Highlights in Australia: Senna and Prost finish together, Ricciardo surprises

09-03-2020 17:08
by Nicolás Quarles van Ufford
General
Highlights in Australia: Senna and Prost finish together, Ricciardo surprises

With the Australian Grand Prix coming up later this week, it's the perfect time to look back at some of the best versions of the Grand Prix in the past since the first edition in 1985.

Australian GP in Adelaide

While the Australian Grand Prix is now held at Albert Park in Melbourne, it's not always been that way. Between 1985 and 1995 the race soared through the streets of Adelaide, and it that time F1 fans saw many good races there. The Senna and Prost (and Schumacher!) era saw some good battles there.

Senna and Prost bury the hatchet

The most iconic Australian Grand Prix moment didn't even come on the track. In 1993 Adelaide was the last race of the season. Alain Prost had been crowned champion for the fourth time in his career for Williams, who had by far the quickest car on the grid that season thanks to their active suspension.

Prost and Ayrton Senna had been bitter rivals for years since they were teammates at McLaren. When Prost set off for Williams in '93, he had it in black and white Senna wasn't allowed to join the team next to him. Prost subsequently won the title that year, but Senna won the last race in Adelaide. As it was Prost's final race in Formula 1, Senna iconically asked Prost to share the top step of the podium with him.

After Prost hung up his gloves, he grew closer with Senna until the Brazilian's sudden passing at Imola in 1994.

Hill vs. Schumacher

In 1994, we get another iconic race in Adelaide. Michael Schumacher was in pole position for the title but Damon Hill had made it an interesting battle by the end of the season, closing the gap to just one point ahead of the Australian Grand Prix. Schumacher took the lead in the race, however.

Schumacher then goes into the wall, practically ending his race. Hill, who didn't see Schumacher make his error, spotted a gap and went for the overtake. Schumacher cleverly closes the door, causing contact and ending both of their races. Schumacher was crowned champion, Hill second because of the accident.

Raikkonen wins in Melbourne

Fast forward to 2007. Kimi Raikkonen had made the move to Ferrari after years of missing out on the title at McLaren. Following up the retired Schumacher was always going to be a tall order, but the Finn got off to a fantastic start, claiming pole position and winning the Australian Grand Prix in his first race at Ferrari.

Another man making his debut was Lewis Hamilton. The rookie impressed mightily in his F1 debut. Expected to be second fiddle to teammate and two-time defending champion Fernando Alonso, Hamilton was the one standing on the podium as he passed the Spaniard at turn one of the race. His career went pretty well from that point onwards, didn't it?

BrawnGP's fairy tale gets underway

Honda suddenly pulled the plug on their F1 project at the end of 2008, leaving both Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello without a job. Ross Brawn jumped in, but up until right before the season went underway, it wasn't actually certain whether the newly named BrawnGP would make an appearance. They would of course make it, and then some. Button won the race and kicked off what would turn out to be one of the biggest fairytale stories in F1 history.

Armed with their double diffuser, Brawn managed to win six of the first seven races. It turns out to be enough for the team to claim the title, with Button clinching his first and only title while also winning the constructors' championship.

An Aussie on the podium

In 2014, Daniel Ricciardo was promoted to Red Bull Racing after Mark Webber had announced his retirement. The Aussie partnered up with Sebastian Vettel, who entered 2014 having won the previous four titles on the bounce. Mercedes proved to be the best team by some way in 2014, however.

The season opener was a good one, with just 13 cars making the finish line. One of them was Ricciardo, who finished on the podium in front of his home crowd. The party in Melbourne was short-lived, however, as Ricciardo had used too much fuel. He was disqualified and lost his place. F1 debutant Kevin Magnussen finished second for McLaren, which proved to be his best-ever result to date.

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