Kimi Räikkönen takes DHL Fastest Lap in Melbourne
The 2017 FORMULA 1 ROLEX AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX was marked by an exciting battle for the DHL Fastest Lap which Kimi Räikkönen won by a narrow margin. The Ferrari driver posted the fastest lap time of 1:26.538 minutes on Lap 56, two laps before the end of the race, just beating Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas, who achieved a time of 1:26.593. Race winner Sebastian Vettel finished third in our awards category with a time of 1:26.638, just one tenth of a second behind teammate, Räikkönen.
The fact that the fastest laps of the race were not completed until the very last stint of the grand prix was due to low tire wear in Melbourne. While almost all drivers were on a one-stop strategy, changing tires towards the middle of the race, they were then able to speed up over the last few laps, because their cars were lighter.
Looking at the average of the ten fastest laps posted by each driver, Max Verstappen leads with a time of 1: 27.134 minutes. The high esteem in which the Red Bull driver holds the DHL Fastest Lap Award was made abundantly clear when he asked his crew on the pit radio who held the fastest race lap and then immediately went out and beat it.
Fastest race laps: 2017 FORMULA 1 ROLEX AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX
01 Kimi Räikkönen (Ferrari) 1:26.538 - on lap 56
02 Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) 1:26.593 -on lap 56
03 Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 1:26.638 - on lap 53
04 Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso) 1:26.711 - on lap 51
05 Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 1:26.964 - on lap 43
06 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:27.033 - on lap 44
07 Kevin Magnussen (Haas) 1.27.568 - on lap 46
08 Carlos Sainz (Toro Rosso) 1:27.677 - on lap 53
09 Felipe Massa (Williams) 1:28.045 - on lap 49
10 Sergio Perez (Force India) 1:28.336 - on lap 56
History: DHL Fastest Laps in the FORMULA 1 AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX
The second-fastest race lap in Melbourne since the introduction of the DHL Fastest Lap Award goes to Kimi Räikkönen. It’s not until way back in 2007, the first year of the award, that the time was even lower, but once again, it was Räikkönen, who was the fastest man on the track, posting a 1:25.235.
Lap times have come down by almost 2.5 seconds compared to last year’s race due to the new regulations with wider tires and more downforce, making Formula 1 much faster.
Melbourne specialist Kimi Räikkönen
This was Räikkönen’s sixth fastest race lap in Melbourne. He achieved his first in 2002 when he was with McLaren. And so, Räikkönen is also the driver with most fastest race laps to his name in the Australian GP, followed by Michael Schumacher with five best times.
In the Formula 1 list of all-time fastest laps, the Finn is ranked second with a total of 44 fastest race laps. Schumacher on 77 heads the list. Alain Prost is just behind Räikkönen with 41, while Lewis Hamilton is fourth with 31.
DHL Fastest Lap Award
Whether it’s on the track itself or on the journey from one race to the next, speed and precision are crucial for flawless delivery. While the overall winner of the race might have completed the course in the least amount of time, the DHL Fastest Lap Award works a little differently: the award goes to the driver who accumulates the highest number of fastest laps consistently throughout the World Championship.
As it enters its 11th season, 2017 promises to be one of the most exciting yet for the DHL Fastest Lap Award. With the introduction of bold, new regulations and wider, more durable tires, the award will see a new level of speed as a result of the drivers being able to push their tires to the limit over longer periods, and to deliver even faster lap times. The top three drivers on the list of DHL Fastest Lap winners of the past 10 years are three former World Champions who will be battling it out for glory this season – with Sebastian Vettel leading the way with three DHL Fastest Lap Award victories, closely followed by Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Räikkönen, each with two.