Vettel beats Webber to Melbourne pole (Australian Grand Prix qualifying)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Sebastian Vettel heads a Red Bull one-two at Melbourne
Sebastian Vettel heads a Red Bull one-two at Melbourne

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 H???lkenberg 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.

Overall times

Pos. # Driver Car Q1 Q2 Q3
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
3 8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’25.082 1’24.335 1’24.111
4 1 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’24.897 1’24.531 1’24.675
5 7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’25.548 1’25.010 1’24.837
6 4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’24.788 1’24.788 1’24.884
7 3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’25.351 1’24.871 1’24.927
8 9 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’25.702 1’25.085 1’25.217
9 11 Robert Kubica Renault 1’25.588 1’25.122 1’25.372
10 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’25.504 1’25.046 1’26.036
11 2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’25.046 1’25.184
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
15 10 Nico H???lkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1’25.866 1’25.748
16 23 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’26.251 1’25.777
17 17 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’26.095 1’26.089
18 12 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’26.471
19 19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1’28.797
20 18 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1’29.111
21 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’29.592
22 25 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1’30.185
23 21 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1’30.526
24 20 Karun Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 1’30.613

2010 Australian Grand Prix