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Australian Grand Prix facts and figures
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Facts and figures for Sunday's season-opening Australian Formula One Grand Prix in Melbourne:

Venue: Albert Park. 5.303 km (3.295 miles) street circuit. Race to be held over 58 laps (307.574 km/191.110 miles).

GMT start time: 06: 00 (2pm Beijing Time)

2008 pole position: Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren 1:26.714

Lap record: Michael Schumacher (Germany) Ferrari, 1:24.125 (2004).

Last five races in Melbourne:

2008 - Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren

Hamilton won a crash-strewn race from pole position. Only seven starters were still running at the finish and neither Ferrari took the chequered flag. The safety car was deployed three times. Honda's Barrichello was disqualified for exiting the pits under a red light, lifting Ferrari's champion Raikkonen to eighth place. Toro Rosso's Sebastien Bourdais became the 57th F1 driver to score on his debut.

2007 - Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari

Raikkonen won on his Ferrari debut after starting on pole. Alonso was second for McLaren with debutant Hamilton, who overtook his Spanish teammate at the start, third after leading for four laps. Ferrari's Felipe Massa started at the back of the grid due to an engine change and finished sixth.

2006 - Fernando Alonso (Spain) Renault

Alonso took his second win of the season in an incident-packed race. Ferrari's Michael Schumacher and teammate Felipe Massa both crashed. Jenson Button started on pole and failed to finish after his Honda engine caught fire.

2005 - Giancarlo Fisichella (Italy) Renault

Fisichella's second career win came from pole after a rain-hit qualifying. Schumacher started on the back row and retired after a collision with German compatriot Nick Heidfeld. Alonso roared from 13th to third. Raikkonen started from the pitlane after stalling on the grid.

2004 - Michael Schumacher (Germany) Ferrari

Ferrari ran away with the season-opener after blitzing their rivals in practice. Schumacher started on pole and set the fastest lap. He went on to equal Nigel Mansell's 1992 feat of winning the first five races of the season.

The Australian Grand Prix was first held in 1985 on a street circuit in Adelaide and was the last race of the season. In 1996, it switched to Melbourne's Albert Park.

(Reuters via China Daily March 26, 2009)

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