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Dream debuts - how will Liuzzi measure up? 11 Apr 2005

Vitantonio Liuzzi (ITA) Red Bull Racing Third Driver tries photography with a Canon 1D MkII.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Bahrain Grand Prix, First Qualifying, Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain, 2 April 2005 Race winner Jacques Villeneuve (CDN) Williams FW19. British Grand Prix, Rd 9, Silverstone, England, 13 July 1997. World © Sutton Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) McLaren during the drivers parade.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Race Day, Sepang, Malaysia, 20 March 2005 Mark Webber (AUS) Williams.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Bahrain Grand Prix, Race Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain, 3 April 2005 Vitantonio Liuzzi (ITA) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, 5 March 2005

Can he match rivals' first Formula One outings...

Red Bull’s Vitantonio Liuzzi is due to make his Formula One race debut at the forthcoming San Marino Grand Prix in less than two weeks’ time and much is expected of the Italian, especially given the team’s impressive form to date.

But just how well did the other men on the 2005 grid do on their first outings in the sport? If Liuzzi does well does it mean he is a certain champion in the making? Or if he does badly, do the record books suggest that his Formula One career will be over before it’s begun?

First, some interesting facts…

• Only three current drivers (Liuzzi will make it four) have made their Formula One debut somewhere other than Melbourne - David Coulthard in Spain, Michael Schumacher in Belgium and Rubens Barrichello in South Africa. That should bode well for Liuzzi as they are three of the four most successful drivers in the sport.

• The Jordan and Minardi teams have each given Formula One debuts to six of the current drivers. Next up are Williams on four, then Sauber on two.

• Just three of the current drivers scored points on their Formula One debut - Kimi Raikkonen, Mark Webber and Jacques Villeneuve.

• Only seven other drivers finished their first race, meaning ten failed to do so. Those to make the flag were Narain Karthikeyan, Tiago Monteiro, Patrick Friesacher, Christian Klien, Fernando Alonso, Jarno Trulli and Nick Heidfeld.

• Only four drivers qualified in the top ten at their debut race - David Coulthard, Michael Schumacher, Felipe Massa and Jacques Villeneuve.

• And the big question - the most successful debut? Jacques Villeneuve takes it by a mile, with pole position, second place and fastest lap for Williams at the 1996 Australian Grand Prix.

And now the full list, in chronological order…

Michael Schumacher

1991 Belgian Grand Prix, Jordan, Qualifying - 7th, Race - DNF
Rubens Barrichello
1993 South African Grand Prix, Jordan, Qualifying - 14th, Race - DNF
David Coulthard
1994 Spanish Grand Prix, Williams, Qualifying - 9th, Race - DNF
Giancarlo Fisichella
1996 Australian Grand Prix, Minardi, Qualifying - 16th, Race - DNF
Jacques Villeneuve
1996 Australian Grand Prix, Williams, Qualifying - 1st, Race - 2nd
Ralf Schumacher
1997 Australian Grand Prix, Jordan, Qualifying - 12th, Race - DNF
Jarno Trulli
1997 Australian Grand Prix, Minardi, Qualifying - 17th, Race - 9th
Jenson Button
2000 Australian Grand Prix, Williams, Qualifying - 21st, Race - DNF
Nick Heidfeld
2000 Australian Grand Prix, Prost, Qualifying - 16th, Race - 9th
Fernando Alonso
2001 Australian Grand Prix, Minardi, Qualifying - 19th, Race - 12th
Juan Pablo Montoya
2001 Australian Grand Prix, Williams, Qualifying - 11th, Race - DNF
Kimi Raikkonen
2001 Australian Grand Prix, Sauber, Qualifying - 13th, Race - 6th
Felipe Massa
2002 Australian Grand Prix, Sauber, Qualifying - 9th, Race - DNF
Takuma Sato
2002 Australian Grand Prix, Jordan, Qualifying - 22nd, Race - DNF
Mark Webber
2002 Australian Grand Prix, Minardi, Qualifying - 18th, Race - 5th
Christian Klien
2004 Australian Grand Prix, Jaguar, Qualifying - 19th, Race - 11th
Christijan Albers
2005 Australian Grand Prix, Minardi, Qualifying - 17th, Race - DNF
Patrick Friesacher
2005 Australian Grand Prix, Minardi, Qualifying - 16th, Race - 17th
Narain Karthikeyan
2005 Australian Grand Prix, Jordan, Qualifying - 12th, Race - 15th
Tiago Monteiro
2005 Australian Grand Prix, Jordan, Qualifying - 14th, Race - 16th