Australian GP 2006

APRIL 2, 2006

Race Incidents

Trulli, Coulthard, Australian GP 2006
© The Cahier Archive

At the end of the parade lap Juan-Pablo Montoya spins his McLaren as he tries to warm his tyres. He rejoins at the tail of the field but is saved by the fact that Giancarlo Fisichella stalls on the grid and the start is aborted. This means that Fisichella starts from the pitlane and Montoya is able to take up his grid position again. The race is reduced by one lap.

* Lap 1: At the start Button stays ahead of Alonso when the Spaniard tries an over-optimistic manoeuvre at the first corner. In the midfield there is carnage as Christian Klien loses comes off the kerb at the first corner and bumps into Felipe Massa. The Ferrari then smacks into the Williams of Nico Rosberg. Massa retires on the spot. Rosberg retires in the pits. Klien manages to get going again. Fisichella arrives on the scene and spins as well but avoids hitting anything. Further around the lap Jarno Trulli and David Coulthard touch at Turn 7 and Trulli spins. he is out but Coulthard gets going again. Montoya passes Raikkonen for third but is then repassed. A Safety Car is deployed and the race neutralised. At the end of the lap Button is still ahead with Alonso, Raikkonen and Montoya following. Ralf Schumacher is fifth ahead of Mark Webber, Nick Heidfeld, Michael Schumacher and the two Toro Rossos of Tonio Liuzzi and Scott Speed.

* Lap 2: The cars are behind the Safety Car but Juan Pablo Montoya drops back behind Ralf and Webber.

* Lap 4: The race restarts with Alonso getting the run on Button as they head up to the start-finish line. He quickly pulls ahead and has a lead of 2.7secs by the end of the lap. Behind them Webber and Montoya both overtake Ralf Schumacher to move up to fourth and fifth.

* Lap 5: Montoya passes Webber for fourth place. Further back Klien's Red Bull suddenly snaps to the left at Turn 9 and smashes into the wall.

* Lap 7: The Safety Car is deployed. Alonso has Button behind him with Raikkoenn, Montoya, Webber and Ralf Schumacher behind him. Heidfeld is seventh, followed by Michael Schumacher and Liuzzi.

* Lap 10: The race restarts with Raikkonen passing Button going into the first corner as Jenson struggles to get heat into his tyres. Fisichella passes David Coulthard and Rubens Barrichello to move up to 13th place. Further back Tiago Monteiro passes Yuji Ide for 17th.

* Lap 11: Fisichella passes Takuma Sato for 12th place.

* Lap 12: Raikkonen and Alonso trade fastest laps. Further back Liuzzi pulls off a neat move in Turn 6 to overtake Michael Schumacher for eighth place. Further back Fisichella passes Jacques Villeneuve for 11th.

* Lap 13: Raikkonen suddenly begins to lose time. A tyre vibration has caused a wing endplate to fall off and the car becomes a real handful.

* Lap 15: Alonso's lead is up to 5.7secs. Michael Schumacher is struggling and runs of the track as he tries to hold back Scott Speed. Fisichella closes on the pair of them

* Lap 16: Fisichella passes Speed for 10th place.

* Lap 17: Alonso sets another fastest lap to increase his lead to 7.5secs.

* Lap 18: Montoya is the first man to stop, dropping from fourth to 10th.

* Lap 19: Button and Ralf Schumacher head into the pits and are followed by Fisichella. This means that Webber moves up to third place with Heidfeld fourth, Liuzzi fifth and Michael Schumacher sixth. Montoya is seventh with Button eighth ahead of Ralf and Speed.

* Lap 20: Alonso pits. Raikkonen takes the lead with Webber second. Fernando rejoins in third.

* Lap 21: Raikkonen stops and Webber takes the lead. Alonso is second with Heidfeld third and Kimi fourth. Ralf Schumacher is given a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pitlane.

* Lap 22: Webber continues to lead the race, much to the delight of the Australian fans.

* Lap 23: Webber slows and pulls off with a transmission problem. Alonso goes back into the lead with Heidfeld second and Raikkonen third. Fourth-placed Liuzzi pits but it is not a good stop and he drops back to 10th. Ralf serves his penalty and drops behind Villeneuve. Further back 12th-placed Sato stops and Rubens Barrichello and David Coulthard are able to speed up after a frustrating period in the first stint.

* Lap 24: Speed stops and drops from seventh to 11th.

* Lap 25: Heidfeld and Michael Schumacher head for the pits. Raikkonen moves up to second but is now 13secs behind Alonso. Montoya is third but 8secs behind his team mate. Heidfeld is fourth with Button fifth and Michael Schumacher sixth. Villeneuve is under pressure from Ralf Schumacher with Liuzzi closing on the pair of them.

* Lap 29: Coulthard has his first stop and drops from 13th to 14th.

* Lap 30: Barrichello has his first stop and falls from 12th to 13th. Michael Schumacher is now lapping very quickly and obviously right on the limit as he runs off the road again as he chases after Button.

* Lap 33: Montoya has an off but stays third. Michael loses control of his Ferrari and crashes heavily at the last corner. Villeneuve goes straight into the pits as the Safety Car is deployed. Everyone heads for the pits. This is bad news for Montoya because he arrives with Raikkonen in the pit ahead of him and so he loses time. The McLaren team changes his front wing to fix the handling of the car. This delays both men.

* Lap 38: The race restarts with a mess as the leaders try to get through the backmarkers. At Turn 2 Liuzzi is pitched into the wall after Villeneuve pushes him onto the grass. It is a big crash and the Safety Car is deployed again. The order is now Alonso ahead of Raikkonen, Ralf Schumacher, Heidfeld. Montoya and Button. Fisichella is seventh ahead of Villeneuve, Speed and Barrichello. Rubens and Coulthard takes advantage of the Safety Car to pit again.

* Lap 39: Montoya passes Heidfeld behind the Safety Car.

* Lap 41: The race restarts and almost immediately Monteiro retires with a mechanical problem.

* Lap 42: Barrichello passes Speed for ninth place.

* Lap 46: Montoya is right behind Ralf Schumacher but nearly crashes at the last corner and retires immediately with an electrical problem after a very big moment.

* Lap 47: The order is now settled with Alonso seven seconds ahead of Raikkonen. Ralf is third but dropping away rapidly. Heidfeld is fourth ahead of Button, Fisichella, Villeneuve and Barrichello. Speed is behind them under attack from Coulthard.

* Lap 57: The order is unchanged but Alonso backs off and Raikkonen sets the fastest lap of the race so the two men finish just 1.8secs apart. Ralf is third more than 20secs behind. Heidfeld is fourth. Button has been under huge pressure from Fisichella for several laps. At the penultimate corner his engine blows. He stays ahead through the final corner with flames coming from the back of the car but pulls over and parks just before the finish line. Fisichella thus takes fifth with Villeneuve sixth. Barrichello is seventh and Scott Speed stays ahead of Coulthard to take his first point.