March 13 (Reuters) - Formula One statistics for Sunday’s season-opening Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne’s Albert Park circuit.
Lap distance: 5.303km (total distance: 58 laps, 307.574km)
Start time: 0600 GMT (1700 local)
2012 pole: Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren 1:24.922
2012 winner: Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren
Race lap record: Michael Schumacher (Germany) 1:24.125 (Ferrari, 2004)
Five world champions will be on the starting grid - Sebastian Vettel (2010, 2011, 2012), Fernando Alonso (2005, 2006), Jenson Button (2009), Lewis Hamilton (2008), Kimi Raikkonen (2007).
Red Bull’s Vettel is the only one of the five still racing for the team with which he won his titles.
Vettel, 25, is the youngest triple champion and the only driver to have won his first three titles consecutively. He can become only the fourth driver to win four or more titles.
Red Bull are also chasing their fourth successive constructors’ championship. Only Ferrari and McLaren have managed that previously.
Ferrari’s Alonso (30 victories) has won the most races of active drivers. Vettel has 26, Hamilton 21, Raikkonen 19 and Button 15.
Another win for Alonso would take him level with Britain’s 1992 champion Nigel Mansell as fourth equal in the all-time lists. One more for Vettel would put him level with triple champion Jackie Stewart.
Ferrari have won 219 races since the championship started in 1950, McLaren 182, Williams 114 and Red Bull 34.
One more win for Red Bull would lift them level with Brabham and Renault in the all-time lists.
Vettel has 36 poles to his credit, putting him third in the all-time list (Schumacher had 68 and Ayrton Senna 65). Hamilton has 26 and Alonso 22.
Caterham and Marussia have yet to score a point after three seasons in Formula One.
Since 1950, 59 drivers have finished their first grand prix in the points. There are five rookies this season - Mexican Esteban Gutierrez (Sauber), Finland’s Valtteri Bottas (Williams), Dutchman Giedo Van der Garde (Caterham), Frenchman Jules Bianchi and Britain’s Max Chilton (both Marussia).
Button has won three of the last four Australian Grands Prix (with Brawn in 2009 and McLaren in 2010 and 2012).
Michael Schumacher won four times in Australia (2000, 2001, 2002, 2004), the most by any driver.
All five active world champions have won in Australia.
No Australian driver has ever won his home race. There are two Australians on the starting grid - Red Bull’s Mark Webber and Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo - and both scored points last year.
Five Australians have scored points in Formula One - Jack Brabham, Alan Jones, Tim Schenken, Webber and Ricciardo.
Melbourne has been the season-opener on 15 previous occasions. 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 and 2012.
In total, the winner in Melbourne has gone on to be champion 11 times in 17 races there.
The race winner at Albert Park has started on pole on eight occasions. Eddie Irvine, in 1999, was the lowest starter to win after qualifying 11th.
The safety car has been deployed in six of the last 10 races, and four of the last five, in Melbourne.
Van der Garde is the first Dutch driver in F1 since Christijan Albers in 2007.
With the departure of Kamui Kobayashi, Formula One has no Japanese driver starting the season for the first time since 2003. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Amlan Chakraborty)