Australian Grand Prix Qualifying Results Set the Grid

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:

Grid      
Position Driver Team Time
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:23.529
2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:24.307
3 Mark Webber Red Bull 1:24.395
4 Jenson Button McLaren 1:24.858
5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:24.974
6 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1:25.247
7 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:25.421
8 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:25.599
9 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1:25.850
10 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso 1:27.066
11 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:25.971
12 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso 1:26.103
13 Sergio Perez Sauber 1:26.108
14 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:26.768
15 Paul di Resta Force India 1:29.739
16 Adrian Sutil Force India 1:31.407
17 Rubens Barrichello Williams No Time
18 Nick Heidfeld Renault 1:28.613
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
  Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT 1:32.978
  Narain Karthikeyan HRT 1:34.293
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