F1 »

Australia 2005: Fisichella plunders down under.

Giancarlo Fisichella may have been fortunate to take pole position for the Australian Grand Prix, but he made no mistake in a flawless race performance to double his F1 victory tally with a lights-to-flag success in Melbourne.

Not needing Renault's legendary launch system to carry him into an early lead, the Italian eased away from compatriot Jarno Trulli over the opening half-dozen laps, establishing a cushion that served him well over the rest of the afternoon. Trulli proved to be the only driver able to live with the R25 in the opening stages, after a first lap reshuffle saw David Coulthard and Mark Webber lose time as they continued to duel and various slower cars propelled up the order in a topsy-turvy qualifying gradually become rolling roadblocks for faster machinery behind.

A string of fastest laps - although not new records owing to the winter rule changes - saw Fisichella ease away from his pursuers, all of whom, Felipe Massa excepted, opted for the same two-stop strategy as the pole man. Renault had shown its pace in testing, but no-one quite expected Fisichella to control the race in quite the fashion he did.

The Italian's task was eased, of course, by the fact that much of the expected opposition was mired down the order after being caught out by the conditions in Saturday qualifying. Although the second session, held on race morning, would usually offer a chance for redress, the margins were so great that only a few managed to claw back vital positions. It was then left up to the first lap skirmishing to establish the running order, but the likes of Michael Schumacher, Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Montoya never made up enough ground to be serious threats.

The world champion made his job harder by opting for a between sessions engine change that ensured he would start from the back row, while Raikkonen's fractious weekend got worse when he stalled on the grid and had to start from pit-lane. The Finn turned in a blinding opening lap to be sitting directly behind Schumacher at its end, but the pair were only 15th and 16th, and bottled up behind Takuma Sato and the one-stopping Felipe Massa.

Montoya made a better fist of it, bolting from ninth on the grid to seventh at the start, but then found himself on the tail of a train that stretched as far as third. The man driving the train was none other than that who JPM replaced at Woking, for David Coulthard had made a good getaway to usurp Jacques Villeneuve - who moved the opposite way down the field - and dived inside local hero Mark Webber at turn four to claim third. Webber gave valiant chase, while Williams team-mate Nick Heidfeld moved up to fifth after his own good start.

Villeneuve was among the biggest losers on lap one, dropping to ninth, while former BAR team-mate Jenson Button also lost vital ground as he dropped back to eleventh. Benefiting from the Briton's misfortune was the second Renault of Fernando Alonso and Rubens Barrichello, who sensed a rare early season opportunity to be best Ferrari. Both would play a central role.

The Italian axis at the front of the field lasted until Trulli became the first to stop for fuel under the new rules that prevented tyre changes also taking place. That did not stop the Toyota team - and others after them - still fielding as many men around the car as before and, frankly, it looked a little incongruous. Trulli's stop prompted a chain reaction down the field but, with Fisichella not requiring a top-up for a further five laps, did little to prevent his fellow Italian from extending his advantage.

The action, as has become the norm over the past twelve months, was taking place deeper in the field, with Alonso passing Villeneuve at Ascari, before being repassed at the next turn by the still feisty Canadian. The battle continued to rage for sometime, until the charging Spaniard repeated the move and made it stick ten laps later. Once free of the Sauber, Alonso began to make the second Renault fly, trading fastest laps with the frontrunners and making a solid points finish look possible.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Race winner Giancarlo Fisichella savours victory at the Australian Grand Prix
David Coulthard - Red Bull-Cosworth RB1
The retired Ferrari of Michael Schumacher at the Australian Grand Prix
09.11.2014 - Cyril Abiteboul (FRA), Renault F1 and Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of FOM
09.11.2014 - Cyril Abiteboul (FRA), Renault F1 and Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of FOM
09.11.2014 - Cyril Abiteboul (FRA), Renault F1 and Federico Gastaldi (ARG) Lotus F1 Team Deputy Team Principal
09.11.2014 - Cyril Abiteboul (FRA), Renault F1 and Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of FOM
09.11.2014 - Cyril Abiteboul (FRA), Renault F1 and Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of FOM
09.11.2014 - Cyril Abiteboul (FRA), Renault F1 and Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of FOM
09.11.2014 - Cyril Abiteboul (FRA), Renault F1 and Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of FOM
09.11.2014 - Cyril Abiteboul (FRA), Renault F1Cyril Abiteboul (FRA), Renault F1
08.11.2014 - Free Practice 3, Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of FOM, Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director and Cyril Abiteboul (FRA), Renault F1
08.11.2014 - Free Practice 3, Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of FOM, Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director and Cyril Abiteboul (FRA), Renault F1
08.11.2014 - Free Practice 3, Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of FOM, Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director and Cyril Abiteboul (FRA), Renault F1
08.11.2014 - Free Practice 3, Helmut Marko (AUT), Red Bull Racing, Red Bull Advisor, Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director and Cyril Abiteboul (FRA), Renault F1
08.11.2014 - Free Practice 3, Helmut Marko (AUT), Red Bull Racing, Red Bull Advisor, Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director and Cyril Abiteboul (FRA), Renault F1
01.11.2014 - Cyril Abiteboul (FRA), Renault F1
01.11.2014 - (L-R) Cyril Abiteboul (FRA), Renault F1 and Tony Parker, basketball player.

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.