March 17, 2012

2012 Australian GP Qualifying

Photo: Topazzar/Flickr

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 clever cheat technical innovation on the Mercedes rear wing!

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


  1. The embedded videos are broken.

    1. they seem to work on this end...anyone else?

    2. broken here. maybe a locale thing. I am in Canada

    3. they don't work in my RSS reader but work fine on the actual site.

  2. Keep getting this reply:


    The creator of this video has not given you permission to embed it on this domain. This is a Vimeo Plus feature.

  3. right, the videos should just play on axis...

  4. it really seems like Mclaren have something figured out with their rear end because that thing was planted.. tho Schumi was only .4 off, he was sawing at that thing! HRT's camera isn't even planted...

  5. Haha, that picture says it all. He must have been drinking all night or something... I hope he is aware that everyone is expecting him!

  6. I was watching the SpeedTV coverage, and as far as clever cheat/technical innovation on the Mercedes rear wing goes, I think they got it wrong.

    They were saying that when the DRS raises the wing element, it uncovers a port that allows air down into the side plates. I think it's the opposite. From what I saw, that was a NACA duct in the reverse directions. It looks like what they are doing is drawing the air OUT from somewhere else on the car.

    They could be pulling air off the lower element, or even off the diffuser itself if they wanted to (or could figure out the plumbing).

    It IS a smart idea, but I wonder what they're doing with it?

  7. good ferrari is good for f1. they need to get it together. fernando is too good to be relegated to midfield. have to wait until when, bahrain to see if they get better? shitty.

    also i dig the green and yellow kerbing. australia colors and blends into the grass.

  8. I like that there is grass on the sides and gravel tracks to penalize mistakes for a change

  9. With how their clever front wing works, I would imagine Mercedes rear wing works more like Tony described. In either case, even with the cars being squirrely as all hell, those Mercedes are FAST.

    I would gather they are going to have a much easier time in the next few races getting better performance, it seems they just need to dial the rear in end and they'll hop over McLaren. McLaren seems like they'll need to whip up some more aerodynamic wizardry to respond... which I would think takes a bit more time.

  10. Thank you for the videos. The sound of the McLaren downshifting is great.


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