Fernando Alonso said on Friday to expect a surprising starting grid come Sunday morning but I'm not sure anyone quite expected this. Granted Mclaren were know to be fast and both Hamilton and Button put in a spectacular laps but Romain Grosjean in third? I'm not sure Romain had ever driven in Melbourne before Friday!
|Kimi super excited about returning to F1|
The performance from Lotus is real as had been anticipated and other than a spectacular failure to get enough ice cream into Kimi Raikkonen to keep him awake long enough to get into Q3, it was good news for the French team.
The rest was all Mercedes power, either in the Mclaren or in the hugely improved Mercedes F1 chassis. The shot of Norbert Haug smiling said it all, not only do the Mecs have real speed but Schumacher is ahead of Rosberg. Schumi had awesome starts last year and Mercedes F1 have the fastest post stops of anyone on pit lane. Things are looking good for the Silver Arrows.
Mood must be bad at Red Bull, Vettel got out qualified by Webber and the two of them will start only in row three. It's sort of ironic that Red Bull are now the ones protesting a
But nothing can be darker than the mood must be at Ferrari. The cars were just not there, ever. Alonso was having trouble overtaking an HRT down the straight that's how much wing they had to run.
For the race it will be a different story but if the only hope for Ferrari was an improved performance over a single lap resulting in better grid positions well, that did not happen.
A final not on HRT who did not meet the 107% rule and will not be allowed to start the race, my hat off to de la Rosa and Karthikeyan who wen not acting as literal moving chicanes had to deal with a scary, horrible car, but at least HRT has an excuse.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m24.922s 2. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m25.074s + 0.152 3. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m25.302s + 0.380 4. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m25.336s + 0.414 5. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m25.651s + 0.729 6. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m25.668s + 0.746 7. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m25.686s + 0.764 8. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m25.908s + 0.986 9. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m26.451s + 1.529 10. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari No time Q2 cut-off time: 1m26.319s Gap ** 11. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m26.429s + 0.960 12. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m26.4942 + 1.025 13. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m26.590s + 1.121 14. Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1m26.663s + 1.194 15. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m27.086s + 1.617 16. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m27.497s + 2.028 17. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari No time Q1 cut-off time: 1m27.633s Gap * 18. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m27.758s + 1.576 19. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1m28.679s + 2.497 20. Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1m29.018s + 2.836 21. Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1m30.923s + 4.741 22. Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1m31.670s + 5.488 23. Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1m33.495s + 7.313 24. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1m33.643s + 7.461 107% time: 1m32.214s
* Gap to quickest in Q1
** Gap to quickest in Q2