The drivers were moaning again at the start of qualifying about the traffic, i.e. the new cars going much slower and other drivers not jumping out of the way. Badger reckons they should keep calm and carry on – this is motor racing, stop moaning and get driving and if someone’s slow then overtake them (please!)
Anyway, onto the qualifying session – rain lingered for the duration as temperatures fell with the usual sun soaked track looking a little overcast, the only thing looking more daunting than the dark clouds was the pace of the Red Bull cars – here’s qualifying as it happened, blow by blow…
Qualifying Round 1 – the new teams battle continues…
Again the news teams squabble over the last 7 places on the grid with Hispania firmly bringing up the rear and Lotus now comfortably quicker than the Virgin cars.
Petrov will have met many of his critics’ expectations today with him pretty much letting down the Renault team with 18th position – the yellow cars were pretty optimistic ahead of this weekend.
Qualifying Round 2 – Hamilton’s down and out down under
Luck never seems to go Lewis’ way in Melbourne, sure he won the 2008 race, but last year his squeeky clean reputation was tarnished with ‘lie-gate’ and then this year he’s pulled over by the rozzas for behaving like a uneducated youth in a ‘suped-up’ Nova. He qualifies 11th for Australia 2010.
Both Saubers disappointed again, never threatening the threshold for the top 10 shoot out. Liuzzi’s Force India and Hulkenberg’s Williams were both knocked out too along with both Toro Rosso cars.
Qualifying Round 3 – The fight for pole position
The drivers were struggling with chilly weather in Melbourne causing a loss of grip on track. Vettel looked just a threatening today as he did two weeks ago in Bahrain. McLaren’s Jenson Button seemed far happier this time around after easily making the final round of qualifying and having the pace to contend at the front.
Well done to Rubens Barrichello who brought Williams a top 10 qualifying position, putting the blue and white car ahead of Renault and Force India in the qualifying battle.
Schumacher was again beaten by Rosberg in the Mercedes, but it’s closer than last time. Fernando Alonso will no doubt still be challenging and thinking he can win from a very respectable 3rd place.
Vettel will just be hoping for a more reliable car on Sunday, as for Webber – he’ll be hoping his best ever qualifying at Melbourne can translate into his best ever finish…