Australian GP: McLaren race notes

Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton finished today's Australian Grand Prix in second and third places respectively achieving an almost perfect start to the season for the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team. Lewis' third place was the best ...

Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton finished today's Australian Grand Prix in second and third places respectively achieving an almost perfect start to the season for the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team. Lewis' third place was the best performance from a rookie driver since 1996 and the English man even lead the race for a few laps.

Today's result puts the team in the lead of the Constructors' Championship. Both drivers were on a two-stop strategy. Fernando came in on laps 22 (9.3 seconds) and 45 (6.5 seconds) and Lewis entered the pitlane on laps 23 (8.7 seconds) and 43 (8.2 seconds).

Fernando Alonso: 2nd

"What a great way to start the season and my career as a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver. Of course it's always better to win but Kimi was a little bit quicker than us today, however we scored the maximum points that were possible, and I'm really pleased."

"My start was a bit strange with both BMWs being very quick off the line, and I was so busy defending my line from Heidfeld on the outside that it was not possible for me to stay ahead of him. I was then behind Lewis for a while and was just focusing on keeping up with him and sometimes dropping back to allow the car to cool down."

"I took second after the second pitstop as I was able to stay out for an additional two laps. Originally it was meant to be one lap but because I was behind Lewis I managed to save enough fuel for one more lap. Both of the Bridgestone Potenza tyre options worked well. We will now continue to work hard to give us the best opportunity to beat Ferrari at the Malaysian Grand Prix."

Lewis Hamilton: 3rd

"I'm absolutely ecstatic -- today's result is more than I ever dreamed of achieving on my Grand Prix debut. A big thank you to the team who have worked so hard during the winter to make sure I was as prepared as I possible could be."

"I made a good start but the BMWs were quick off the line and Kubica managed to get past. There was no room on the inside so I got on the left and managed to outbrake both Kubica and Fernando coming into the first corner to take third. The race was intense, and I was working very hard. I made a few mistakes but nothing major and really enjoyed myself."

"It was great to lead the race for a few laps, but I knew it was only a temporary thing. Fernando got past me at the second pitstop as he was able to stay out a bit longer and I lost some time behind backmarkers. We now have a lot of work ahead of us with the Malaysia test and the rest of the season, but there is no doubt that we can build from what has been achieved today."

Ron Dennis:

"Of course as always we came to Australia to win, but a somewhat unexpected strategy adopted by BMW was very disruptive to our race. Following Heidfeld's first pitstop the gap was just too big to realistically close it and the additional range from our strategy was subsequently wasted. Both drivers did an excellent job giving us a narrow lead in the Constructors' Championship."

"A special thank you to the test team and the workforce back at the McLaren Technology Centre who have worked so hard during the winter and contributed so much to the faultless reliability that we have enjoyed throughout the weekend. The coming Malaysian test should give us every opportunity to further improve the competitiveness of our cars."

Norbert Haug:

"The season started well with Fernando and Lewis scoring 14 points out of 18 possible on their debut race for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. Fernando showed with his performance exactly why he is the double world champion whilst Lewis made a perfect start to his Grand Prix career and proved absolutely worthy of the confidence we have had in him for the past ten years."

"Although we still have to work hard to further improve our technical package we showed today that throughout the winter we have made improvements. We will now focus on the Malaysia test and are looking forward to the next race. Thanks to everybody in the team in Woking, Brixworth and Stuttgart, all their efforts will pay off."

-credit: mclaren

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Fernando Alonso , Norbert Haug , Lewis Hamilton
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes , McLaren