► This will be the 29th F1 World Championship running of the Australian Grand Prix. It is the 18th consecutive year of the race being run at Albert Park, 16 of which have opened the Formula One season.
► In 1996, when the race moved to Albert Park, it produced the oddity of Australia hosting back-to-back grands prix, the closing race of 1995 having taken place at Adelaide.
► Albert Park is a temporary circuit with parts of the track used by general road traffic for the majority of the year. As such, it features unusually high grip-evolution (and thus falling laptimes) over the course of the weekend, as the track ‘rubbers-in’.
► In common with Abu Dhabi, the Australian Grand Prix has a local start time of 5pm. Unlike the event at Yas Island, this race finishes in daylight – but the low angle of the sun and the lengthening shadows have been known to make the latter stages of the race difficult for drivers.
► Another perennial problem in tree-lined Albert Park is leaves and twigs being sucked into car radiators.
► Of the current grid, Jenson Button is the standout performer, having won three times in the last four years. It leaves him one victory short of equalling Michael Schumacher’s F1-era record. Schumacher won the race in 2000, ’01, ’02, ’04.
► On 11 occasions from 17 starts, the winning driver at Albert Park has gone on to lift the Drivers’ Championship trophy at the end of the season.
► The race winner has started on pole eight times at Albert Park. The lowest starter to win was Eddie Irvine, who started 11th for Ferrari in 1999.
► Four drivers start this race for new teams, having moved during the off-season. Lewis Hamilton has moved from McLaren to Mercedes; Sergio Pérez from Sauber to McLaren; Nico Hülkenberg from Force India to Sauber and Charles Pic from Marussia to Caterham. Also, Adrian Sutil is beginning his second stint with Force India.
► Five rookies will contest the Australian Grand Prix: Esteban Gutiérrez (Sauber); Valtteri Bottas (Williams); Giedo van der Garde (Caterham); Max Chilton and Jules Bianchi (Marussia).
► Reigning GP2 Champion Davide Valsecchi is not among the rookie intake. He instead has signed as a test driver for Lotus in 2013. The only other GP2 champion to not move directly into an F1 race seat was 2008 winner Giorgio Pantano – who raced in F1 before going to GP2.
► Giedo van der Garde ends a barren spell for Dutch representation in Formula One. The Netherlands hasn’t had a driver in the Championship since Christijan Albers raced for Spyker for the first half of the 2007 season.
► The demise of HRT returns F1 to a 22-car grid for the first time since the opening rounds of 2008. During that season the withdrawal of Super Aguri after four rounds reduced it to 20. It expanded to 24 in 2010.