Amidst the tumultuous news regarding Bottas’ back injury, Sauber’s lucky break with Giedo Van Der Garde dropping his suit against the team and alarming rumours that Alonso may not return to his McLaren seat at all, I felt it prudent to put the F1 alarmist media palaver surrounding this year’s Australian Grand Prix into a bit of perspective.
5 things you probably didn’t know about the Australian Grand Prix.
Something old. While the first Australian Grand Prix was held all the way back in 1928, and having been a stable event on the motorsport circuit Down Under, it didn’t become part of the F1 calendar until 1986.
A family affair. As Nico Rosberg will be attempting to out-perform Lewis Hamilton this weekend and make the Melbourne circuit his own, it is interesting to remember that his father, Keke Rosberg, made history as he won the first ever F1 Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide 1986.
All time winner. McLaren have always had a great track record in Australia, maybe because of their Kiwi associations through founder Bruce McLaren, but fact remains that with 12 race wins they remain the most successful F1 team across the Australian circuits.
Brundle’s original sky bundle. When the Australian Grand Prix moved to Albert Park in 1996, the 1st lap saw Martin Brundle (the top-bellied bloke from Sky’s coverage) crash in spectacular fashion by launching himself into the air.
The first team orders. While team orders are now accepted as part of the sport, this is only a recent development. When David Coulthard let team mate Mika Hakkinen pass him on the last lap of the Melbourne Grand Prix in 1998, effectively handing over the win, in order to honour a pre-race agreement stating whoever were though the first corner first would win the race. This little trick subsequently resulted in team orders being banned.