On March 4, the 2001 season got underway at Albert Park in Australia and Michael Schumacher took the first pole of the year in the Ferrari F2001. At the start, the German got away best, tailed by Hakkinen’s McLaren. However, in the other Ferrari, Rubens Barrichello, who had got away slowly, was involved in a chaotic incident, colliding with the Jordan of Heinz-Harald Frentzen. But more seriously, Ralf Schumacher braked in the Williams as he fought off Jacques Villeneuve, but the Canadian ran into him and in the ensuing accident, a track marshal lost his life, hit by a part of the BAR.
At half distance, Hakkinen was out with suspension failure, which left the way clear for Schumacher to charge to victory. Behind him, Coulthard got past Barrichello, who was struggling with a car that was badly balanced following the earlier accident. It was a dominant win, as Schumacher led for 52 of the 56 laps, also taking the hat trick of pole, the win and fastest race lap, the seventh of his career.
Worth noting that a young Finn scored points on his F1 debut with Sauber that day: Kimi Raikkonen started 13th and finished sixth, which back then was the last place eligible for points.