Tag Archives: hamilton

Scottish football fans handed community service after violent clash in retail park

Fans spared jail over violent clash between Dundee and Hamilton fans in retail park

By
Matt Coyle

PUBLISHED:

14:30 GMT, 23 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:36 GMT, 23 April 2013

A gang of hooligans who fought rival fans in a busy retail park as horrified families looked on escaped jail today.

The violent bust-up unfolded at New Douglas Retail Park in Hamilton, Lanarkshire, between supporters of Hamilton Academical and Dundee.

Two gangs of up to 30 'casuals' ran riot, battered each other and even spat at disgusted onlookers.

Shaun Murray, 27, Liam Fullerton, 18,
Daniel Weir, 21, Jamie Gilchrist, 29, all from Dundee, and Joseph
Roeves, 19, from Hamilton, were on trial at Hamilton Sheriff Court last
month.

Walking free: (left to right) Shaun Murray, Liam Fullerton, and Jamie Gilchrist must do community service

Walking free: (left to right) Shaun Murray, Liam Fullerton, and Jamie Gilchrist must do community service

They had denied fighting and causing fear and alarm on the day of a Scottish First Division match on December 3, 2011.

A jury found them guilty but on Tuesday they walked free from court after Sheriff Ray Small ordered each of them to perform 250 hours of unpaid work.

However he refused to hand down Football Banning Orders despite prosecutors asking for them to be imposed.

A 13-day trial had heard how shoppers and young children were forced to run into shops for cover as the violent encounter unfolded.

The gangs, who all dressed in casual clothes and wore no football colours, fought and launched bottles at each other. One innocent man who was with his young daughter was even spat at by one of the thugs.

Sales manager Sean Bicknell, 28, described how mayhem had erupted when the gangs clashed near Accies’ ground.

He
said: 'It was mayhem. I would describe it as a large scale disorder. It
wasn’t just one on one fights going on. It was four on one. My
impression was it was an organised event.'

Lyndsay Farrell, 31, from Motherwell, was shopping in the area at the time the fight broke out.

She told the court how she was forced to take cover in her car as the shocking incident spiralled out of control.

Scary scenes: The violence erupted at at New Douglas Retail Park in Hamilton, Lanarkshire

Scary scenes: The violence erupted at at New Douglas Retail Park in Hamilton, Lanarkshire

Miss Farrell said: 'I could see people in front of me who had a hold of one male. They were punching and kicking him and tried to drag him to the ground. A lot of them had bloody noses and things.'

Defence lawyers for all five men said the incident was out of character for them and only Roeves had a previous conviction.

Passing sentence, Sheriff Small said: 'We had to sit through a very lengthy trial about the activities and actions of the accused and particularly those who travelled from Dundee.

'I am in no doubt that those who travelled down got involved in a very unpleasant incident.

'I want to make it clear that if there was evidence that any of you had been personally involved in knocking anyone to the ground, throwing bottles or other violence you would be receiving a prison sentence.

'However it is unclear from the evidence whether you were directly involved in the disorder or were on the fringes but the fact you got involved means you deserve to be punished.

'I will impose a Community Payback Order of 250 hours to be completed over 12 months.'

Sheriff Small said he would tell Hamilton Accademical and Dundee FC of the convictions.

Ryan Devaney, 23, of Dundee had earlier walked free after the jury found the charge against him not proven.

BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX 2013: Nico Rosberg on pole as Lewis Hamilton starts ninth after penalty

Rosberg on pole for Bahrain Grand Prix as Hamilton starts ninth after grid penalty

PUBLISHED:

12:05 GMT, 20 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:17 GMT, 20 April 2013

Nico Rosberg will start from pole position for only the second time in his career at tomorrow's Bahrain Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver will be joined on the front row by Sebastian Vettel with Fernando Alonso in third.

Hamilton, who was out-qualified by his team-mate Rosberg for the first time in his Mercedes career, starts in ninth after being handed a five-place grid drop.

Man in the middle: Nico Rosberg will start tomorrow's grand prix from the front of the pack ahead of Sebastian Vettel (right) and Fernando Alonso

Man in the middle: Nico Rosberg will start tomorrow's grand prix from the front of the pack ahead of Sebastian Vettel (right) and Fernando Alonso

Job done: Today's pole for Rosberg is only the second of his Formula One career

Job done: Today's pole for Rosberg is only the second of his Formula One career

The British driver will be joined on the
fifth row by former McLaren team-mate Jenson Button who failed to post a
competitive time in Q3 for the second successive race.

It is the first time since last year's race in China that Rosberg will lead away the field, and the first time this season he has out-qualified team-mate Hamilton.

Following Hamilton's pole in Shanghai, Rosberg handed Mercedes back-to-back poles for the first time since their return to the grid in 2010.

Hamilton cut a bitterly unhappy figure post race as he knows such an incident undoubtedly affects his early title hopes, with the Briton currently 12 points adrift of Red Bull's Vettel.

Asked for his thoughts on a potential rule change, Hamilton said: 'It doesn't really matter. The rules are the rules.

'I've got a penalty and I will have to suck it up and deal with it. I just got unlucky as I think it was some debris with the tyre.'

Red Bull's Mark Webber was fifth quickest, but like Hamilton, faces a penalty of three places after colliding with the Toro Rosso of Jean-Eric Vergne last weekend.

Blow: Lewis Hamilton was handed a five-place grid penalty after he was forced to change his gearbox

Blow: Lewis Hamilton was handed a five-place grid penalty after he was forced to change his gearbox

Head down: Hamilton (right) was out-qualified by Rosberg for the first time in his Mercedes career

Head down: Hamilton (right) was out-qualified by Rosberg for the first time in his Mercedes career

BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX QUALIFYING

1. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)
2. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)
3. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)
4. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)*
5. Mark Webber (Red Bull)**
6. Felipe Massa (Ferrari)
7. Paul Di Resta (Force India)
8. Adrian Sutil (Force India)
9. Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus)
10. Jenson Button (McLaren)

* Lewis Hamilton handed five-place grid penalty
** Mark Webber handed three-place grid penalty

It means Felipe Massa will move up to fourth in his Ferrari, with the Force India's of Paul Di Resta and Adrian Sutil lining up fifth and sixth.

Then comes Webber, who actually only loses two places courtesy of Hamilton, followed by Kimi Raikkonen in his Lotus who moves from ninth to eighth.

In 11th and 12th, after dropping out in Q2 will be Romain Grosjean in his Lotus and McLaren's Sergio Perez, beaten by team-mates Raikkonen and Button respectively for the fourth straight race.

Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo, who a week ago in China qualified seventh, will start 13th tomorrow, with team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne 16th.

Sandwiched in between the pair are Sauber's Nico Hulkenberg and the Williams of Valtteri Bottas.

Leading the way: Nico Rosberg sealed only the second pole position of his career on Saturday

Leading the way: Nico Rosberg sealed only the second pole position of his career on Saturday

In a remarkable twist at the end of
the opening 20-minute Q1 session, Pastor Maldonado dropped out after
setting the same time as Williams team-mate Bottas.

Posting
a lap of 1:34,125, as the Venezuelan's time came after that of the
Finn, it left Maldonado kicking his heels whilst Bottas took part in Q2.

Maldonado
will start 17th ahead of Sauber's Esteban Gutierrez, with the Mexican
out-qualified by Hulkenberg for the fourth consecutive race, and failing
to make it into Q2 for the third time.

Slow start: Jenson Button creeped into the top 10 but didn't complete a lap in Q3 and will start tenth

Slow start: Jenson Button creeped into the top 10 but didn't complete a lap in Q3 and will start tenth

With
a five-place grid penalty to serve for the race after running into the
back of Sutil in Shanghai, Gutierrez will start at the back of the grid.

Caterham
and Marussia naturally share the bottom four places, with Charles Pic a
season's best of 19th since switching from the latter to the former for
this season.

Either side
of Caterham's Giedo van der Garde are Marussia duo Jules Bianchi and Max
Chilton, with the 21-year-old Briton setting the slowest time in
qualifying for the first time this year.

On track: Fernando Alonso

On track: Fernando Alonso

Rosberg admitted to being 'a little surprised' at starting from pole, but natually claiming to be 'really, really happy' with 'a fantastic result'.

The question is whether Rosberg has the pace to go on and take the chequered flag given Hamilton dropped back to third from pole in China, and whether the tyres will hold up under the conditions.

'Tomorrow is going to be a tough day given the degradation of the tyres,' added Rosberg.

'I want to really kick start my season given the first three races which have been tough for me so far.

In the lead: Vettel holds a three-point advantage over Alonso ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix

In the lead: Vettel holds a three-point advantage over Alonso ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix

'It's difficult to say if we have enough to pace to win, but I will try, and I'm really looking forward to starting from first.'

Vettel was far from disappointed with second, especially after the time of Rosberg.

'Congratulations to Nico because it was a very strong lap,' said Vettel. 'When I crossed the line and I saw I was second I didn't know how much was missing from my lap.

'But then when I was told the gap to Nico it was clear, even with a perfect lap, he was unbeatable.'

Alonso declared himself 'very, very happy with third'.

It is the third successive race Alonso will start from third, adding: 'Normally we struggle a lot in qualifying, so this has put us in a strong position for the race.'

Meanwhile, Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn was irked by the Hamilton penalty.

Difficult weekend: McLaren driver Sergio Perez could manage only 12th in qualifying

Difficult weekend: McLaren driver Sergio Perez could manage only 12th in qualifying

He said: 'The difficulty we have in the future is where we get marginal cases where you have a problem, perhaps aggravated by the driver, and you don't get a gearbox failure as such, but it needs to be changed.

'Then you get into these long debates.

'But it is frustrating to get a penalty when there has been an outside influence. It's annoying.

'Fortunately it doesn't happen too often, but if it were to happen at a critical part of the season then it would be doubly frustrating, so it's worth looking at again.'

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery was certainly dismissing any prospect one of his company's tyres lay behind Hamilton's woes.

Hembery said: 'The problem seen on Lewis' Mercedes during free practice was not the result of a structural tyre failure, but instead must have been down to a piece of debris on the track.'

It was one of those bitter-sweet afternoons for Mercedes in light of Rosberg helping them to back-to-back poles for the first time since their return to F1 three years ago, and after Hamilton led away the field a week ago in China.

With two DNFs in his first three races, Rosberg has so far suffered in contrast to Hamilton, but was smiling again after claiming what is only his second pole in his 132 races.

'This is great for me because the start (to the season) has really not gone to plan, with a lot of issues,' said Rosberg.

'I'm really hoping this is going to kickstart my season. It's the first time everything has really gone to plan. Up until now it has been great.

'To turn up with the pole position, which I have to admit is a bit of a surprise, I'm really, really happy with.

Off colour: Hamilton will start on the fifth row with former McLaren team-mate Button for company

Off colour: Hamilton will start on the fifth row with former McLaren team-mate Button for company

'I'm now looking forward to tomorrow when hopefully everything will go well, although I'm not sure we have what it takes to win the race.'

That is based on the fact this year's Mercedes, whilst quick over one lap, lacks the race pace of rivals Ferrari, Red Bull, and Lotus on occasion.

The pits: Hamilton had to settle for starting fifth on the grid in the grand prix

The pits: Hamilton had to settle for starting fifth on the grid in the grand prix

Alonso declared himself 'very, very happy with third'.

It is the third successive race Alonso will start from third, adding: 'Normally we struggle a lot in qualifying, so this has put us in a strong position for the race.'

Lewis Hamilton given five-place grid penalty for Bahrain Grand Prix after gearbox change

Hamilton blow as Mercedes star is hit with five-place grid penalty after gearbox change

By
Ian Parkes, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

10:06 GMT, 20 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:12 GMT, 20 April 2013

Lewis Hamilton has been slapped with a five-place grid penalty for tomorrow's Bahrain Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver was forced to change his gearbox after this morning's final practice session following a suspension failure on his in-lap.

As a consequence of changing the left-rear corner of the car, the team have also had to replace the gearbox, resulting in the grid penalty.

Blow: Lewis Hamilton hit with five-place grid penalty after gearbox change

Blow: Lewis Hamilton hit with five-place grid penalty after gearbox change

Blow: Lewis Hamilton has been hit with a five-place grid penalty

Although on pole position a week ago
in China, from where the 28-year-old finished third, balance issues have
affected Hamilton so far this weekend at the Bahrain International
Circuit.

Hamilton finished fifth quickest in final practice, just over two tenths of a second behind Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.

Hamilton is the third driver to face a
penalty for tomorrow's race as Mark Webber was handed a three-place
drop after colliding with Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne in Shanghai.

Sauber's Esteban Gutierrez will also
drop five places following qualifying after he ran into the back of
Force India's Adrian Sutil in the same race.

Drama: The British driver suffered a suspension failure in this morning's practice session

Drama: The British driver suffered a suspension failure in this morning's practice session

Lewis Hamilton

Alonso, on the back of his
31st-career victory in China last Sunday, has been highly impressive
around the desert-based Bahrain International Circuit and was fastest this morning.

With a high police presence around
the track as local authorities are determined to keep anti-government
protesters at bay, Formula One is virtually oblivious to what goes on
away from it.

On the circuit, Alonso led a
tightly-bunched field, with the top six separated by just two tenths of a
second, and the front nine by half a second.

Alonso, last on pole in Germany last
year, set a lap of one minute 33.247secs which was almost a second
quicker than the leading time of yesterday posted by Lotus' Kimi
Raikkonen.

As in second practice, the Red Bull
drivers had to settle for second and third on the timesheet, on this
occasion with reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel ahead of Mark
Webber.

Vettel, who finished 0.101secs behind
Alonso and 0.032secs ahead of team-mate Webber, had looked poised to
snatch top spot from Alonso as he posted personal best times in the
first two sectors, only to be blocked by a Caterham.

Leading the way: Fernando Alonso was fastest in this morning's practice

Leading the way: Fernando Alonso was fastest in this morning's practice

Raikkonen was down in fourth,
0.199secs adrift, with Hamilton an improved fifth and 0.208secs down
after complaining of balance issues yesterday.

Behind the 28-year-old were Lotus'
Romain Grosjean, appearing more comfortable with the new chassis given
to him this weekend, followed by Force India pair Adrian Sutil and Paul
Di Resta.

Mercedes' Nico Hulkenberg was ninth quickest, 0.517secs off Alonso's pace, with Sauber's Nico Hulkenberg completing the top 10.

Out of sorts: Jenson Button was off the pace in 12th

Out of sorts: Jenson Button was off the pace in 12th

Felipe Massa inexplicably now finds
himself struggling for pace as the Brazilian, quickest in first
practice, was languishing in 11th at the end of FP3 and 0.702secs behind
team-mate Alonso.

As for McLaren, their struggles
continue with Jenson Button and Sergio Perez 12th and 13th, the latter a
full second behind Alonso.

Towards the rear, Marussia also face
issues as Max Chilton managed just seven laps due to the team having to
replace the KERS water pump.

Chilton, however, was not last as
that position belonged to Sauber's Esteban Gutierrez who concentrated on
a long run, completing 28 laps overall, but finishing 6.345secs down.

Fernando Alonso wins Chinese Grand Prix, Kimi Raikkonen finishes second and Lewis Hamilton third

Alonso wins Chinese GP: Flying Fernando claims Ferrari victory as Hamilton finishes third in Shanghai

PUBLISHED:

08:41 GMT, 14 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

08:41 GMT, 14 April 2013

Fernando Alonso stormed home to win the Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday as British star Lewis Hamilton finished in third place.

The Spaniard started on the second row but soon passed pole-sitter Hamilton on his way to earning 25 World Championship points in Shanghai.

Mercedes' Hamilton fought bravely with Kimi Raikkonen for second place before eventually succumbing to the Lotus driver.

World champion Sebastian Vettel, meanwhile, finished fourth but his Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber was forced to retire midway through the race.

More to follow

On top: Fernando Alonso earned his first victory of the season as he came home to win the Chinese Grand Prix

On top: Fernando Alonso earned his first victory of the season as he came home to win the Chinese Grand Prix

Podium: Lewis Hamilton, who started on pole, was made to settle for third in his Mercedes

Podium: Lewis Hamilton, who started on pole, was made to settle for third in his Mercedes

All action: Hamilton led into the first corner but was soon reeled in and passed by both Ferraris

All action: Hamilton led into the first corner but was soon reeled in and passed by both Ferraris

Wayward wheel: Red Bull's Mark Webber was forced to retire after losing a rear tyre

Wayward wheel: Red Bull's Mark Webber was forced to retire after losing a rear tyre

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Chinese grand prix qualifying

Hamilton on pole position in China after Webber runs out of fuel in qualifying in another Red Bull farce

By
Ian Parkes, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

07:07 GMT, 13 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

07:16 GMT, 13 April 2013

Lewis Hamilton lit up the Mercedes garage by grabbing his first pole position for the team since joining them at the start of the year.

For the 27th time in his Formula One career, Hamilton will lead away the field come the start of tomorrow's Chinese Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit.

Joining the 27-year-old on the front row will be Kimi Raikkonen in his Lotus ahead of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and Nico Rosberg in his Mercedes.

More to follow…

Pole position: Hamilton qualified fastest on Saturday

Pole position: Hamilton qualified fastest on Saturday

Rory Hamilton-Brown leaves Surrey to Sussex

Hamilton-Brown hopes to start again at Sussex after death of Surrey team-mate Maynard

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

23:54 GMT, 3 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

23:56 GMT, 3 April 2013

Rory Hamilton-Brown wants to honour the memory of his tragic friend Tom Maynard after leaving Surrey to return to Sussex.

The former England Under 19 captain spoke on Wednesday of his need to leave the Oval following the loss of his flatmate and best pal, who died under a train after fleeing police in London last June.

Hamilton-Brown, 25, believes he can rediscover his drive and love for the game back at Hove, where he spent two years between 2007 and 2009.

Outbound: Rory Hamilton-Brown leaves Surrey for Sussex

Outbound: Rory Hamilton-Brown leaves Surrey for Sussex

'I realised I needed to be in a place where I felt close to people again, where there was that love and care,' he said.

'I had two fantastic years at Sussex and in a funny way, it always felt like home.

'A little part of me wants to think that I’m carrying him with me and that’s going to give you a deeper, harder drive than I’ve had before.'

Tragic: Tom Maynard died at Wimbledon Park Tube station

Tragic: Tom Maynard died at Wimbledon Park Tube station

Lewis Hamilton pulls into McLaren pit lane in Malaysian Grand Prix after ditching team for Mercedes

Embarrassment for Hamilton as he pulls into McLAREN pit garage during Malaysian GP… months after ditching team for Mercedes

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

08:44 GMT, 24 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

10:16 GMT, 24 March 2013

Lewis Hamiton has always insisted he made the right decision in leaving McLaren for Mercedes for the new Formula One season.

But the British star's mind seemed to be on his old team in Malaysia when he pulled into the WRONG pit garage.

The McLaren crew were in position for Jenson Button but were forced to let Hamilton through when he came in on lap seven.

Oops: Lewis Hamilton pulled into the McLaren pit lane during the Malaysian Grand Prix

Oops: Lewis Hamilton pulled into the McLaren pit lane during the Malaysian Grand Prix

Oops: Lewis Hamilton pulled into the McLaren pit lane during the Malaysian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton drives in to the wrong pits during the Malaysian Grand Prix

Thankfully for the 28-year-old he was
able to complete his pit stop in the right garage and resume his fight for the lead.

Hamilton's girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger reacted with shock to the unfortunate mistake as she watched a replay.

Afterwards Hamilton, who finished in third despite having to save fuel, said: 'I did a Jenson. He did that a couple of years ago.

'I am used to driving in the McLaren pits, I don't know how I got it wrong so I apologise to my team.'

More to follow…

Shock: Nicole Scherzinger reacts after boyfriend Hamilton pulled into the wrong garage

Shock: Nicole Scherzinger reacts after boyfriend Hamilton pulled into the wrong garage

Shock: Nicole Scherzinger reacts after boyfriend Hamilton pulled into the wrong garage

All's well that ends well: Hamilton finished third in the race, his first podium finish with Mercedes

All's well that ends well: Hamilton finished third in the race, his first podium finish with Mercedes

Feeling sheepish Hamilton made a huge call by ditching the team that had nurtured him from childhood

Feeling sheepish Hamilton made a huge call by ditching the team that had nurtured him from childhood

Big day ahead: The British star arrives in the paddock before the race with former Pussycat Doll Scherzinger

Big day ahead: The British star arrives in the paddock before the race with former Pussycat Doll Scherzinger

Australian Grand Prix: Kimi Raikkonen storms to victory

Raikkonen delivers for Lotus as he storms to victory in Melbourne curtain raiser while Hamilton finishes fifth in Mercedes debut

PUBLISHED:

07:36 GMT, 17 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

08:18 GMT, 17 March 2013

Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen stormed to victory in the Australian Grand Prix in his best race on the Melbourne circuit for six years.

Fernando Alonso came in second while Lewis Hamilton finished fifth in his first race for Mercedes.

Jenson Button finished a disappointing ninth for McLaren, while Sebastian Vettel came third for Red Bull.

Scroll down for leaderboard

Triumphant: Kimi Raikkonen celebrates after winning the first race of the season

Triumphant: Kimi Raikkonen celebrates after winning the first race of the season

1-2-3: Raikkonen (centre) celebrates with second-placed Fernando Alonso (left) and third-placed Sebastian Vettel

1-2-3: Raikkonen (centre) celebrates with second-placed Fernando Alonso (left) and third-placed Sebastian Vettel

Party time: The long wait for F1 fans was over at last as the season kicked off in style

Party time: The long wait for F1 fans was over at last as the season kicked off in style

Cruising: Raikkonen drives through the pit lane after driving the fastest lap of the race and securing victory

Cruising: Raikkonen drives through the pit lane after driving the fastest lap of the race and securing victory

Finnish driver Raikkonen took the lead for good on lap 43 of 58 in a race which had seven different leaders.

Speaking on the podium, he said: ‘I was pretty
confident before the race. I thought it should be easy to do it.

‘I got a good start and it worked well. I had doubts because
it is the first race and I didn't do any long runs in the winter. But you have
to get through the first laps and go from there.

‘Fernando was catching me at some point so I just wanted to
make sure if the rain comes we have a big gap.

On song: Finnish driver Raikkonen of Lotus led the way in the Melbourne Grand Prix

On song: Finnish driver Raikkonen of Lotus led the way in the Melbourne Grand Prix

No cigar: Fernando Alonso ran Raikkonen close but could not beat his rival

No cigar: Fernando Alonso ran Raikkonen close but could not beat his rival

Down the rankings: Lewis Hamilton finished fifth in his first race for Mercedes

Down the rankings: Lewis Hamilton finished fifth in his first race for Mercedes

Hamilton

‘I was still taking it pretty easy. It was a pretty nice
race. Not too difficult.’

Lotus suggested during winter testing they had taken a step forward from last season, and they underlined that around Melbourne's Albert Park as Raikkonen took the chequered flag for the 20th time in his F1 career.

More to follow.

Holy smokes: Cars lock up their brakes as they approach the first corner of the Albert Park circuit

Holy smokes: Cars lock up their brakes as they approach the first corner of the Albert Park circuit

Frustration: Jenson Button drives in front of Mark Webber but neither driver will be happy with their finish

Frustration: Jenson Button drives in front of Mark Webber but neither driver will be happy with their finish

The gang's all here: The drivers pose for a group shot before the race

The gang's all here: The drivers pose for a group shot before the race

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Australian Grand Prix 2013: All you need to know about the 2013 race in Melbourne

Australian Grand Prix guide: All you need to know about the 2013 race in Melbourne

pole position: Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) 1min 24.922secs

2012 winner: Jenson Button (McLaren)

2012 fastest lap: Jenson Button 1min 29.187s

Number of corners: 16 (6 left/10 right)

Winning start: Jenson Button won last year's Australian Grand Prix

Winning start: Jenson Button won last year's Australian Grand Prix

Winning start: Jenson Button won last year's Australian Grand Prix

Winning start: Jenson Button won last year's Australian Grand Prix

Tyre compounds to be used: supersoft/medium

Bumpiness: medium

Overtaking chance: low

Engine severity: high

Brake wear severity: high

Average lap speed: 200kph (124.274mph)

Full throttle per lap: 71 per cent

Gear changes per lap: 54 (race = 3132)

2012 winning strategy: 2 stops (laps 16, 36)

2012 total race pit stops: 41

2012 total 'normal' overtakes: 22

2012 total DRS overtakes: 12

Number of safety car deployments over last 10 years: 13

Congrats: Lewis Hamilton (right) has since changed teams to Mercedes

Congrats: Lewis Hamilton (right) has since changed teams to Mercedes

On 11 occasions from 17 Australian Grands Prix, the winning driver at Albert Park has gone on to become world champion.Pole position has accounted for eight of the 17 winners of this race, with six in the last nine years.The lowest starter to win was Eddie Irvine, who started 11th for Ferrari in 1999.Jenson Button has won three times in the last four years, leaving him one victory shy of equalling Michael Schumacher's record of four wins achieved in 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2004.The demise of HRT returns F1 to a 22-car grid for the first time since early in 2008. During that season the withdrawal of Super Aguri after four rounds reduced it to 20. It expanded to 24 in 2010.Kimi Raikkonen has now had 17 consecutive results in the points. Only Michael Schumacher (24), Sebastian Vettel (19) and Fernando Alonso (18) can boast a longer run.Red Bull start the season aiming for their fourth consecutive constructors' title. Only one team in F1 history has achieved the feat – Ferrari, with six, from 1999-2004.Sebastian Vettel also goes for his fourth consecutive crown, an achievement previously accomplished by just two other drivers – Juan Manuel Fangio (1954-57) and Schumacher (2000-2004).

Michael van Gerwen draws with Phil Taylor

Van Gerwen unable to hold out for win over The Power on thrilling opening night

runner-up Simon Whitlock was also a winner at the Odyssey Arena as he crushed a poor Adrian Lewis 7-3.

There was nothing to separate the players early on as the first five legs went with throw. But the Aussie struck a 121 finish to break and go 4-2 up before Lewis hit back immediately to reduce his arrears to 4-3.

Whitlock broke again, though, to lead 5-3 before hitting double top in the next leg to guarantee at least a draw. ‘The Wizard’ didn’t have to wait long to complete his win as the 10th leg summed up Lewis’s evening.

Eagle eyed: Simon Whitlock in action

Eagle eyed: Simon Whitlock in action

The two-time world champion missed six darts at a double and Whitlock stepped in to hit double eight and wrap up a comfortable win in Northern Ireland.

In the first match of the evening, Robert Thornton secured a 7-5 win over Andy Hamilton on his Premier League debut.

The UK Open champion raced into a 5-1 lead and appeared to be cruising towards victory before Hamilton fought back to level at 5-5.

But Thornton checked out a 120 finish against the throw in leg 11 before sealing a 7-5 victory in the deciding leg.

In week one’s other match, perennial Premier League slow starter James Wade earned his first opening-week win since 2008 as he cruised past debutant Wes Newton 7-4.