The qualifying for the 2011 Australian Grand Prix took place on Saturday at Albert Park in Melbourne, Australia. This is where we finally got to see what the race teams really had.
In the first session, Q3, as I predicted, the HRT cars did not go fast enough to make the field based on the 107% rule. HRT will likely plea to the race officials for mercy, so they might yet get an opportunity to start. The rest of cars at the back of the field were not surprising.
The second qualifying session, Q2, was interrupted for a time when Barrichello wound up stuck in the gravel on the first lap and got no time, so he was placed at the bottom of the second group. The most surprising result was the Michael Schumacher in the Mercedes did not make it into the final qualifying session. He will start 11th.
In the final session, the cream rose to the top with Sebastian Vettel taking the pole position. The other Red Bull car, driven by Webber will start 3rd on the grid. In between the Red Bull sandwich is Lewis Hamilton as the McLaren cars seem to have made great improvements over the off season. The other McLaren car, driven by Jenson Button will start 4th. Ferrari, at least with Alonso at the wheel, is in a decent starting position, but a little disappointing for them as they had a good off season testing program. The Sauber team seems to be a little quicker this year and will bear watching.
The complete results of qualifying are presented in the following table:
|1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull||1:23.529|
|3||Mark Webber||Red Bull||1:24.395|
|10||Sebastien Buemi||Toro Rosso||1:27.066|
|12||Jaime Alguersuari||Toro Rosso||1:26.103|
|15||Paul di Resta||Force India||1:29.739|
|16||Adrian Sutil||Force India||1:31.407|
|17||Rubens Barrichello||Williams||No Time|
|19||Heikki Kovalainen||Team Lotus||1:29.254|
|20||Jarno Trulli||Team Lotus||1:29.679|
|21||Timo Glock||Virgin Racing||1:29.858|
|22||Jerome d’Ambrosio||Virgin Racing||1:30.822|