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Last Updated: Sunday, 6 March, 2005, 02:38 GMT
Australian GP as it happened
Final positions:

1 G Fisichella (Renault)

2 R Barrichello (Ferrari)

3 F Alonso (Renault)

4 D Coulthard (Red Bull)

5 M Webber (Williams)

6 JP Montoya (McLaren)

7 C Klien (Red Bull)

8 K Raikkonen (McLaren)

Lap 57: Fisichella takes the chequered flag for the second Grand Prix victory of his career. Barichello holds off Alonso for second, while Britain's Coulthard takes an impressive fourth on his first drive for Red Bull.

Lap 56: Fisichella looks to be making serene progress towards a well-deserved victory.

Lap 54: Coulthard is struggling to get past the Sauber of Villeneuve and it is costing him valuable time as Webber looms into view in his mirrors.

Lap 53: Montoya's tyres are hampering him and the Colombian is struggling to keep pace with the cars around him.

Lap 51: Alonso is slowly catching up with Barichello, while Fisichella's lead is down to 6.179 seconds although he looks to be safe.

Lap 49: Fisichella's lead slips to just over nine seconds as he is held up by one of the back markers.

Lap 47: Alonso is battling to get past Barichello in the hope of securing a Renault on-two.

Lap 44: Alonso pits from the lead and just fails to beat Barrichello out of the pits.

Lap 42: Schumacher and Heidfeld collide at Turn Three as they dispute eighth place - Heidfeld tried to pass but Schumacher squeezed him and pushed the Williams on to the grass. Schumacher manages to rejoin and pits at the end of the lap and retires his damaged car.

Lap 41: Fisichella makes his second pit stop, as does Coulthard. Heidfeld is holding off Michael Schumacher for sixth place, who has yet to make his second pit stop.

Lap 40: Button passes Trulli for 11th place into Turn 13. Klien and Heidfeld both stop for more fuel.

Lap 39: Webber and Raikkonen make their second stop. The McLaren team remove the damaged bodywork from Raikkonen's car.

Lap 38: Fisichella appears to be measuring his pace to Coulthard, with victory seemingly in the bag as long as the Renault suffers no problems and the Italian avoids mistakes.

Lap 36: Trulli makes his second stop from seventh place.

Lap 34: Raikkonen has damaged his right-hand barge-board and is being caught by Michael Schumacher, who the Finn had passed during the first pit stops.

Lap 32: Coulthard is fighting hard in the Red Bull - the Scot is holding on to Fisichella despite having Webber's Williams less than a second behind him. Raikkonen is now just 7.4secs behind Heidfeld and closing at more than a second a lap.

Lap 31: The BARs are putting in an extremely disappointing showing . Button and Sato are running together in 13th and 14th places, just behind Villeneuve's Sauber.

Lap 30: Alonso passes the struggling Trulli for sixth place into Turn 13. Raikkonen is now 11.7secs behind Heidfeld.

Lap 29: Fisichella is 10.4secs ahead of Coulthard, and is given a hurry-up from the Renault garage.

Lap 28: Raikkonen sets a lap nearly a second faster than anyone else as he zeroes in on Heidfeld. The McLaren is now 15.9secs adrift of the Williams.

Lap 27: Trulli is the big loser from the first round of pit stops as the lack of pace of the Toyota is exposed.

Lap 26: Michael Schumacher stops for fuel and loses a place to Raikkonen. The Finn is now 10th, 18 seconds behind Heidfeld.

Lap 25: Barrichello, Alonso and Raikkonen all stop for fuel.

Lap 24: Alonso is setting a series of fastest laps. Schumacher and Raikkonen are lapping together in 10th and 11th places, right behind Heidfeld's Williams.

Lap 22: Leader Fisichella pits, as does Montoya.The Renault rejoins behind Barrichello, who is now in the lead. Montoya drops back to sixth.

Lap 21: Coulthard pits and rejoins in fifth place, behind Alonso, but still ahead of Webber.

Lap 20: Webber pits and loses a place to Alonso, who sets fastest lap of the race. Sato pits from in front of Michael Schumacher.

Lap 19: Albers retires having stalled trying to leave after his pit stop.

Lap 18: Trulli comes in for the first significant pit stop of the season. Heidfeld also pits. Trulli rejoins seventh, Heidfeld ninth.

Lap 17: Coulthard sets fastest lap so far. Alonso finally passes Villeneuve for ninth place into Turn 13, the same place he made the move earlier only to lose the place immediately afterwards.

Lap 16: Fisichella is four seconds ahead of Trulli now. Coulthard narrowly misses Friesacher trying to lap the Minardi just after Turn Four and has to squeeze Webber hard to stop the Williams passing him. Webber takes to the grass on the straight to avoid the Red Bull car.

Lap 15: Fisichella extends his lead over Trulli to more than three seconds for the first time.

Lap 14: Fisichella laps the two Minardis, who are running together with Friesacher ahead at the back of the field. Alonso continues to look for a way past Villeneuve for ninth place.

Lap 11: Trulli continues to hang on to Fisichella and is still just two seconds adrift.

Lap nine: Trulli sets fastest lap in his pursuit of Fisichella and is now two seconds adrift. Alonso runs on to the grass trying to pass Villeneuve for ninth and loses a piece of the lower left barge board (an aerodynamic aid behind the front wheels) from his car.

Lap eight: There are some heavy black clouds gathering over the circuit.

Lap seven: Alonso passes Villeneuve for ninth place at Turn 13, but he makes a mistake on the exit and the Canadian squeezes back past the Spaniard.

Lap six: Fisichella and Trulli are dropping Coulthard, who is 4.5secs behind the Toyota and under heavy pressure from Webber, Heidfeld, Klien and Montoya.

Lap five: Leader Fisichella is 1.8secs ahead of Trulli after setting the fastest lap so far. Michael Schumacher and Raikkonen are still nose to tail in 15th and 16th places, looking for a way past Sato's BAR.

Lap four: Coulthard is fending off a train of cars, with Webber behind the Scot and ahead of Heidfeld, Klien, Montoya and Barrichello.

Lap three: Webber is beginning to pressure Coulthard as Montoya looks for a way past Klien.

Lap two: Trulli sets fastest lap and is 1.4secs behind leader Fisichella. Raikkonen is challenging Michael Schumacher hard for 15th place. Villeneuve has a train of cars behind him, led by Alonso.

Lap one: Fisichella gets a good start and Trulli also maintains his position, but Coulthard snatches third from Webber at the first corner. Button drops down to 11th from eighth. Raikkonen is up to 16th from the pit lane, Michael Schumacher is up to 15th, Alonso to 10th, Barrichello to eighth and Montoya to seventh.

0303 GMT: Kimi Raikkonen stalls on the grid. The field goes around for another warm-up lap, McLaren restart the Finn's car and Raikkonen will have to start from the pit lane.

0300 GMT: The cars pull away from the grid without incident.

0250 GMT: With the start of the Grand Prix 10 minutes away, the weather in Melbourne is overcast but dry.

Renault's Giancarlo Fisichella is a hot favourite to win the first race of the Formula One season after securing pole position for the Australian Grand Prix with most of his main rivals a long way down the grid.

After the first of the two qualifying sessions was disrupted by rain, none of the pre-season favourites has joined the Italian in the top seven.

Renault and McLaren have looked the strongest teams both in pre-season testing and throughout the practice sessions in Australia.

But Juan Pablo Montoya is the closest to Fisichella and his McLaren is down in ninth place, just behind BAR's Jenson Button and ahead of team-mate Kimi Raikkonen and the Ferrari of Rubens Barrichello.

Fisichella's team-mate Fernando Alonso is 13th, with world champion Michael Schumacher 18th.

The Ferrari star decided not to set a time in Sunday morning's final session following a very slow lap on Saturday and has instead decided to change his engine.

This would normally incur a penalty of being put to the back of the grid, but Schumacher will not lose out because he was so far behind anyway.

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