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It was the 50th Australian Grand Prix and the first to be run as part of the Formula One championship.
McLaren-TAG Porsche and Ferrari came into this race fighting for the Constructor's Championship
- McLaren-TAG Porsche (90pts) needed either
- 2nd (or 3rd and 6th) or better
- 4th (or 5th and 6th) with the Ferraris 1st and 3rd or lower
- 5th with the Ferraris 1st and 4th or lower
- 6th with the Ferraris 1st and 5th or lower
- the Ferraris scoring 1st and 6th or lower
- Ferrari (80pts) needed either
- 1st and 2nd with the McLarens scoring fewer than 5pts
- 1st and 3rd with the McLarens scoring fewer than 3pts
- 1st and 4th with the McLarens 6th or lower
- 1st and 5th with the McLaren 7th or lower
- Elio de Angelis - Was excluded for regaining his original grid position after being delayed on the parade lap.
- Milestone - Alan Jones; 100th Race Start.
- On the second to last lap, Ligier driver Philippe Streiff tried to overtake his team-mate Jacques Laffite for 2nd place and, as result of this maneuver, Streiff's front wheel axis was severely damaged, but the driver still managed to finish in 3rd place despite driving on "three wheels".
- Last win for Keke Rosberg
- Last Fastest lap for Keke Rosberg