Daniel Melrose

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Daniel Melrose
Nationality Flag of Australia svg.png Australian/Flag of Germany svg.png German
Born 26 June, 1985
Sydney, Australia
Formula One
Debut Season 2003
Latest Season 2020
Current Team Flag of Austria svg.png Red Bull Racing
Car Number 73
Former Teams Flag of Ireland svg.png Jordan
Flag of Switzerland svg.png Sauber
Flag of Italy svg.png Ferrari
Flag of Germany svg.png BMW Sauber
Flag of Germany svg.png Mercedes
Flag of Russia svg.png Marussia
Flag of France svg.png Valerian
Flag of Australia svg.png Holden
Races 251 (251 starts)
Championships 3 (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010)
Victories 25
Podiums 41
Points 1101 (1123)
Pole Positions 31
Fastest Laps 26
First Race 2003 Belgian Grand Prix
First Victory 2005 Monaco Grand Prix
Last Victory 2020 Argentine Grand Prix
Last Race 2020 Cyprus Grand Prix
Best Finish 1st (4 times)
F1RWRS
Debut Season 2010
Latest Season 2017
Current Team
Car Number
Former Teams Flag of Germany svg.png JLD
Flag of Australia svg.png MRT
Flag of Canada.svg.png ArrowTech
Flag of the United Kingdom svg.png Jones Racing
Flag of Australia svg.png Simpson Motorsports
Flag of Australia svg.png Holden F1RWRS Racing Team
Flag of Poland svg.png Dofasco Racing
Flag of Australia svg.png Autodynamics Grand Prix
Flag of the Netherlands svg.png Boxtel Engineering
Races 94 (77 starts)
Championships 0
Victories 2
Podiums 14
Points 161
Pole Positions 1
Fastest Laps 5
First Race 2010 German Grand Prix
First Victory 2011 Belgian Grand Prix
Last Victory 2011 English Grand Prix
Last Race 2017 Chinese Grand Prix
Best Finish 2nd (2011)

Daniel Melrose (Born June 26, 1985 in Sydney, Australia) is an Australian-German racing driver. Melrose is a four-time Formula One World Champion, having won the crown in consecutive years in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Born in Australia, Melrose raced under his native flag for most of his career but gained a German passport in 2020, opting to race under the German flag in FIA events from that point forward.


Early Racing Career

Daniel spent most of his early childhood in Sydney, Australia where he did many kart races both in Sydney and around the state. He was inspired by Former World Champion Chris Dagnall after meeting him when he was just 6 years old.

In 1999, after spending several years as part of the Precision Motorsport young driver program alongside fellow Australian and close friend Dave Simpson, he was invited by Ferrari to become part of their young driver program, an offer which he accepted.

From there, he rapidly raised through the ranks becoming 2001 Australia Formula 3 champion, 2002 British Formula 3 champion and 2003 International F3000 champion, before being placed in the Minardi team for the 2004 Formula One season. In the process of winning the British Formula 3 Championship, he won the Macau F3 Grand Prix in one of his many top drawer aggressive drives that would typify his driving style for the rest of his career.

Formula One Career

2003 - Jordan

Melrose at Jordan in 2003.

Melrose made his Formula One debut at the 2003 Belgian Grand Prix, driving for Jordan Honda in the second seat after Takuma Sato and Zsolt Baumgartner had been deemed surplus to requirements. Melrose made good on his first outing, taking the fastest lap and a sixth place in the race - Jordan's best finish of the season so far. Two races later, Melrose shocked the paddock further by taking Jordan's first podium finish in nearly two years with a third in the United States Grand Prix.

2004 - Sauber

Melrose's performances were enough to convince Peter Sauber to tie down the Australian for 2004, where he'd join Kimi Räikkönen at Sauber as well as being a member of Ferrari's junior lineup.

Controversy erupted at the Ferrari pre-season launch, after he and Ferrari driver James James Davies were involved in a fracas which saw drinks being thrown and at least one of the men being removed from the venue.

Melrose majorly outperformed his Finnish teammate, his best result being a third place in the Bahrain Grand Prix - his points tally helping the Swiss team beat McLaren in the constructor's standings.

2005 - Ferrari

Following the retirement of Michael Schumacher, Melrose was promoted into a race seat with Ferrari alongside defending champion Davies. Much press speculation swirled around the pair - with it being clear that neither men were particularly fond of eachother. Unfortunately for Melrose, Davies spent much of the year berating and degrading the Australian which cost Ferrari both titles once Melrose began responding in turn - the pair frequently clashing on track.

Melrose managed two wins in this turbulent atmosphere but the relationship between him, the team and Davies had broken down to a unsalvageable level. Davies ended the season in dramatic fashion by telling the press that Ferrari would either have to choose him or Melrose - stating that he'd "never drive alongside that moron again." Melrose was released from his Ferrari contract at the end of the 2005 season.

2006-2009 - BMW Sauber

Melrose found sanctuary at the newly-formed BMW Sauber team for 2006, teaming alongside 1997 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve. It was a challenging first season for the pair but Melrose was a consistent points scorer on his return to the Hinwil based outfit. Melrose's best finish of the season was a third place in the British Grand Prix. Melrose finished the season in eighth place - on equal points with Villeneuve.

Melrose at BMW Sauber in 2007.

Melrose began 2007 in great form - taking wins in the opening two races in Bahrain and Malaysia as well as six consecutive pole positions. Despite this, his rival James James Davies (now at McLaren) took a commanding lead in the Driver's standings. Melrose continued to rack up the wins in the mid-season - taking three straight wins in the United States, British and European Grands Prix. However, the complexion of the championship was changed when Davies unexpectedly retired from Formula One after the Italian Grand Prix due to the fallout from the Spygate scandal. At this point, it was a three way battle between Melrose and Ferrari's duo of Luca Badoer and Robert Kubica. Melrose took one more win in the Chinese Grand Prix to bring his tally to seven for the season. At the conclusion of the season, Melrose and Badoer finished equal on points at the top - finishing the season on 112 points. Melrose would be declared champion however, due to winning seven races, compared to Badoer winning only four - becoming the first person to win the title on countback.

2010 - Mercedes Team Europe

Due to BMW pulling out of Formula One, citing that they've achieved all their goals in F1, Melrose became the biggest free agent on the market during the off season. Teams up and down the grid and even around the world in other categories were clamouring for his signature for 2010. In the end he moved to the Brawn team, which had just been bought out by German manufacturer Mercedes-Benz. While some teams did offer higher salaries than what Mercedes eventually paid for the superstar, Melrose reportedly accepted their offer because the contract allowed him to drive in both F1 and the F1RWRS for 2010 before making his decision for 2011 and beyond.

With a raft of new rule changes however, including the controversial switch to the two-race weekend format, it looked like the Australian and his new team team would have their work cut out through the year to fight for the world title. Testing times suggested a mammoth four-way fight for both titles between Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes, with the likes of Jacques Villeneuve and F1 returnee Rhys Davies playing the role of spoilers. Those predictions were confirmed in Bahrain with relatively subdued 3rd and 4th places for the Australian. A few more quiet races followed before the reigning champion scored his first victory at Fuji. A strong weekend in his home country followed, as Melrose took his second win on home soil in the Sunday race. From there, Melrose continued to score consistent points and podium positions to vault himself into the championship lead.

Before the German Grand Prix weekend, Melrose finally revealed to the world what his plans for 2011 would be. Many had speculated that he would try to balance a Formula 1 season alongside the F1RWRS for a second year in a row, but he defied all expectations and announced that 2010 would be his last year in Formula 1, despite being close to dead-last in the F1RWRS standings.

The Formula One championship was still far from over however with as many as half a dozen drivers still in realistic contention for the championship, Melrose decided to focus solely on trying to win the F1 title over the rest of the year, with former F1 champion Chris Dagnall taking over Melrose's driving duties in the F1RWRS. Over the course of the next five weekends from Germany, Melrose scored three victories and four other podium finishes to tighten his grasp on a 4th World Championship as the season hit the home stretch. He clinched that fourth world title at the Uruguayan Grand Prix weekend, where a dominating performance saw the champion-elect score wins in both races. However, Melrose was unable to add another win to the tally as his full-time F1 career ended with a disastrous 21st place finish in Abu Dhabi.

2011-2015, 2017 - Part-time Appearances

2011 - Mercedes

This would not mark the end of Melrose's F1 career however, as the champion made several sporadic appearances with the Mercedes team. The Australian's first appearance was at the Monaco Grand Prix in place of the benched Nathan McKane, who had been banned by the FIA at the previous race. Despite having never driven the car, Melrose immediately showed his class by finished 2nd in the Saturday race from 3rd on the grid. He followed it up with a front-row start on Sunday before converting it into a popular race victory, the 35th of his career.

Melrose would return later in the year on two separate occasions, firstly as a replacement for the banned James James Davies, and secondly as a permanent replacement for the British superstar after the latter's acrimonious split from the Mercedes team. While Melrose was unable to add to the win tally, he did display his undeniable class with three poles on the trot in Singapore and India, while also being robbed of two certain victories around the Marina Bay circuit. Despite only starting 9 of a potential 36 races, Melrose still managed to score enough points to record a 16th place finish in the championship.

2012 - Mercedes

After a heart-breaking near miss in the F1RWRS championship race against Nathanael Spencer, Melrose refocused his attention on establishing his eponymous Melrose Racing Team in the series. However, with Mercedes put the call out to the Australian to once again make a return, he was quick to return to the category where he made his mark. Melrose made a one-off appearance in the European Grand Prix weekend to replace former teammate Robert Kubica who had been benched by the FIA the prior weekend. While he was unable to repeat the heroics of his 2011 performances, the Australian still brought the car home in 7th in the Sunday race, banking valuable points for the team.

2013 - Ferrari, Mercedes

It didn't take long for Melrose to return to Formula One, as by now he had developed a reputation of being able to jump in a car and instantly be competitive off the bat. Former employers Ferrari took advantage of this by deciding to bury the hatchet that had long plagued their relationship by hiring him to deputize for the benched Mark Webber at Istanbul. While Melrose was unable to match the race-winning pace of teammate James James Davies, the man he had subbed for two years prior, he still managed to score a small helping of points around the demanding circuit.

That would prove to be the first of two appearances for Melrose in the 2013 Formula One season, the second of which was back in his adopted home Mercedes F1. Coming in at short notice for injured driver and friend Jeroen Krautmeir in Portugal, the former champion repeated his results from Istanbul with a 7th and a fastest lap across the two races.

2014 - Marussia

Melrose would only make one start in 2014 for minnows Marussia F1 as a substitute for benched Frenchman Alexandre Premat at Donnington for the British Grand Prix. After qualifying a lowly 24th on the grid for the first race, Melrose managed to hustle his car to a scarcely believable 8th place, scoring the team's first points of the year. This result proved to be Marussia's best of the 2014 season.

2015 - Ferrari

Melrose returned to F1 yet again for another weekend in 2015 as a supersub for Ferrari. After an accident injured the team's regular driver Evgeny Restov, the former champion was drafted in to drive the famed #27 Ferrari at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend. Melrose continued his streaks of scoring at least one point in his various substitutions with a 9th place finish in race 1. However, he was unable to repeat the performance in race 2 after a late Transmission failure ended his afternoon.

2017 - Valerian

With the return of the Australian Grand Prix to the calendar for the first time since 2010, Melrose was eager to make an appearance in front of his home crowd at Surfers Paradise. To that end, new team Valerian Formula provided him the opportunity to make a one-off appearance for the team. The Australian didn't disappoint the hometown crowd, as he went on to score a solid points finish in the Sunday race in front of an appreciative crowd.

2018 - Return with Holden

After spending much of the last several years substituting for various drivers in F1 and other categories, Melrose finally made his long-awaited full-time return to F1 with the new works Holden Racing Team. With the team also signing former F1 and F1RWRS champion Rhys Davies, a fellow Australian, as his teammate, many expected the team to be instantly competitive.

However, the car proved to be a great disappointment, as both drivers complained of a general lack of grip, rendering both as midfield also-rans. Despite the difficulties, Melrose still managed to score points at a variety of different tracks, including Bahrain, Turkey and Cyprus.

The Finnish Grand Prix turned into one of the highlights of Melrose's season with HRT. The former champion showed a calm head to take 4th place amidst a chaotic Saturday race, before backing up with a 9th place finish on Sunday, marking the first time Melrose had scored points in both races in a weekend since 2011.

A few weeks later in monsoonal conditions at the Australian Grand Prix, Melrose managed to score an unlikely but popular pole position infront of the adoring Surfers Paradise crowd. While he was unable to maintain the front-running pace in the race, he still managed to convert the pole to a solid points finish.

F1RWRS Career

2010-2011 - JLD Motorsport

2010

Looking for a new challenge and disenchanted by the high-stakes political bickering in Formula 1, Daniel Melrose followed former Brawn driver Frank Zimmer to the Formula 1 Rejects World Race Series. The reigning F1 champion signed on as lead driver for the JLD Motorsport team, which was a joint effort between German manufacturer Mercedes and Porsche, alongside former BMW Sauber and Precision teammate Dave Simpson. Both Simpson and Melrose tried to balance a full time Formula One campaign alongside the F1RWRS, with Simpson focusing more on the F1RWRS and Melrose more on trying to win a fourth world title.

Whilst this strategy worked in getting him that title, it came at the expense of Melrose's F1RWRS campaign as ended up a lowly 17th in the championship, having missed the final 3 races of the year and been replaced by Chris Dagnall for the final two. There was some promise in Melrose's season however as in the final race he did in Bahrain. There, he put in a solid drive for a season best result of 6th place along with the fastest lap of the race.

2011

In 2011, Melrose decided to retire from Formula One on a full time basis to focus on other categories elsewhere, including the F1RWRS. For the second year in a row however his season started slowly with just a sole 5th place finish to his name after round 3.

However a brilliant mid-season streak from Luxembourg to the Tasman Grand Prix in Adelaide, including two wins in Belgium and England, and a second place put him solidly in the lead of the championship after 10 rounds.

The team entered a slump in the final third of the season however, which culminated to an embarrassing double DNPQ for the JLD team at the Australian Grand Prix at Bathurst. This coupled with a late season push by Briton Nathanael Spencer meant that Melrose ended up losing the championship to the Brit by 7 points after both failed to score points at the final round in Laguna Seca.

2012 - Melrose Racing Team

Behind the scenes at JLD over the second half of the 2011 season, a consortium comprising of Melrose's own racing team, Melrose's former employers BMW and title sponsor QANTAS made a bid to take over the JLD team after both Mercedes and the Volkswagen group pulled out their support of the team.

By the end of the year, a deal was struck between the various parties which meant that MRT and BMW would take over the JLD team in a 70/30 split with Melrose and incumbent teammate Jeroen Krautmeir as the two drivers for season 2012.

Despite the resources available to the team, Melrose's season got off to the worst possible start with a double DNPQ but came back strongly with a third place in round 3. Both MRTs continued to have inconsistent seasons through the year and Melrose was absolutely thrashed by his younger teammate on occasion as the Australian simply couldn't get either the M3 or the M3B to work with his driving style. Despite that, Melrose scored 4 podium finishes over the course of the season for an eventual 7th place finish in the Driver's championship, including finishing second in the same race that Krautmeir scored MRT's only win that year.

During the oval testing session that MRT conducted at the Talladega Superspeedway Melrose wrote off both his race car and spare car in the space of 2 days after having several enormous accidents over the course of the test, the last of which gave him a moderate concussion. Another huge accident the next week at Laguna Seca where he car became airbourne and barrel-rolled down the front straight gave him another conucssion meant that he had to sit out the season ending race at Indianapolis, which was a double points race that year.

At that point, disheartened by continual lack of success in the series and after a failed bid to become the new Commissioner of the F1RWRS, Melrose announced his retirement from driving duties in the F1RWRS effective immediately.

2013 - ArrowTech

For a few weeks, Melrose seemed content with retirement at just 27 years of age but eventually decided to make a sensational return to driving duties for the ArrowTech ART team. It immediately became clear that Melrose and the ArrowTech car gelled together in pre-season testing, showing he had lost none of his touch despite the string of accidents. This form continued into the early flyaway races with Melrose leading the team's charge with 3 points finishes in the first 3 races, including a sensational 2-3 finish for the team at the 2013 F1RWRS Mexican Grand Prix with Melrose leading home teammate Daniel Martins.

However after that point the team lost its way in the early development race. with Melrose only scoring 1 point in the following 6 races, the race where he scored that point being one of his best to date similar to several burn from the stern performances in the past. ArrowTech and Melrose returned to form at the Belgian Grand Prix. On race day, he damaged the front wing of his car early on before setting about simply driving the wheels off the ArrowTech car for 3rd place, his second podium finish of the season. However, Melrose was adamant that had he not thrown it into the wall early on he stood a good chance of winning that race.

After qualifying for the Mediterranean Grand Prix Melrose was arrested, charged and released on bail for trashing his hotel room after MRT's absolutely horrific showing in qualifying which resulted in a double DNQ, a shocking result even by MRT's poor standards that year.

2013-2014 - Jones Racing

2013

In the wake of the incident in Cyprus, Melrose had a public spat with Arrowtech's latest shareholder Prince Falik, which led to the Australian tearing his two year contract with the team over a year early before accepting an offer from Jones Racing to drive for them in the final two races of the season. This came after Jones' incumbent driver Kay Lon got the sack after being arrested by Chinese authorities over alleged sexual assault charges. Despite being disappointing in the two races for the Jones team, he got a full time contract for 2014 with an option to extend his contract for 2015.

At the now non-championship Budweiser 500, driving for Horizon Motorsport, he finished 10th from 19th on the grid, beating home new boss Jones by over a lap in the process.

2014

Pre-Season testing for the Jones team, and Melrose in particular, was promising with many predicting that the team would be points contenders throughout the year. The Australian didn't fail to deliver on those predictions as he scored podium placed finishes in both of the first two races. His performance in the season opener in Adelaide was particularly special as not only did he remain on the lead lap against the much faster cars of Dagnall and the MRTs, he was consistently the best of the rest in the race all afternoon.

More points at the Long Beach round confirmed his status as a dark horse amongst the upper-midfield runners. A couple of more third placed finishes in France and Belgium plus a number of other points finishes meant that Melrose spent the majority of the year right in the thick of the battle for best of the rest honours. This string of good performances led to team boss Sammy Jones taking up his offer for the Australian for 2015, although a performance clause was inserted in the contract which baffled many pundits.

Before the Chinese Grand Prix, Melrose announced that MRT would open up a consultancy firm for 2015 which quickly lead to a technical partnership deal with Autodynamics Grand Prix, one of the two new teams for 2015. The proposal didn't sit well with Sammy Jones however and it eventually lead to Melrose terminating his Jones Racing contract for 2015, albeit on amicable terms. Melrose's association with Jones Racing ended on a high note with a pair of second places at the two non-championship races at the Bud Light 800 and the endurance race at the Luxembourg Grand Prix.

2015 - Simpson Motorsport

With Melrose one of the biggest free-agents on the market heading into the off-season, many teams up and down the grid were fighting for his services in 2015. Despite many predicting he'd go to Sunshine for 2015, Melrose signed a deal with the new Simpson Motorsports team, allegedly as return for the favour Melrose paid team boss and good friend Dave Simpson to get him the BMW reserve driver slot back in 2007.

Regardless of what the reason was for the decision, the alarm bells were already ringing in pre-season testing. It became apparent very quickly that many of the midfield and backmarker teams from 2014 had made a huge leap forward in terms of performance, throwing the mostly conservative plans of the Simpson Motorsport team into turmoil.

Despite persistent rumours that he was about to jump ship to Sunshine, Melrose kept his head down and tried to extract the maximum out of the ill-handling Simpson-BMW package in their bid to qualify for a race, with little success. Melrose's patience finally ran out at the Monaco Grand Prix when, after failing to pre-qualify for the third time in succession, leading to Melrose quitting the team,

In the meantime, an opening appeared at the Holden Racing Team with the sacking of Englishwoman Poppy Whitechapel. The Australian was quick to pounce at the opportunity, and immediately signed on for a 12 race deal, starting at the next race in Mexico City.

2015 - Holden Racing Team

Melrose arrived at Mexico City with a new lease of life in his now floundering F1RWRS career as he set about getting used to the HRT. While new teammate Frank Zimmer had the upper hand on the Australian all weekend, Melrose did finish a respectable 9th after a solid, if unspectacular drive amongst relatively heavy attrition.

In a car that was slowing but surely losing its pace to the midfield, Melrose failed to qualify for the first F1RWRS race at Montreal, a track where he had scored his first Formula One victory, before being taken out in a first lap collision at the next race in Great Britain.

As a result, HRT dropped down into pre-qualifying as their results had only left them a dismal 12th in the constructors championship, where only the top 11 were guaranteed berths in qualifying proper. Melrose was then sacked by the team in the fallout that resulted from it and replaced by test driver John Zimmer.

After spending several races on the sidelines while racing in Rejects of LFS, Melrose made a sensational return to the team for the final race of the F1RWRS season in Brazil, replacing incumbent Frank Zimmer who still had an outstanding warrant against him from the Brazilian Police. Despite his best efforts, Melrose was unable to haul the team out of pre-qualifying, bringing his F1RWRS career to a close for the time being.

2016-2017 - Part-time appearances

2016 - Melrose Racing Team & Dofasco

After MRT driver Kay Lon was sensationally sacked after just one race with the team, the team was left scrambling to find a replacement drivers. After overtures to both David Neuberg and Alexey Buyvolov failed, the team drafted in owner Melrose at the last minute for Bathurst.

In his first race for his own team since the end of 2012, Melrose qualified a solid 4th on the grid behind teammate Mark Dagnall and the two Kamahas, but a disastrous showing the race culminated in a double-DNF for the team.

Melrose would return later in the year as a one-off replacement for the under-performing Calvin Brooks at the Dofasco Racing organisation while the team searched for a permanent replacement. The pairing of Melrose and incumbent Alexey Buyvolov provided Dofasco with their best race in their short existence. After both cars qualified for the first time, Buyvolov managed to finish in a fine 9th place, while Melrose was running in his wheel-tracks in the sister car, before a late mechanical problem relegated him to being classified 13th.

However, with no other drivers forthcoming and Brooks refusing to return, the team was forced to withdraw the following weekend in Argentina, and collapsed a few weeks later amidst mounting debts. Melrose returned to IndyCar duties in America after his appearance.

2017 - Autodynamics & Boxtel

After the demise of the Horizon Motorsport IndyCar program, Melrose found himself without a full-time drive in either F1 or the F1RWRS. However, an opportunity arose with the Autodynamics Grand Prix team after signed driver Jean-Vincent Albertini received a ban for the first half of the 2017 season. Melrose was quickly signed up to replace him for 8 races alongside Nicolas Steele.

Melrose struggled to adapt to the car, failing to qualify for the first race of the year where Steele scored a podium in the other car. From there, Melrose was generally overshadowed by his younger teammate, but not before scoring his first points of the year at Brands Hatch. Unreliability prevented him from adding to the points tally however, and he was not retained when Albertini returned from his suspension.

He would soon find his way back into the field with the Boxtel Engineering squad. Having recently been the subject of a takeover, new management decided to ditch their previous lineup in exchange for Melrose and former title rival Nathanael Spencer. Even their combined experience and talents failed to improve the fortunes of the team, as Melrose failed to start a race in 7 attempts for Boxtel. Combined with his earlier results at Autodynamics, Melrose recorded a lowly 21st in the F1RWRS championship standings, having participated in 15 of the 16 scheduled races.

IndyCar Career

2015-2016 - Horizon Motorsport

2015

After losing his drive at Holden, Melrose decided to dabble in other racing categories, including IndyCar in America. To that end, Melrose participated in the final race of the 2015 season with Horizon Motorsport to complement their existing four car program.

Competing for the $800 000 grand prize at Fontana, Melrose proved to be instantly competitive, qualifying on the inside of the 4th row alongside IndyCar regulars Beth Lestrade and Rusty Gannit. From there, Melrose managed to avoid most of the attrition behind him and found himself in the lead with just 3 laps to go on an alternate strategy. However, he was forced to pit for a splash of fuel with 2 laps to go, leaving Martin van der Meyede to collect the win. Melrose eventually crossed the line in a heartbreaking 3rd, and a lap down.

2016

Despite the disappointing finish, Horizon Motorsport were quick to sign him for a full-time campaign in 2016, replacing team co-owner Dean O'Lauchlan in the #73 that Melrose used for much of his career. With his years of experience and his recent form on Ovals, Melrose was expected to be one of the title contenders.

The new Ford V6 Turbo turned out to be down on power compared to its rivals however, resulting in a downturn in performance for the entire team. As a result, Melrose only managed three top 10 finishes in the entire first half of the season, the best of which was an impressive run to 7th in his debut Indianapolis 500. After the poor run in the first half of the year, Ford introduced major upgrades to the engine in conjunction with Jack Roush in time for the Michigan 500.

Things took a turn for the worse however, when all four Horizon Motorsport cars withdrew within the first 20 laps at Michigan after issues with the new turbochargers were discovered. With threats from Melrose that the team was ready to defect to BMW for 2017, Ford redoubled their efforts in time for the following race at Toronto.

From there, fortunes improved for Melrose, as he managed to score several major results for the team to close out the season, including two heroic efforts in Canada. The first was surviving attrition to finish 5th around the streets of Toronto, while he backed it up with a run to third place in Montreal, a favourite stomping ground in his F1 career. While Melrose only scored one more points finish in the last five races, he still managed enough points to finish 18th in the standings, in what had been a difficult campaign for the entire team.

With a raft of new rule changes proposed in 2017, the Horizon Motorsport team took the shock decision to withdraw from the series to focus on a NASCAR and RejectTrucks program. Melrose quickly announced his own withdrawal from the series, returning to Europe to accept an offer with Autodynamics Grand Prix.

Personal Life

Melrose's Helmet design

Melrose has run the same basic helmet design for virtually his entire career. He initially started off with a green and gold helmet with the Southern Cross during his early karting days before he changed it to the Boxing Kangaroo, the unofficial mascot of Australia, upon joining the Precision Motorsport Young Driver Program. He has been one of the few drivers who are vehemently against running sponsorship logos on their helmet and bending over to the pressures of commercialisation for the sake of keeping the same helmet for the duration of their careers.

Melrose currently lives alone in Munich, Germany where his team is based after spending many years living in Liechtenstein. In his early career especially, his driving almost seemed to be a way for him to deal with the "demons" in his head that seemingly plagued him for much of his teenage years, which ended up being the motivating force of his career. Melrose has one younger sibling named Joel who is currently driving for JLD Motorsport in the F3RWRS.

Melrose is known for being incredibly talkative over the radio and, as a result, his strategic ability throughout his career is second to none and while his ability to set up a car is good, he has never considered himself a great technically minded driver as he usually ends up driving around any minor problems with the car. He also has a strange habit of listening to rock music over the radio fed to him by the team to help him get into 'the zone' on any given weekend.

For all his prowess on the track, Melrose has had many issues over the years with his various personal managers, with almost all his associations with them ending on very hostile terms. One particularly bad break up with a manager, who was also in a relationship with him at the time, led to Melrose withdrawing his entry from the 2014 F1RMGP 24 Hour V8 Bathurst Enduro and swearing that he'll never have another personal manager for the rest of his career.

Whilst on a training camp in Tropico during the 2015 season, Melrose was one of the most high-profile people caught up in the Tropican-Venezuelan conflict at the time. Venezuelan president Hugo Chaves learned of the former world champion's presence in the island Nation and appointed him the new President of Tropico on the evening of June 5th. Despite initial concerns that the strong Nationalist faction on the island would be uproar over the appointment, the vast majority of the Tropican people approved of his placement, as the Australian had done much to help the explosive growth of the Tropican tourist industry over the past several years. The position has been largely symbolic with the Prime Minister looking after the day-to-day running of the country.

Complete Formula One Grand Prix results

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 WDC Points
2003 Jordan Honda Jordan EJ13 Honda RA003E AUS MAL SMR ESP AUT MON CAN GBR EUR GER HUN ITA BEL
6
USA
13
BRA
3
JPN
13†
13th 9
2004 Red Bull Sauber Petronas Sauber C23 Petronas 04A 3.0 V10 AUS
10
MAL
Ret
BHR
3
MON
6
CAN
4
USA
10
CHN
12
BRA
15
ARG
5
JPN
Ret
9th 18
2005 Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Ferrari F2004M
Ferrari F2005
Ferrari 053 3.0 V10
Ferrari 055 3.0 V10
AUS
8
MAL
4
BHR
5
SMR
14
ESP
2
MON
1
EUR
Ret
CAN
4
USA
2
FRA
1
GBR
Ret
GER
2
HUN
Ret
TUR
3
ITA
Ret
BEL
3
BRA
5
URU
5
JPN
Ret
CHN
Ret
5th 75
2006 BMW Sauber F1 Team BMW Sauber F1.06 BMW P86 BHR
Ret
MAL
Ret
AUS
9
SME
Ret
EUR
15†
ESP
3
MON
7
GBR
1
CAN
1
'USA
1
FRA
3
GER
3
HUN
2
TUR
1
ITA
2
CHN
Ret
JPN
2
BRA
Ret
4th 75
2007 BMW Sauber F1 Team BMW Sauber F1.07 BMW P86/7 AUS
1
MAL
Ret
BHR
5
ESP
Ret
MON
1
CAN
1
USA
Ret
FRA
5
GBR
1
EUR
6
HUN
2
TUR
4
ITA
4
BEL
2
JPN
4
CHN
7
BRA
1
1st 95
2008 BMW Sauber F1 Team BMW Sauber F1.08 BMW P86/8 AUS
3
MAL
4
BHR
10
ESP
7
TUR
4
MON
1
CAN
1
FRA
6
GBR
4
GER
6
HUN
6
EUR
17†
BEL
3
ITA
5
SIN
4
JPN
8
CHN
6
BRA
Ret
6th 71
2009 BMW Sauber F1 Team BMW Sauber F1.09 BMW P86/9 AUS
Ret
MAL
1
CHN
2
BHR
1
ESP
6
MON
2
TUR
1
GBR
3
GER
Ret
HUN
1
EUR
13
BEL
1
ITA
Ret
SIN
1
JPN
Ret
BRA
1
ABU
6
1st 98
2010 Petronas Mercedes Team Europe Mercedes MGP 001 Mercedes FO 108X BHR I
3
BHR II
4
USA I
3
USA II
Ret
JPN I
1
JPN II
3
AUS I
2
AUS II
1
TUR I
7
TUR II
Ret
EUR I
EX
EUR II
3
MON I
2
MON II
1
GBR I
6
GBR II
Ret
IRE I
5
IRE II
1
GER I
Ret
GER II
1
ESP I
4
ESP II
1
ITA I
2
ITA II
2
HUN I
Ret
HUN II
1
SIN I
2
SIN II
3
KOR I
7
KOR II
Ret
BRA I
EX
BRA II
3
URU I
1
URU II
1
ABU I
5
ABU II
21
1st 471
2011 Petronas Mercedes Team Europe Mercedes MGP W02 Mercedes FO 108Y BAH I BAH II USA I USA II JPN I JPN II KOR I KOR II TUR I TUR II ESP I ESP II MON I
2
MON II
1
GBR I GBR II IRE I IRE II EUR I EUR II GER I GER II HUN I HUN II ITA I ITA II URU I URU II BRA I
7
BRA II SIN I
Ret
SIN II
Ret
IND I
3
IND II
7
ABU I
4
ABU II
15
16th 85
2012 Petronas Mercedes Team Europe Mercedes MGP W03 Mercedes FO 108Z BAH I BAH II MAL I MAL II JPN I JPN II KOR I KOR II TUR I TUR II EUR I
21
EUR II
7
MON I MON II GBR I GBR II CAN I CAN II USA I USA II GER I GER II ESP I ESP II ITA I ITA II ABU I ABU II IND I IND II URU I URU II BRA I BRA II SIN I SIN II 30th 6
2013 Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Ferrari F1310 Ferrari Type 057 BAH I BAH II MAL I MAL II JPN I JPN II TUR I
Ret
TUR II
7
AUT I AUT II IRE I IRE II MON I MON II ESP I ESP II USA I USA II CAN I CAN II GBR I GBR II ITA I ITA II 25th 12
Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes MGP W04 Mercedes FO 108Z POR I
7
POR II
Ret
GER I GER II KOR I KOR II IND I IND II ABU I ABU II SIN I SIN II
2014 Full Tilt Poker Marussia F1 Team Marussia MR03 Ferrari Type 058 BAH I BAH II MAL I MAL II BRA I BRA II MEX I MEX II USA I USA II CAN I CAN II GBR I
8
GBR II ESP I ESP II AUT I AUT II TUR I TUR II GER I GER II POR I POR II ITA I ITA II ABU I ABU II IND I IND II CHN I CHN II KOR I KOR II JPN I JPN II SIN I SIN II 27th 4
2015 Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari F2015 Ferrari Type 058 BAH I BAH II MAL I MAL II BRA I BRA II MEX I MEX II USA I USA II CAN I CAN II GBR I GBR II GER I GER II ESP I ESP II RUS I RUS II AUT I AUT II ITA I ITA II CPR I CPR II ABU I
9
ABU II
Ret
IND I IND II JPN I JPN II KOR I KOR II SIN I SIN II CHN I CHN II 29th 2
2017 Eni Valerian Formula Ferrari Valerian F01 Ferrari Type 059 USA I USA II JPN I JPN II IND I IND II BAH I BAH II CYP I CYP II HUN I HUN II GER I GER II GBR I GBR II AUS I
Ret
AUS II
8
PAC I PAC II MEX I MEX II AUT I AUT II ITA I ITA II EUR I EUR II ESP I ESP II ABU I ABU II RUS I
C
RUS II
C
BRA I BRA II CHN I CHN II 27th 4
2018 Kmart Holden Racing Team Holden HRT-008 Holden LSF1-18 USA I
Ret
USA II
11
JPN I
Ret
JPN II
15
BAH I
6
BAH II
Ret
TUR I
11
TUR II
8
CYP I
8
CYP II
16†
MED I
Ret
MED II
Ret
GER I
13
GER II
13
FIN I
4
FIN II
8
RUS I
17
RUS II
Ret
SIN I
16
SIN II
9
AUS I
20
AUS II
8
GBR I
11
GBR II
14
FRA I
3
FRA II
5
NED I
18
NED II
20
HUN I
9
HUN II
10
ABU I
11
ABU II
Ret
CHN I
14
CHN II
18
MEX I
8
MEX II
22
BRA I
14
BRA II
12
15th 39 (51)
2019 Scuderia Ferrari Vodafone Ferrari 3510 Ferrari Type 060 USA I
8
USA II
11
JPN I
Ret
JPN II
9
AUS I
10
AUS II
12
BAH I
Ret
BAH II
12
TUR I
9
TUR II
16
CYP I
4
CYP II
7
SMR I
Ret
SMR II
12
FIN I
Ret
FIN II
7
GER I
23†
GER II
10
JOR I
7
JOR II
9
GBR I
Ret
GBR II
6
FRA I
6
FRA II
3
NED I
Ret
NED II
15
HUN I
8
HUN II
8
ABU I ABU II SIN I SIN II CHN I CHN II MEX I MEX II BRA I BRA II 9th* 57*
  • * The F1 points system changed for 2010
  • ‡ Half points awarded as less than 75% of race distance was completed.
  • † Driver did not finish the Grand Prix, but was classified as they completed over 90% of the race distance.

Complete F1RWRS Results

Year Team Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 DC Pts
2010 JLD Motorsport JLD 01 Porsche 366 GER
11
LUX
13
SAX
12
CHN
9
TAS
16
BHR
6
BEL
INJ
GBR AUS 17th 7
2011 Qantas JLD Motorsport JLD M2 BMW P84/5 BAV
5
GER
14
SAX
16
LUX
6†
BEL
1
GBR
2
ENG
1
KEN
DSQ
NED
4
TAS
8
2nd 66
JLD M2B AUS
DNPQ
NSW
10
SUR
7†
CHN
3
USA
10
2012 Qantas Melrose Racing Team MRT M3 BMW P86/12 BAV
DNPQ
SAX
DNPQ
GER
3
LUX
Ret
BEL
14†
NED
3
GBR
4
KEN
2
ENG
7
TAS
9
7th 43
MRT M3B SUR
Ret
NSW
3
AUS
Ret
CHN
15
USA
Ret
500
INJ
2013 ArrowTech ART ArrowTech AT-03 Ford HB IV TAS
5
AUS
4
MEX
2
USA
Ret
MON
Ret
FRA
6
GBR
8
GER
10
NED
Ret
BEL
3
POR
9
MED
Ret
MAC
5
CHN
11
=8th 18
Castrol Jones Racing Jones CJR-102B Ford HBD VI JPN
8
BRA
Ret
2014 Castrol Jones Racing Jones CJR-103 Ford HBD VI TAS
3
AUS
3
BRA
9
MEX
Ret
USA
4
MON
Ret
FRA
3
GBR
Ret
GER
11
BEL
3
ITA
5
MED
5
NED
10
MAC
Ret
CHN
7
JPN
5
6th 25
2015 Gulf Simpson Motorsports Simpson GSM-010 BMW P89/NA TAS
DNQ
AUS
DNPQ
MED
DNPQ
MON
DNPQ
=26th 0
Valvoline Holden Racing Team HRT-005 Holden LSF1 MEX
9
USA
11
CAN
DNQ
GBR
Ret
GER BEL AUT ITA NED CHN JPN BRA
DNPQ
2016 Virgin Melrose Racing Team MRT M7 BMW P90/16 AUS NSW
Ret
36th 0
Dofasco Lukoil Racing Dofasco DR 03 Lancia 016/1 GBR ITA AUT CAN USS USN GER NED MON BEL MEX
13†
ARG CHN JPN
2017 BOC Autodynamics Grand Prix Autodynamics AGP17 Gillet GV11B AUS
DNQ
NSW
Ret
GBR
5
ITA
Ret
AUT
Ret
CAN
12
USS
8
USN
Ret
21st 2
Boxtel Engineering Boxtel BOX-017 Ford XR8C GER NSE
DNPQ
BEL
DNPQ
MON
DNPQ
MOR
DNPQ
ARG
DNQ
JPN
DNPQ
CHN
DNPQ
  • * Season in Progress
  • † Driver did not finish race, but was classified as they had completed 75% race distance (2010-12) or 90% race distance (2013).

Complete Rejects of LFS Results

Year Team Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 DC Pts
2015 Red Bull World Race Team Scaven S15 Autodynamics-Judd 3.0 V8 BLA
HEA
BLA
FEA
WES
HEA
WES
FEA
FER
HEA
FER
FEA
SOU
HEA
SOU
FEA
AST
HEA
6
AST
FEA
7
KYO
HEA
15
KYO
FEA
DNQ
KYO
300
4
20th 7

Complete F1RICS Results

Year Team Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 DC Points
2015 McDoggle Racing Team Lola B15/00 Ford V6T SAO WDW GAT KAN TEX INDY MIL ROA MIC MON EUR NHA WGI NAS KEN POC SUZ SUR VAN POR LAG FON
3
39th 35
2016 Horizon Motorsport Lola B16/00 Ford V6T SAO
7
SLU
18
MIA
8
GAT
20
LBH
16
AUS
14
POR
19
INDY
7
MIL
11
DON
19
EUR
31
WGI
27
NHA
17
MIC
28
TOR
5
ROA
13
KEN
7
POC
12
MON
3
LAG
16
SUR
26
SUZ
12
TEX
17
FON
14
18th 51

Career Summary

Year Series Team Position
1994 NSW Midget Karting Independent 1st
1995 Australian Midget Karting Independent 2nd
1996 Australian Rookie Karting Independent 4th
1997 Formula C Championship Precision Motorsports 2nd
1998 Formula C Championship Precision Motorsports 1st
1999 Australian Formula Ford Championship Fastlane Racing 4th
2000 Australian Formula Ford Championship Fastlane Racing 1st
2001 Australian Formula Three Championship Piccola Scuderia 1st
Macau Grand Prix 4th
2002 British Formula Three Championship Fortec Motorsport 1st
Macau Grand Prix 1st
2003 International F3000 Championship Super Nova Racing 1st
2004 Formula One Minardi Cosworth 13th
2005 Formula One Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro 1st
2006 Formula One BMW Sauber 4th
2007 Formula One BMW Sauber 1st
2008 Formula One BMW Sauber 6th
2009 Formula One BMW Sauber 1st
2010 Formula One Mercedes GP 1st
F1RWRS JLD Motorsport 17th
2011 F1RWRS Qantas JLD Motorsport 2nd
Formula One Mercedes Team Europe 16th
2012 F1RWRS Qantas Melrose Racing Team 7th
Formula One Mercedes Team Europe 30th
2013 F1RWRS ArrowTech ART =8th
Castrol Jones Racing
Formula One Scuderia Ferrari 25th
Mercedes AMG
2014 F1RWRS Castrol Jones Racing 6th
Formula One Marussia F1 Team 27th
2015 F1RWRS Simpson Motorsports =26th
Holden F1RWRS Racing Team
Formula One Scuderia Ferrari 29th
RoLFS Red Bull World Race Team 20th
F1RICS McDoggle Racing Team 39th
2016 F1RWRS Melrose Racing Team 36th
Dofasco Racing
F1RICS Horizon Motorsport 18th
2017 F1RWRS Autodynamics Grand Prix 21st
Boxtel Engineering
Formula One Valerian Formula 27th
2018 Formula One Holden Racing Team 13th*

F1 Records Held

  • Youngest Driver to score a point: 18 years, 255 days (2004 Australian Grand Prix)
  • Youngest Driver to lead a lap: 18 years, 338 days (2004 European Grand Prix)
  • Youngest Driver to score a fastest lap: 18 years, 352 days (2004 Canadian Grand Prix)
  • Youngest Driver to win a Grand Prix: 18 years, 352 days (2004 Canadian Grand Prix)
  • Youngest Driver to win a Grand Prix from pole position: 19 years, 302 days (2005 San Marino Grand Prix)
  • Youngest Driver to score a Hat Trick: 19 years, 330 days (2005 Monaco Grand Prix)
  • Youngest Driver to score a Grand Chelem: 19 years 330 days (2005 Monaco Grand Prix)
  • Youngest Driver to lead the World Championship: 19 years, 337 days (2005 European Grand Prix)
  • Youngest Driver to win the World Championship: 20 years, 101 days (2005 Japanese Grand Prix)