F1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix


  • Track Length 5.3 km
  • Lap Record 1:24.125
  • Laps 58

Last Race


  • 23/11/2014
  • 1st: Hamilton

Most wins


  • Michael Schumacher

Official Site

Rolex Australian Grand Prix website

Rolex Australian Grand Prix Links

'Damage limitation' says Alonso

Ferrari ace relieved to salvage fifth place

By Mike Wise in Melbourne.   Last Updated: 18/03/12 11:09am

  • Share:
Fernando Alonso: Salvaged fifth place for Ferrari in the Australian Grand Prix

Fernando Alonso: Salvaged fifth place for Ferrari in the Australian Grand Prix

Fernando Alonso admitted he was relieved to finish fifth in the Australian Grand Prix as Ferrari salvaged a respectable result at the end of a difficult weekend.


Sky Sports F1 HD is THE only place to watch the 2012 Formula One season in full. We will have live and exclusive coverage of the Malaysian Grand Prix starting with P1 on Friday.
FRIDAY - P1 from 1.45am. P2 from 5.45am
SATURDAY - P3 from 4.45am. Q from 7am
SUNDAY - Race from 7.30am
To find out all the different ways to watch the action, click here

Having started 12th on the grid after spinning out of qualifying, the double World Champion made a fast start at Albert Park and ended the day the top runner behind both McLarens and Red Bulls.

"Obviously I'm very happy with the result. I think it was damage limitation, let's say, in terms of the number of points we get from this weekend," he said. "It was a tough weekend from Friday and qualifying both cars out of Q3 was not the best result for us.

"Then in the race we did a good start and a good strategy and to finish fifth behind the two McLarens and Red Bulls is for sure the best news from the weekend in terms of the team."

Same car

The result came at the end of a weekend in which Alonso and team-mate Felipe Massa were seen to be struggling with the handling of Ferrari's F2012 chassis.

Both drivers complained about the car, with Alonso saying that it lacks downforce. Yet, in the immediate aftermath of the race, the Spaniard seemed at a loss to explain the improvement.

"It definitely was the same car, the FIA didn't allow us to change anything," he quipped. "It was a very good race for us in terms of preparation for the race.

"Ferrari is Ferrari - there are cars that are maybe quicker than us now, but it's like when Manchester United or Chelsea play one bad game but they still win 1-0."

Alonso may have been happy with the result but with Ferrari's chief rivals already established themselves in familiar territory at the front of the field, he called on his team to redouble their efforts to improve.

"For sure there is a lot of work to improve the cars in the next couple of weeks. Let's say one second off the pace yesterday in qualy is too much and hopefully in the next couple of races we'll improve tenths," he said.

"The difference here is that one second is maybe 12 or 14 cars, so if you improve two or three tenths it doesn't mean anything. Maybe you are five positions better next race - it's something that we need to improve very quick."


A feature of Alonso's race was his late battle with Pastor Maldonado, which was settled decisively when the Williams driver crashed on the final lap.

However, Alonso reckoned the situation was always under control.

"I felt sorry for him - it was a shame for him fighting for fifth or sixth place to lose the position six corners to the end. But at the same time it was eight laps with a very close fight," he added.

"It was not too difficult to defend to be honest. Using the KERS on the main straight and after Turn 1, obviously you have it available because you cross the line and have the 100 per cent again available.

"The two DRS zones, for the car in front you use two times 100 per cent of the KERS, so it was made a bit easier."

While Alonso made strides in Melbourne, it was a different story for Massa. The Brazilian climbed as high as eighth place during the early laps before falling away again.

Massa lost places to both Kamui Kobayashi and Kimi Raikkonen on lap 27, with his race ending 20 laps later after a collision with Bruno Senna's Williams.

  • Share:


Australian Grand Prix 2012

Vettel led Hamilton home after jumping him at the stops

'Nothing McLaren could do'

McLaren realised it was inevitable Vettel would overtake Hamilton for second place in Australia once the safety car was called, reports Ted Kravitz.

Heikki Kovalainen: failed to finish in Melbourne

Grid penalty for Kovalainen

Heikki Kovalainen will be penalised five places on the grid at next weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix.

Kimi Raikkonen: Return to Formula One could have gone much better

Disappointing weekend for Kimi

Kimi Raikkonen admitted his return to Formula One at the Australian Grand Prix was "far from ideal", although Eric Boullier was more upbeat.

Related Profiles

Most Popular


Get Sky Sports F1

Get Sky Sports F1

Watch every grand prix, and every track session, live on Sky F1 in 2015, starting on March 15 in Australia

F1 dates for 2015

F1 dates for 2015

Your essential one-stop guide to the driver line-ups, testing and race schedules for next season.

Malaysia track guide

Malaysia track guide

Take a trip around the Sepang circuit in the company of Sky Sports F1's Anthony Davidson.