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The 2006 Australian Grand Prix, officially the LXXI Foster's Australian Grand Prix, was the third round of the 2006 FIA Formula One World Championship, which took place at the Albert Park Circuit in Melbourne, Australia, on 2 April 2006.[1] The race, which was staged on the 80th birthday of Australia's three-time World Champion Jack Brabham, would see Fernando Alonso sweep to his second win in the opening three rounds.[1]

As a result of the 2006 Commonwealth Games being held in Melbourne the Australian Grand Prix would be staged in April, and hence lost its status as the opening round of the season.[1] That brought an end to a ten year streak since 1996 that the season had started in the Antipodean city, although the organisers would sign a renewed deal to return as the opening round in 2007.[1]

Into the race weekend itself and qualifying threw up a slight shock as Jenson Button grabbed pole position for Honda, their first as a constructor since the 1968 Italian Grand Prix.[1] Giancarlo Fisichella shared the front row with the Brit ahead of Renault teammate Alonso, while Kimi Räikkönen completed the second row.[1]

Confusion then arrived on raceday, with Juan Pablo Montoya spinning at the end of the formation lap, and so was forced to start at the back.[1] However, a stall for Fisichella on the grid saw the initial start aborted, and hence allowed Montoya to retake fifth on the grid.[1]

The second attempted start would go as planned, with Button easing away from Fisichella and Alonso, with Räikkönen watching on.[1] Behind, however, there would be more chaos, as new Ferrari driver Felipe Massa tried to go for a gap between Nico Rosberg and Christian Klien, resulting in the Ferrari getting smashed against the outside wall at turn two.[1]

That accident ensured the Safety Car was called at the end of the opening lap, and would stay out until the start of lap three.[1] Alonso duly went on to ace the restart and jump Button for the lead, having inherited second when Fisichella spun on cold tyres behind the #12 Honda.[1]

However, as soon as the field were released they were to be reined back in by the SC, which was called upon again after Klien crashed heavily at Clark Corner.[1] Likely a legacy of his clash with Massa and Rosberg at the start, the Red Bull-Ferrari had a suspected suspension failure, and was hence pitched straight into the barriers at high speed.[1]

Once Klien's ruined Red Bull was removed the race restarted for a second time, with Alonso bursting clear ahead of Räikkönen, who pounced on Button into the first corner.[1] With that the race would quickly become a procession, with the only change to the order coming when Vitantonio Liuzzi pulled a stunning move on Michael Schumacher at the back of the top ten.[1]

Indeed, it was only when Button, Montoya and Jarno Trulli kick started the first pit-phase that the race gained some interest, with Alonso and Räikkönen stopping a lap later.[1] That hence promoted Mark Webber into a brief lead for Williams-Cosworth, becoming the first Australian to lead his home race since it had become a World Championship race.[1]

Unfortunately for Webber his moment in the sun was curtailed swiftly by a gearbox failure, handing the lead back to Alonso.[1] Again, the race settled down once the stops were completed, until Schumacher's race came to a spectacular end with a crash at Prost, bringing out the SC once again.[1]

This time the majority of the field poured into the pits for their second stops, although this time there would be no major changes to the order.[1] Alonso hence took the restart still in the lead ahead of Räikkönen, although before the field was up to speed the SC was called out again, this time for Liuzzi destroying his Toro Rosso-Cosworth at Whiteford.[1]

The race restarted for a fourth and final time on lap 40, with Alonso powering away for the rest of the afternoon to claim victory ahead of Räikkönen.[1] Ralf Schumacher, meanwhile, would emerged from a wave of late retirements, which included an electrical shutdown for Montoya and a last corner engine failure for Button, to complete the podium.[1] Nick Heidfeld, Fisichella, Jacques Villeneuve, Rubens Barrichello and Scott Speed secured the remaining points, with Button falling ten metres shy of the finishing line in his smoking Honda.[1]

There would be one final twist, however, as Speed was relegated to ninth after the race for failing to slow sufficiently under yellow flags.[1] He hence lost his maiden points finish, and received a $5,000 fine for abusive language during the hearing.[1]

The race would also be notable as the last Grand Prix until the 2015 Mexican Grand Prix that neither Ferrari was classified.

BackgroundEdit

Victory for Giancarlo Fisichella would catapult the Italian racer up the early Championship table, leaving Malaysia in fourth with ten points. However, it was his teammate Fernando Alonso who left Sepang at the head of the pack, and with a fairly ominous seven point lead after just two races. Michael Schumacher had remained as the Spaniard's closest challenger in second, ahead of third placed Jenson Button on countback.

In the Constructors Championship Renault were attempting to make an early break away at the head of the field, and left Malaysia with 28 points to their credit. That left the French manufacturer thirteen clear of Ferrari in second, who were level on points with third placed McLaren-Mercedes. Honda and Williams-Cosworth then completed the top five, with BMW Sauber and Toyota having picked up their first points of the campaign.

Entry listEdit

The full entry list for the 2006 Australian Grand Prix is outlined below:

No. Driver Entrant Constructor Chassis Engine Model Tyre
1 Spain Fernando Alonso France Mild Seven Renault F1 Team Renault R26 Renault RS26 2.4 V8 M
2 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella France Mild Seven Renault F1 Team Renault R26 Renault RS26 2.4 V8 M
3 Finland Kimi Räikkönen United Kingdom Team McLaren Mercedes McLaren MP4-21 Mercedes FO 108S 2.4 V8 M
4 Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya United Kingdom Team McLaren Mercedes McLaren MP4-21 Mercedes FO 108S 2.4 V8 M
5 Germany Michael Schumacher Italy Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Ferrari 248 F1 Ferrari 056 2.4 V8 B
6 Brazil Felipe Massa Italy Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Ferrari 248 F1 Ferrari 056 2.4 V8 B
7 Germany Ralf Schumacher Japan Panasonic Toyota Racing Toyota TF106 Toyota RVX-06 2.4 V8 B
8 Italy Jarno Trulli Japan Panasonic Toyota Racing Toyota TF106 Toyota RVX-06 2.4 V8 B
9 Australia Mark Webber United Kingdom Williams F1 Team Williams FW28 Cosworth CA2006 2.4 V8 B
10 Germany Nico Rosberg United Kingdom Williams F1 Team Williams FW28 Cosworth CA2006 2.4 V8 B
11 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Japan Lucky Strike Honda Racing F1 Team Honda RA106 Honda RA806E 2.4 V8 M
12 United Kingdom Jenson Button Japan Lucky Strike Honda Racing F1 Team Honda RA106 Honda RA806E 2.4 V8 M
14 United Kingdom David Coulthard United Kingdom Red Bull Racing Red Bull RB2 Ferrari 056 2.4 V8 M
15 Austria Christian Klien United Kingdom Red Bull Racing Red Bull RB2 Ferrari 056 2.4 V8 M
16 Germany Nick Heidfeld Germany BMW Sauber F1 Team BMW Sauber F1.06 BMW P86 2.4 V8 M
17 Canada Jacques Villeneuve Germany BMW Sauber F1 Team BMW Sauber F1.06 BMW P86 2.4 V8 M
18 Portugal Tiago Monteiro Russia MF1 Racing Midland M16 Toyota RVX-06 2.4 V8 B
19 Netherlands Christijan Albers Russia MF1 Racing Midland M16 Toyota RVX-06 2.4 V8 B
20 Italy Vitantonio Liuzzi Italy Scuderia Toro Rosso Toro Rosso STR1 Cosworth TJ2006 3.0 V10 M
21 United States Scott Speed Italy Scuderia Toro Rosso Toro Rosso STR1 Cosworth TJ2006 3.0 V10 M
22 Japan Takuma Sato Japan Super Aguri F1 Super Aguri SA05 Honda RA806E 2.4 V8 B
23 Japan Yuji Ide Japan Super Aguri F1 Super Aguri SA05 Honda RA806E 2.4 V8 B
Test Drivers for Practice Sessions Only
35 Austria Alexander Wurz United Kingdom Williams F1 Team Williams FW28 Cosworth CA2006 2.4 V8 B
36 United Kingdom Anthony Davidson Japan Lucky Strike Honda Racing F1 Team Honda RA106 Honda RA806E 2.4 V8 M
37 Netherlands Robert Doornbos United Kingdom Red Bull Racing Red Bull RB2 Ferrari 056 2.4 V8 M
38 Poland Robert Kubica Germany BMW Sauber F1 Team BMW Sauber F1.06 BMW P86 2.4 V8 M
39 Netherlands Markus Winkelhock Russia MF1 Racing Midland M16 Toyota RVX-06 2.4 V8 B
40 Switzerland Neel Jani Italy Scuderia Toro Rosso Toro Rosso STR1 Cosworth TJ2006 3.0 V10 M
Source:[2]

Practice OverviewEdit

QualifyingEdit

Q1Edit

Q2Edit

Q3Edit

Qualifying ResultsEdit

The full qualifying results for the 2006 Australian Grand Prix are outlined below:

Pos. No. Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Grid
Pos. Time Pos. Time Pos. Time
1 12 United Kingdom Jenson Button Japan Honda 8 1:28.081 8 1:26.337 1 1:25.229 1
2 2 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella France Renault 5 1:27.765 6 1:26.196 2 1:25.635 2
3 1 Spain Fernando Alonso France Renault 13 1:28.596 1 1:25.729 3 1:25.778 3
4 3 Finland Kimi Räikkönen United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 2 1:27.193 5 1:26.161 4 1:25.822 4
5 4 Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 1 1:27.079 2 1:25.902 5 1:25.976 5
6 7 Germany Ralf Schumacher Japan Toyota 7 1:28.007 9 1:26.596 6 1:26.612 6
7 9 Australia Mark Webber United Kingdom Williams-Cosworth 3 1:27.669 4 1:26.075 7 1:26.937 7
8 16 Germany Nick Heidfeld Germany BMW Sauber 6 1:27.796 3 1:26.014 8 1:27.579 8
9* 17 Canada Jacques Villeneuve Germany BMW Sauber 12 1:28.460 10 1:26.714 9 1:29.239 19
10 8 Italy Jarno Trulli Japan Toyota 4 1:27.748 7 1:26.327 NC 9
11 5 Germany Michael Schumacher Italy Ferrari 9 1:28.288 11 1:26.718 10
12 14 United Kingdom David Coulthard United Kingdom Red Bull-Ferrari 11 1:28.408 12 1:27.023 11
13 20 Italy Vitantonio Liuzzi Italy Toro Rosso-Cosworth 16 1:28.999 13 1:27.219 12
14 15 Austria Christian Klien United Kingdom Red Bull-Ferrari 14 1:28.757 14 1:27.591 13
15 10 Germany Nico Rosberg United Kingdom Williams-Cosworth 10 1:28.351 15 1:29.422 14
16 6 Brazil Felipe Massa Italy Ferrari 15 1:28.868 NC 15
17 11 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Japan Honda 17 1:29.943 16
18 19 Netherlands Christijan Albers Russia Midland-Toyota 18 1:30.226 17
19 21 United States Scott Speed Italy Toro Rosso-Cosworth 19 1:30.426 18
20 18 Portugal Tiago Monteiro Russia Midland-Toyota 20 1:30.709 20
21 22 Japan Takuma Sato Japan Super Aguri-Honda 21 1:32.279 21
22 23 Japan Yuji Ide Japan Super Aguri-Honda 22 1:36.164 22
Source:[3]
  • T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car to set their best time in that session.
  • Bold indicates the fastest driver's time in each session.
  • * Villeneuve received a ten place grid penalty for changing his engine.[3]

GridEdit

Pos Pos
Driver Driver
______________
Row 1 1 ______________
Jenson Button 2
______________ Giancarlo Fisichella*
Row 2 3 ______________
Fernando Alonso 4
______________ Kimi Räikkönen
Row 3 5 ______________
Juan Pablo Montoya 6
______________ Ralf Schumacher
Row 4 7 ______________
Mark Webber 8
______________ Nick Heidfeld
Row 5 9 ______________
Jarno Trulli 10
______________ Michael Schumacher
Row 6 11 ______________
David Coulthard 12
______________ Vitantonio Liuzzi
Row 7 13 ______________
Christian Klien 14
______________ Nico Rosberg
Row 8 15 ______________
Felipe Massa 16
______________ Rubens Barrichello
Row 9 17 ______________
Christijan Albers 18
______________ Scott Speed
Row 10 19 ______________
Jacques Villeneuve 20
______________ Tiago Monteiro
Row 11 21 ______________
Takuma Sato 22
______________ Yuji Ide
  • * Fisichella started the race from the pitlane after stalling during the aborted start.[3]

RaceEdit

ReportEdit

Fernando Alonso won for the second time in 2006, after Jenson Button's Honda blew up at the final corner, after starting from pole. Scott Speed was docked his first point (and what would have been the first for an American since 1993) for ignoring yellow flags. Thus, David Coulthard was promoted to eighth. Speed was also fined $5000 for swearing at Coulthard during the hearing.

It was not until 2016 that America ended its long wait for F1 points in the form of U.S. team Haas.

ResultsEdit

The full results for the 2006 Australian Grand Prix are outlined below:

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 1 Spain Fernando Alonso France Renault 57 1:34:27.870 3 10
2 3 Finland Kimi Räikkönen United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 57 +1.829s 4 8
3 7 Germany Ralf Schumacher Japan Toyota 57 +24.824s 6 6
4 16 Germany Nick Heidfeld Germany BMW Sauber 57 +31.032s 8 5
5 2 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella France Renault 57 +38.421s 2 4
6 17 Canada Jacques Villeneuve Germany BMW Sauber 57 +49.554s 19 3
7 11 Brazil Rubens Barrichello United Kingdom Honda 57 +51.904s 16 2
8 14 United Kingdom David Coulthard United Kingdom Red Bull-Ferrari 57 +53.983s 11 1
9* 21 United States Scott Speed Italy Toro Rosso-Cosworth 57 +1:18.817 18
10 12 United Kingdom Jenson Button Japan Honda 56 Engine 1
11 19 Netherlands Christijan Albers Russia Midland-Toyota 56 +1 Lap 17
12 22 Japan Takuma Sato Japan Super Aguri-Honda 55 +2 Laps 21
13 23 Japan Yuji Ide Japan Super Aguri-Honda 54 +3 Laps 22
Ret 4 Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 46 Electrical 5
Ret 18 Portugal Tiago Monteiro Russia Midland-Toyota 39 Steering 20
Ret 20 Italy Vitantonio Liuzzi Italy Toro Rosso-Cosworth 37 Accident 12
Ret 5 Germany Michael Schumacher Italy Ferrari 32 Accident 10
Ret 9 Australia Mark Webber United Kingdom Williams-Cosworth 22 Engine 7
Ret 15 Austria Christian Klien United Kingdom Red Bull-Ferrari 4 Suspension 13
Ret 8 Italy Jarno Trulli Japan Toyota 0 Collision 9
Ret 10 Germany Nico Rosberg United Kingdom Williams-Cosworth 0 Damage 14
Ret 6 Brazil Felipe Massa Italy Ferrari 0 Collision 15
Source:[4]
  • T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car.
  • * Speed received a 25 second time penalty for speeding under yellow flags.[4]
  • Button was still classified despite retiring as he had completed 90% of the race distance.[4]

MilestonesEdit

StandingsEdit

A second victory in the opening three rounds left Fernando Alonso in early command of the Championship, having left Australia with 28 points to his name. That translated into a fourteen point lead over teammate Giancarlo Fisichella in second, with the Italian racer level on points with third placed Kimi Räikkönen. Behind, Michael Schumacher and Jenson Button remained tied on eleven points, with fifteen drivers on the score sheet.

In the Constructors Championship Renault had already built a comfortable lead at the head of the pack, leaving Australia with more than a race's worth of points in hand. Indeed, McLaren-Mercedes had slipped nineteen behind the French squad as a result of the battle of Australia, but had moved eight clear of Ferrari in third. Honda, meanwhile, had retained fourth ahead of BMW Sauber, with eight constructors having scored across the opening three rounds.

World Championship for Drivers
Pos. Driver Pts. +/-
1 Spain Fernando Alonso 28
2 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella 14 ▲2
3 Finland Kimi Räikkönen 14 ▲3
4 Germany Michael Schumacher 11 ▼2
5 United Kingdom Jenson Button 11 ▼2
6 Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya 9 ▼1
7 Germany Ralf Schumacher 7 ▲4
8 Germany Nick Heidfeld 5 ▲9
9 Canada Jacques Villeneuve 5 ▲1
10 Brazil Felipe Massa 4 ▼3
11 Australia Mark Webber 3 ▼3
12 Brazil Rubens Barrichello 2 ▲2
13 Germany Nico Rosberg 2 ▼4
14 United Kingdom David Coulthard 1 ▲1
15 Austria Christian Klien 1 ▼3
World Championship for Constructors
Pos. Team Pts. +/-
1 France Renault 42
2 United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 23 ▲1
3 Italy Ferrari 15 ▼1
4 Japan Honda 13
5 Germany BMW Sauber 10 ▲1
6 Japan Toyota 7 ▲1
7 United Kingdom Williams-Cosworth 5 ▼2
8 United Kingdom Red Bull-Ferrari 2

Only point scoring drivers and constructors are shown.

ReferencesEdit

Images and Videos:

References:

  1. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named GP
  2. 'Australia 2006: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2006/australie/engages.aspx, (Accessed 03/02/2020)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 '2006 FORMULA 1™ Foster's Australian Grand Prix - QUALIFYING', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Limited, 2006), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/2006/races/792/australia/qualifying.html, (Accessed 03/02/2020)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 'Australia 2006: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2006/australie/classement.aspx, (Accessed 03/02/2020)
  5. '2006 Australian GP', chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2014), https://web.archive.org/web/20190409230618/http://chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=2006&gp=Australian%20GP&r=1, (Accessed 03/02/2020) - Original
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 '3. Australia 2006', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2006/australie.aspx, (Accessed 03/02/2020)
V T E Australia Australian Grand Prix
Circuits Adelaide Street Circuit (1985–1995) • Albert Park Circuit (1996–present)
Albert Park
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V T E 2006 Formula One Season
Teams Renault • McLaren • Ferrari • Toyota • Williams • Honda • Red Bull • BMW Sauber • Midland • Toro Rosso • Super Aguri
Engines BMW • Cosworth • Ferrari • Honda • Mercedes • Renault • Toyota
Drivers Alonso • 2 Fisichella • 3 Räikkönen • 4 Montoya • 4 De la Rosa • 5 M. Schumacher • 6 Massa • 7 R. Schumacher • 8 Trulli • 9 Webber • 10 Rosberg • 11 Barrichello • 12 Button • 14 Coulthard • 15 Klien • 15 Doornbos • 16 Heidfeld • 17 Villeneuve • 17 Kubica • 18 Monteiro • 19 Albers • 20 Liuzzi • 21 Speed • 22 Sato • 23 Ide • 23 Montagny • 23 Yamamoto
Other Drivers Badoer • Davidson • Hamilton • Kovalainen • Piquet • Sutil • Vettel • Wurz
Cars Renault R26 • Ferrari 248 F1 • McLaren MP4-21 • Honda RA106 • BMW Sauber F1.06 • Toyota TF106 • Red Bull RB2 • Williams FW28 • Toro Rosso STR1 • Midland M16 • Super Aguri SA05 • Super Aguri SA06
Tyres Bridgestone • Michelin
Races Bahrain • Malaysia • Australia • San Marino • Europe • Spain • Monaco • Britain • Canada • United States • France • Germany • Hungary • Turkey • Italy • China • Japan • Brazil
See also 2005 Formula One Season • 2007 Formula One Season • Category
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