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Melbourne stats - Nasr ends Sauber's pointless streak in style

15 Mar 2015

At the beginning of the weekend, when uncertainty surrounded Sauber's line-up and the team sat out FP1, Felipe Nasr might well have wondered whether his dream debut was going to turn into a nightmare.

In the end, not only did he race, he snapped the Swiss team's unprecedented 19-race pointless streak in style, coming home a fine fifth. That result represents the best ever finish for a Brazilian driver on his F1 race debut, an impressive statistic given the country has spawned such legends as Ayrton Senna, Emerson Fittipaldi and Nelson Piquet, to name just a few. 

Further back, Marcus Ericsson made it double delight for Sauber by picking up four points for finishing eighth. Not only were they Ericsson's first points in F1 (in his 17th race), they were also the first points scored by a Swedish driver since 1989 when Stefan Johansson finished third in Portugal for Onyx. Ericsson wasn't even born until 1990...

The results mean that Sauber sit third in the constructors' standings - their highest position since 2012 when they also held third after the Australian season opener.

Sauber were one of only three teams (the others being Mercedes and Force India) to get both cars to the finish in what turned out to be a real race of attrition. Only 11 cars made it to the chequered flag, the lowest number since the 2008 Australian Grand Prix - a race that coincidentally was also won by Lewis Hamilton.

Speaking of Hamilton, victory on Sunday gave the Briton his second win Down Under, and his 34th career triumph. With Rosberg finishing second, Mercedes completed their 12th one-two in the last 20 races. Ominously for the rest of the field, every team that has finished one-two in Melbourne in the past has gone on to win both titles…

Elsewhere, there were contrasting fortunes at Toro Rosso. On the day that he became the youngest driver in history to start a Grand Prix, 17-year-old Max Verstappen narrowly missed out on becoming F1's youngest ever point scorer when his car expired whilst he was running comfortably in the points. Team mate Carlos Sainz Junior fared better however, overcoming a slow pit stop that dropped him to the rear of the field to finish a creditable ninth. 

Sainz, 20, is the first Spaniard to score points on his debut since Pedro de la Rosa did so for Arrows at the same race in 1999. He's also now F1's seventh youngest points scorer, behind only Sebastien Buemi, Ricardo Rodriguez, Jenson Button, Jaime Alguersuari, Sebastian Vettel and the youngest of the lot, Daniil Kvyat. Three of those drivers were, like Sainz, driving for Toro Rosso when they scored their first points...

Finally, Sebastian Vettel was delighted to score a podium on his Ferrari debut, despite finishing a long way behind Mercedes' dominant duo. The quadruple world champion is the 56th driver to stand on an F1 rostrum whilst driving for the Scuderia, and the third German, following in the wheel tracks of Michael Schumacher and Wolfgang von Trips.