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Formula One World Championship 2008

Round 01: Australian GP

  • Race Results
  • Qualifying
Australia
Australia
March 16, 2008

Australian Grand Prix: Race Results

Honda Racing F1 Team

Rubens Barrichello delivered a strong, determined drive at Albert Park in the opening race of the 2008 season, but the delight at a sixth place finish was replaced with disappointment as he was excluded from the points after a pitlane infringement.

Rubens Barrichello
Rubens Barrichello
Jenson Button
Jenson Button

The season-opener was a race of high attrition, with only seven cars making it to the finish, and Jenson was one of the unfortunate retirees. He made a good start, passing Fernando Alonso away from the line, but in the first corner melee he suffered an impact with Sebastian Vettel which broke the left rear suspension of Jenson’s car, leaving the rear wheel askew and ending his race there and then.

"I got a good start off the line, getting past Alonso and running alongside Vettel,” said Jenson. “Unfortunately it was just a racing incident that caused the damage as we were going three or four cars abreast down to the very narrow and quick first corner. I tapped Vettel in the sidepod which seemed to spin him and then he turned in and hit my rear wheel as I was going past. I thought that I could get back to the garage and see if the car could be fixed, but the damage was too bad to continue as the rear left corner trackrod was broken.”

Shortly after Rubens was called in for the second of two planned pitstops, Timo Glock had a crash and the safety car was deployed. The team had no alternative but to continue to bring him in because he was out of fuel, although the team realized that the pitlane was going to be closed due to the safety car and that this would result in a 10-second stop-go penalty.

During the pitstop the lollipop was lifted just a fraction early while the fuel hose was just coming off the car. After the pitstop Rubens exited the pitlane when the lights were still red which is in breach of the regulations.

A tough set of circumstances after an otherwise very committed drive by Rubens. He got a good start and was able to keep Kimi Raikkonen behind him for 19 laps, so it is the positives that the team take away from this weekend.

“Although the final result of today’s race is so disappointing,” commented the Brazilian, “I’m really pleased with my performance and that we were able to get the best out of the car. It was a crazy race today and I lost control of the front damper after the first pit stop, so my race was more difficult from there. It’s tough to finish the day like this.

“The signs from the weekend show that this car has great potential and the guys back at the factory have done a fantastic job over the last few weeks on its development. It was good to complete a full race distance to increase our understanding of the car. We'll now look forward to Malaysia and optimizing the performance of the car there.”

Team Principal Ross Brawn, at his first race with the Honda Racing F1 Team, leaves Melbourne with several positives, not least that the potential of the RA108 has been proven. He said: “In qualifying we saw that the pace of the car was in the midfield and today’s race confirmed that we have the potential to fight for points, which is our target. The aerodynamic package for Melbourne has worked well but a further step is required to move us up the grid and enable us to be a regular contender in Q3.”

After the team’s mixed fortunes of today, it has just one week until the next race on the calendar, the Malaysian Grand Prix on 23 March, in which they will aim to get both cars to the finish.

SUPER AGURI F1 TEAM

The Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne today was not without incident for everyone out on the track. SUPER AGURI F1 TEAM drivers Takuma Sato and Anthony Davidson endured dry and extremely hot weather conditions during what turned out to be an eventful inaugural race of the 2008 season.


Takuma Sato
Takuma Sato
Anthony Davidson
Anthony Davidson

Takuma had a tentative race start, but made up several positions in his usual style on the first lap. Anthony made a clean get-away, however at turn three on lap one he became sandwiched between two cars which came to an arrowhead in front of him. His race immediately came to an end when he had to retire to the pits. After an encouraging middle stint, Takuma’s run ended on lap 32 when he stopped out on track with no drive.

Takuma Sato
"It was a difficult race for us. I did not get off the start well, but after that I fought back for position and gained a few places in the first lap, and that was an exciting moment battling in the first stint. After the first pitstop and a few laps we had a problem and I had to stop, which is a shame as everyone has done such a good job to get us here and make it happen. But I think that we collected very valuable information and data today, so I cannot wait to get started again in Malaysia."
Anthony Davidson
"It is disappointing to have an early retirement from the Australian Grand Prix. I am really frustrated that I couldn’t do the laps that I wanted to today and finish the race, as that was my main aim. We haven’t had much time in the car this weekend or in testing and it was really important to get that done today, so it is gutting not to have done that. I feel that through no fault of my own I was sandwiched between two cars, trying to avoid the inevitable. I tried to brake to get away from it and the cars right and left just rode over my front wheels, so there was no where for me to go."
Aguri Suzuki, Team Principal
"I would like to thank all my staff and drivers as I know that it was a very difficult winter period for the team. We are now here in Australia and although we have not completed enough pre-season testing, I think that everyone has done an excellent job this week, even though we had limited running in Friday’s practice, Qualifying and in the race. Anthony was very unlucky after the start, but Takuma had a good start and showed well in the race. We did not finish both cars, but we are here, we have started the 2008 season and our fighting spirit has not diminished."
Formula One World Championship
Round 01: Australian GP
Rank Driver (Team)
1L HAMILTON (McLaren-Mercedes)
2N HEIDFELD (BMW)
3N ROSBERG (Williams-Toyota)
4F ALONSO (Renault)
5H KOVALAINEN (McLaren-Mercedes)
6K NAKAJIMA (Williams-Toyota)
7S Bourdais (STR-Ferrari)
8K RAIKKONEN (Ferrari)
DNFR KUBICA (BMW)
DNFT Glock (Toyota)
DNFT SATO (SUPER AGURI F1 TEAM)
DNFN Piquet (Renault)
DNFF MASSA (Ferrari)
DNFD COULTHARD (Red Bull-Renault)
DNFJ TRULLI (Toyota)
DNFA SUTIL (Force India-Ferrari)
DNFS VETTEL (STR-Ferrari)
DNFJ BUTTON (Honda Racing F1 Team)
DNFM WEBBER (Red Bull-Renault)
DNFG FISICHELLA (Force India-Ferrari)
DNFA DAVIDSON (SUPER AGURI F1 TEAM)
DNQR BARRICHELLO (Honda Racing F1 Team)

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