Sebastian Vettel claimed his second pole position in as many races after beating home favourite and team mate Mark Webber to P1 in qualifying for tomorrow’s Australian Grand Prix. Red Bull totally dominated qualifying under Melbourne’s dark clouds and topped the time sheets in all three sessions. Webber tried hard to challenge his German team mate but the Aussie’s Q3 lap time of 1:24.035 wasn’t enough to beat Vettel’s 1:23.919.
Behind the Red Bull front row is Fernando Alonso for Ferrari alongside reigning world champion Jenson Button in fourth. Felipe Massa in the other scarlet car qualified fifth, ahead of the Mercedes GP Petronas duo of Nico Rosberg in sixth and seven-time champion Michael Schumacher in seventh. Completing the top-10 are Rubens Barrichello for Williams-Cosworth in eighth, Robert Kubica for Renault in ninth and Adrian Sutil for Force India in tenth.
Did we miss anyone? No, because Lewis Hamilton was the only big gun to miss out on Q3. We did not see the Brit make any mistake on TV and there wasn’t any news about mechanical problems, so it looks like just a bad day in the office for the 2008 champion. He’s starting in 11th place beside Sebastien Buemi’s Toro Rosso.
The first two qualifying sessions told pretty much the same story as in Bahrain. Lotus Racing’s Heikki Kovalainen was the best of the “new boys” in 19th, followed by team mate Jarno Trulli in 20th place. The Virgins of Timo Glock and Lucas di Grassi were 21st and 22nd, respectively.
Bruno Senna and Karun Chandok of HRT will occupy the last row on the grid. Joining these teams to go out in Q1 was Renault’s Russian driver Vitaly Petrov. However, his 18th place time of 1:26.471 was more than two seconds faster than Heikki’s, highlighting the gulf in pace between established and new teams.
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