March 14 (Reuters) - Formula One statistics for Sunday’s season-opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne:
Venue: Albert Park. 5.303 km street circuit. Race to be held over 58 laps (307.574 km). GMT start time: 0600 (1700 local).
2011 pole: Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull 1:23.529.
Race lap record: Michael Schumacher (Germany) Ferrari, 1:24.125 (2004).
Formula One will have six champions together on the starting grid for the first time (Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher).
Vettel is aiming to become only the third driver to win three successive titles. The other two were Argentina’s Juan Manuel Fangio (1954-57) and Schumacher (2000-04).
Both Vettel and Alonso can become the youngest ever triple champion.
Schumacher, 43, would be the oldest champion since Fangio, then 46, in 1957 were he to win an eighth title.
Vettel’s second crown meant Germany (with nine) are now second behind Britain (14), and ahead of Brazil (eight), in the national list of most drivers’ championships won.
Ferrari have won 216 grands prix, McLaren 175, Williams 113 and Red Bull 27.
Schumacher holds the record for driver victories with 91. Alonso has the second highest tally among current drivers with 27 and is fifth equal in the all-time list.
Vettel has 21, Raikkonen 18, Hamilton 17, Button 12.
Raikkonen’s last win was in Belgium with Ferrari in 2009. Schumacher’s last win was in China with Ferrari in 2006.
Vettel took 15 pole positions in 2011, the most anyone has achieved in a single season.
Red Bull took 18 poles last year, a record for a team.
Ferrari’s last pole was with Alonso in Singapore in September 2010.
Caterham (formerly Team Lotus and Lotus Racing), Marussia (Previously Virgin Racing) and HRT have yet to score a point in two seasons of competing.
The home country has two drivers on the grid in cars capable of scoring points. No Australian has won his home race and no two Australians have so far scored points in the same grand prix.
Only four Australians have scored points in Formula One: Jack Brabham, Alan Jones, Tim Schenken and Mark Webber.
Button has won two of the last three Australian Grands Prix.
Melbourne has been the season-opener on 14 previous occasions. The only other city to host the Australian round is Adelaide, from 1985-95.
Since 2002, the winner in Australia has ended the season as champion on seven occasions. The exceptions were David Coulthard in 2003, Giancarlo Fisichella in 2005 and Button in 2010.
The safety car has been deployed in six of the last 10 Australian Grands Prix.
Since 1950, 59 drivers have scored points on their F1 debuts. The last was Britain’s Paul Di Resta, who finished 10th in Melbourne last year after the Sauber drivers were excluded.
This year’s rookies (those starting their first full season) are Australian Daniel Ricciardo (Toro Rosso) and French trio Romain Grosjean (Lotus), Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso) and Charles Pic (Marussia).
Only Vergne and Pic will be starting their first grand prix.
Melbourne will be the first race with three French drivers on the grid since 1999.
Italy has no driver in a season-opener for the first time since 1970.
Sauber are starting their 20th season in Formula One (including five seasons as BMW-Sauber). (Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Peter Rutherford)