units.
Elsewhere there had been some major changes on the driver front, with Juan Pablo Montoya moving to McLaren-Mercedes from Williams-BMW. He replaced the veteran David Coulthard, who moved to Red Bull, Ralf Schumacher moved to Toyota, meaning Williams were left to hire Mark Webber and Nick Heidfeld, while 1997 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve rejoined the paddock as he took a seat at Sauber-Petronas.
Furthermore, there had been some significant changes to the rule book, with both tyres and engines affected. Each driver's engine would now have to last two full race weekends (excluding free practice and barring a failure), while each driver was only allowed to use a single set of tyres for the Grand Prix.
Into the first weekend of the 2005 season itself and it was clear that Ferrari's domination from 2004 was over, as both Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello failed to get into the top ten. Instead, it was Fisichella who emerged on pole position ahead of Jarno Trulli in qualifying, with a new format seeing a driver's times from Q1 (low fuel) and Q2 (starting fuel) combined.
The first attempt at starting the race would have to be aborted when Kimi Räikkönen stalled, meaning a lap was struck from the distance. The second attempt passed without issue, with Fisichella streaking ahead of Trulli at the head of the field.
Those two quickly established a lead at the head of the field, while home hero Webber tried in vain to find a way past Coulthard who had jumped the Aussie at the start. Indeed, the new Red Bull was not the quickest car in the field, and hence ensured that the Scot had a queue of cars behind him throughout the early laps.
That queue allowed Fernando Alonso and Rubens Barrichello to climb up the order, before the first round of stops partially reset the field. Indeed, while Fisichella remained at the head of the field ahead of Trulli, Barrichello and Alonso would jump the rest of the Coulthard conga to move into third and fourth.
That soon became second and third, however, as Trulli's pace collapsed as a blister opened up on his second set of Michelin tyres. With that the race began to settle down, with Trulli falling down the field, with the field remaining largely unchanged through the second round of stops.
The only changes to come during that period would involve two potential title contenders, who both tangled with back markers. The first incident saw Schumacher close the door on Heidfeld, resulting in both cars receiving terminal damage, before Montoya lost a lot of time when he ran off the circuit lapping a Minardi.
With that the race was run, with Fisichella cruising through the third and final stint to claim his first win for Renault. Barrichello, meanwhile, would fend off a challenge from Alonso in the closing stages as they completed the podium, with the rest of the points awarded to Coulthard, Webber, Montoya, Christian Klien and Räikkönen.
The race was also significant as the first to feature an Indian born driver in the form of Narain Karthikeyan, while Tiago Monteiro became the first Portugese driver to race in F1 since Pedro Lamy in 1996.
The full entry list for the 2005 Australian Grand Prix is outlined below:
The full qualifying results for the 2005 Australian Grand Prix are outlined below:
|5||14||David Coulthard||Red Bull-Cosworth||1:38.320||1:28.892||3:07.212||+5.752s|
|6||15||Christian Klien||Red Bull-Cosworth||1:37.486||1:29.991||3:07.477||+6.017s|
|9||10||Juan Pablo Montoya||McLaren-Mercedes||1:45.325||1:29.320||3:14.645||+13.185s|
- T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car to set their best time in that session.
- Bold indicates a driver's best/qualifying time.
- * Schumacher and Sato were awarded ten place grid penalties for changing their engines.
|Juan Pablo Montoya||10|
- * Räikkönen would start the race from the pit lane.
The full results for the 2005 Australian Grand Prix are outlined below:
|4||14||David Coulthard||Red Bull-Cosworth||57||+16.131s||5||5|
|6||10||Juan Pablo Montoya||McLaren-Mercedes||57||+35.033s||9||3|
|7||15||Christian Klien||Red Bull-Cosworth||57||+38.997s||6||2|
|12||17||Ralf Schumacher||Toyota||56||+1 Lap||15|
|13||11||Jacques Villeneuve||Sauber-Petronas||56||+1 Lap||4|
|15||19||Narain Karthikeyan||Jordan-Toyota||55||+2 Laps||12|
|16||18||Tiago Monteiro||Jordan-Toyota||55||+2 Laps||14|
|17||20||Patrick Friesacher||Minardi-Cosworth||53||+4 Laps||16|
- T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car.
- * Button and Sato were withdrawn so that BAR could change their engines without incurring a penalty at the 2005 Malaysian Grand Prix.
- Rubens Barrichello entered his 200th Grand Prix.
- Debut race for Christijan Albers, Patrick Friesacher, Narain Karthikeyan and Tiago Monteiro.
- Karthikeyan became the first Indian driver to race in Formula One.
- First race for Red Bull as a constructor.
- Cosworth entered their first race as an independent engine supplier.
- Giancarlo Fisichella scored his second career victory.
- Renault claimed their eighteenth win as a constructor.
- Also Renault's 98th win as an engine supplier.
- Fernando Alonso claimed the twentieth fastest lap to be recorded by a Renault chassis.
Opening day victory for Giancarlo Fisichella left the Italian racer atop the Championship, holding ten points and a two point lead. Rubens Barrichello and Fernando Alonso completed the early top three, while David Coulthard and Mark Webber rounded out the top five. The remaining opening day scorers were Juan Pablo Montoya, Christian Klien and Kimi Räikkönen.
In the Constructors Championship it was double podium finishers Renault who left the opening round at the head of the hunt, leaving Australia with sixteen points. Defending Champions Ferrari would begin the season in second, eight behind the French manufacturer, while debutantes Red Bull-Cosworth were in third, just point behind the Italian giants. Completing the scorers list were Williams-BMW and McLaren-Mercedes, level on four points.
Only point scoring drivers and constructors are shown.
Images and Videos:
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 'Australia 2005: Fisichella plunders down under.', crash.net, (Crash Media Group, 06/03/2005), https://www.crash.net/f1/race-report/51426/1/australia-2005-fisichella-plunders-down-under, (Accessed 01/01/2020)
- ↑ Cite error: Invalid
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- ↑ 'Australia 2005: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2005/australie/engages.aspx, (Accessed 01/01/2020)
- ↑ '2005 FORMULA 1™ Foster's Australian Grand Prix - QUALIFYING 1', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/2005/races/771/australia/qualifying-1.html, (Accessed 01/01/2020)
- ↑ '2005 FORMULA 1™ Foster's Australian Grand Prix - QUALIFYING 2', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/2005/races/771/australia/qualifying-2.html, (Accessed 01/01/2020)
- ↑ '2005 FORMULA 1™ Foster's Australian Grand Prix - OVERALL QUALIFYING', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/2005/races/771/australia/qualifying-0.html, (Accessed 01/01/2020)
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 'Australia 2005: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2005/australie/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 01/01/2020)
- ↑ 'Australia 2005: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2005/australie/classement.aspx, (Accessed 01/01/2020)
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 '2005 Australian GP', chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2014), http://www.chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=2005&gp=Australian%20GP&r=1, (Accessed 01/01/2020)
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 '1. Australia 2005', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2005/australie.aspx, (Accessed 01/01/2020)
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