Sebastian Vettel denied team mate Mark Webber a pole position start in front of his home crowd at Melbourne.
Vettel edged his team mate by less than a tenth of a second in qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix.
But the biggest surprise of the session was Lewis Hamilton failing to make it into the top ten.
With 24 cars on-track at once teams were working overtime on the pit wall to get their drivers onto clear parts of the track to get their laps in.
The Red Bulls, McLarens and Fernando Alonso all made it through into Q2 by making just one run. And the rapid RB6s managed it without having to use the soft tyres.
The three new cars took up their already customary places in the bottom six, Lotus ahead of Virgin and of HRT. Jarno Trulli’s performance was hindered by a broken seat.
Sebastien Buemi escaped the bottom seven in the dying stages, dropping Renault’s Vitaly Petrov out of qualifying. The Russian driver might have made it into Q2 but for a wild moment in the high-speed turn 11 and 12 chicane.
After both McLarens had made it into Q2 with a single run it was a surprise to see Lewis Hamilton fail to progress any further.
He did two efforts on the soft tyres he was 11th, 0.062s behind Robert Kubica. Hamilton’s team mate Jenson Button made it through, courtesy of his first time on the soft tyres, and he did his second run on the hard compound after that.
Ferrari also sent Alonso out on the hard tyres for his second run after going fast enough on his first attempt to guarantee he would get through to Q3.
Webber was fastest earlier in Q2 but Vettel showed his pace with a late lap that beat Webber’s time.
Rubens Barrichello took Williams into the final part of qualifying, beating team mate Nico Hülkenberg by seven tenths of a second.
Webber was quickest to begin with, beating Alonso’s time to head the field. But Vettel went faster in the first two sectors and clung on through a wild final sector to snatch provisional pole position from Webber.
They had enough time for an extra set of runs but there were no significant improvements. Webber beat Vettel in the first and third sectors but couldn’t beat Vettel’s time in the middle part of the lap.
Nor were there many changes further down the order. The Mercedes drivers were the only ones to try a run on hard tyres at the end of the session but neither driver improved their time.
Felipe Massa was the only driver to move up the order, taking fifth place some seven tenths of a second slower than Alonso.
Vettel described his pole lap as being “spot on everywhere – until I reached the last three corners”. The gap between the Red Bull drivers may be much smaller than it was at Bahrain, but it’s still Vettel who holds the upper hand.
|1||5||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||1’24.774||1’24.096||1’23.919|
|2||6||Mark Webber||Red Bull-Renault||1’25.286||1’24.276||1’24.035|
|10||14||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1’25.504||1’25.046||1’26.036|
|12||16||Sebastien Buemi||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1’26.061||1’25.638|
|13||15||Vitantonio Liuzzi||Force India-Mercedes||1’26.170||1’25.743|
|14||22||Pedro de la Rosa||Sauber-Ferrari||1’26.089||1’25.747|
|17||17||Jaime Alguersuari||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1’26.095||1’26.089|
|22||25||Lucas di Grassi||Virgin-Cosworth||1’30.185|
2010 Australian Grand Prix
- 2010 Australian Grand Prix – the complete F1 Fanatic review
- Australian GP team-by-team analysis
- 2010 Australian Grand Prix stats and facts
- Melbourne was a blast but F1′s aero problem remains (Australian GP analysis)
- Alonso fourth, Schumacher tenth in their battle from the back in Melbourne
- Australian Grand Prix fastest laps
- Australian Grand Prix in pictures
- Unreliability costs Vettel another win
- Hamilton fumes after strategy mistake
- Button wins thrilling Australian GP
- Australian Grand Prix result
- F1 championship points after Australia
- Rate the race: Australia
- Australian Grand Prix live blog
- Vettel looks hard to beat at Melbourne (Australian GP pre-race analysis)
- Australian GP qualifying in pictures
- A bad weekend gets worse for Hamilton
- Vettel beats Webber to Melbourne pole (Australian Grand Prix qualifying)
- 2010 Australian Grand Prix grid
- Australian Grand Prix qualifying live blog
- Webber fastest at home in final practice
- Australian Grand Prix practice 3 live blog
- Make your Australian Grand Prix predictions now to win F1 prizes
- Australian Grand Prix practice in pictures
- Australian GP practice two analysis
- McLaren on top after wet second practice
- Australian Grand Prix practice 2 live blog
- Australian GP practice one analysis
- Kubica quickest in disrupted first practice
- Australian Grand Prix practice 1 live blog
- Drivers on duty in Melbourne (Pictures)
- 2010 Australian Grand Prix – The F1 Fanatic unofficial race programme
- Di Resta excited ahead of Force India debut
- 2010 Australian Grand Prix preview
- Low chance of rain at Melbourne
- Australian Grand Prix live TV Times