Hamilton Grabs Pole In Rain Affected Melbourne

Lewis Hamilton took Mercedes’ 100th pole position today by taking the first non-Red Bull pole since the Hungarian Grand Prix last year.

Hamilton had led the second practice session on Friday afternoon, with Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso taking first in FP1 and Nico Rosberg taking the fastest time in FP3 by over a second. However, any of the predictability from the practice sessions was gone when rain hit the Albert Park circuit about ten minutes into the opening Qualifying session this morning.

Eventually Hamilton slid to pole, three-tenths ahead of his closest opposition which was the miraculously recovered Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo in his first race with the team. However, while Ricciardo will be typically beaming with the result, his World Champion team-mate will start tomorrow’s race in twelfth after the wet weather got the better of him.

Another big Q2 drop-out was Kimi Raikkonen who spun his Ferrari into the barrier after turn 3 – embarrassingly on his in-lap. He will start tomorrow’s race in eleventh while his team-mate, Fernando Alonso, will line up fifth, behind Nico Rosberg in third and McLaren’s rookie Kevin Magnussen in fourth.

Jean-Eric Vergne was an unexpected sixth for Toro Rosso and  his team-mate, Daniil Kvyat, qualified eighth in his first F1 qualifying session with Nico Hulkenberg in between the two for Force India. The other Force India qualified far down the order in sixteenth.

The Williams duo of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas just slipped into Q3 and didn’t set a competitive lap during the session, meaning they qualified ninth and tenth respectively. However, Bottas was given a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change which means that Jenson Button will start tenth after he narrowly missed out on the final Qualifying run.

Adrian Sutil will start from thirteenth, while Caterham’s Kamui Kobayashi will, unbelievably, start from fourteenth. Caterham had struggled so far this weekend and Kobayashi had failed to set a single lap on Friday, making his performance today even more impressive. Marcus Ericsson qualified twentieth in the other Caterham. The Marussia duo lined up seventeenth and eighteenth, Chilton leading Bianchi, for the opening session and Esteban Gutierrez was close behind them for Sauber. He too will take a penalty for a gearbox change.

It was a real day to forget for Lotus who both dropped out in the first session, Grosjean in twenty-first ahead of Maldonado in twenty-second, and last. It was so bad for the team that Maldonado failed to even set a lap and was left pleading to the stewards to waive the 107% rule, which they did. Therefore he just slipped in and will start from twenty-first, ahead of penalised Gutierrez.

  1. Lewis Hamilton
  2. Daniel Ricciardo
  3. Nico Rosberg
  4. Kevin Magnussen
  5. Fernando Alonso
  6. Jean-Eric Vergne
  7. Nico Hulkenberg
  8. Daniil Kvyat
  9. Felipe Massa
  10. Jenson Button
  11. Kimi Raikkonen
  12. Sebastian Vettel
  13. Adrian Sutil
  14. Kamui Kobayashi
  15. Valtteri Bottas*
  16. Sergio Perez
  17. Max Chilton
  18. Jules Bianchi
  19. Marcus Ericsson
  20. Romain Grosjean
  21. Pastor Maldonado
  22. Esteban Gutierrez*

*Incurred a five-place penalty for a gearbox change.

Image courtesy Mercedes AMG F1 Team.

 

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One response to “Hamilton Grabs Pole In Rain Affected Melbourne

  1. Pingback: VIDEO: Lewis Hamilton’s Australian GP Pole Lap | Ben Sweeney's F1 Blog

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