Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Melbourne, 2011

Vettel storms to Melbourne pole as Hamilton snatches second

2011 Australian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Melbourne, 2011
Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Melbourne, 2011

Sebastian Vettel was fastest in all three parts of qualifying for the second year in a row to take pole position for the Australian Grand Prix.

He shares the front row of the grid with Lewis Hamilton, who pipped Mark Webber to second place despite losing KERS during his final lap.


Sebastian Vettel was fastest in the first part of qualifying but the biggest surprise in Q1 was Ferrari’s apparent lack of pace.

Both Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa had to use a set of soft tyres to guarantee their progression to Q2.

Massa only made it through thanks to a last-gasp lap which moved him up from 18th to 11th.

He made it through at the expense of Nick Heidfeld, who was held up by a HRT on one of his laps.

Despite having done little practice running the two HRTs managed to do 11 laps each. But Vitantonio Liuzzi’s best effort of 1’32.978 was 1.7 seconds slower than the 107% time, and Narain Karthikeyan was even slower, meaning neither will start the race unless they receive a dispensation.

Lotus and Virgin also lost both cars in the first session.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

18 Nick Heidfeld Renault 1’27.239
19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1’29.254
20 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1’29.342
21 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’29.858
22 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1’30.822
23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1’32.978
24 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’34.293


The beginning of Q2 was disrupted when Rubens Barrichello spun into the gravel at turn three. He was unable to get out, bringing his qualifying to an end and forcing several drivers to abandon their laps due to the flags.

Vettel topped the times once again with half a second in hand over Lewis Hamilton after both had done times on soft tyres.

Ferrari got both drivers through but Michael Schumacher failed in his effort to get into the top ten. He fell short of eliminating Sebastien Buemi by a tenth of a second on his final run.

Also out were Jaime Alguersuari, Sergio Perez, Paul di Resta and Pastor Maldonado.

Adrian Sutil was eliminated after a lurid spin as he seemed to activate his Drag Reduction System too soon coming onto the start/finish straight.

Drivers eliminated in Q2

11 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’25.971
12 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’26.103
13 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’26.108
14 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’26.739
15 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1’26.768
16 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’31.407
17 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth


No-one could get close to Vettel in the final part of qualifying, even though he was running with his Kinetic Energy Recovery System deactivated. Even his own team mate was more than eight tenths of a second slower.

Hamilton beat Webber to second place by less than a tenth of a second, despite his Kinetic Energy Recovery System also failing during his last lap.

Alonso finds himself in close proximity with Vitaly Petrov once again on row three.

Nico Rosberg starts seventh alongside the other Ferrari of Felipe Massa, who had a spin on his way out of the pits.

Row five is shared by Kamui Kobayashi and Sebastien Buemi.

Top ten in Q3

1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’23.529
2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’24.307
3 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’24.395
4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’24.779
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-Ferrari 1’25.626
10 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’27.066

2011 Australian Grand Prix

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204 comments on “Vettel storms to Melbourne pole as Hamilton snatches second”

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  1. Brilliant performance from both Vettel and Hamilton, setting laps like that without using KERS.

    I still predict an Alonso win though =)

    1. I hope either. but well…not so likely though.

    2. Just an add on, to judge Schumacher for not getting into Q3 will be silly. He got caught in Di Resta’s dirty air which dropped time.

      Shame he short shifted at the last corner I think he is matched on pace with Rosberg.

      1. I dont think you can blame di Resta, hr clearly got out of Schumachers way quite early, plus thats not where he lost the time – it was the last 2 or 3 corners where he fell back.

      2. And his tyres were dropping off in the last sector. Still Schumi is the first to have choice of tyres, lets see weather he and Ross can show us they still have it for tactics.

        1. I’m thinking he’ll make up a few places on strategy tomorrow.

        2. He did indicate that their KERS experience was inconsistent, that might have hampered him; seems that KERS is still giving a bit of unreliability.

          Then again, considering that Hamilton had it failing, and RBR seemed to have it shut off, and they managed to get so much faster still, that isn’t the answer for Mercedes (or Ferrari, I suppose).

      3. Riise there is a limit on how your love for a driver should affect your objectivity. Di Resta didn’t bother Schumacher at all. He made sure to slow down and get off the line quite a long way before Schumi got close.

        1. I was more on about turns 11 and 12 actually as the car clearly stepped out slightly.

    3. Seb was blindingly quick. He maybe isn’t much of a racer, but when you are always in front, you don’t have worry about overtaking others ;)

      1. Gotta agree. He is an absolutely phenomenal qualifier, and if he gets clean air during the race he just flies in front of the others. The only problem is that its not always exciting to watch Vettel starting from pole. If he gets off the start line correctly, the race is pretty much over.

        1. He was stupidly quick. I think we should resign to watching the battle for 2nd…

          Of course Vettel tends to ruin chances like this, so maybe it will still be exciting! :D

    4. No KERS and around half a second quicker than their team mates.

      Expected Alonso to be higher up but a great job from Petrov.

      1. and by buemi, it seems the toro rosso has leap frogged quite a few teams

        1. Hmmm, they often start the season strongly, this being their second year, I hope they can keep it up.

          Vettle, I think, can be confirmed as the grids qualifying specialist, I hope he has to fight for the win though. A boring lead the laps Vettle meh won’t be a great way to start the season.

          1. well at least we can hope for some legendary red bul reliability to mix things up a bit

          2. i dont think hell have an easy race, hes got two laps to get more than a second ahead of hamilton without ruining his tyres, before hamiltons DRS will become active

          3. That’s true, I wonder how much the DRS would aid Hamilton?

            Seeing how fast the Red Bull is, I really hope Lewis can pull it off.

    5. Red bull have a Light-weight, “Start-only” KERS That was Red Bulls ultimate pace

      1. Yes i read that too

    6. It was obvious during practice that the Ferrari was ice skating. Alonso was literally drifting through every corner. I was impressed to see him where he was considering he was just keeping it on the track.

      Perhaps the Ferrari looks after its tires too well. So well that during cold temperatures it cant get heat into them. On a hot day they may be the team to beat.

  2. I’m really ecstatic about McLaren’s performance. Please don’t let Red Bull run away with it…

    Petrov did great, Heidfeld didn’t to say the least.

    1. At last I can prove my point now that Heidfeld is not a good driver. Anybody who refuses to acknowledge this was probably watching another session than me..

      1. He could still be rusty though, but indeed, Nick might want to go looking for his “Quick” bit.

        1. How can he be “rusty” his last race was in Abu Dhabi – the same Abu Dhabi all the drivers last competed a race in…

      2. He was held up by an HRT on his fast lap.

        1. and he made a mistake going off the track on turn 5. “a bad worker…”

      3. Agreed, one bad qualifying means he is a horrible driver who hasn’t beaten the likes of Kubica, Raikkonen and Massa. It was a horrible performance, but lets just see what he can do over the course of a few races.

        1. Exactly, and today’s qualifying is definitive proof that Barrichello isn’t and has never been capable of doing an outlap without sliding into the gravel. Makes you wonder how he got to over 300 GP starts ;)

        2. :D
          Haters gonna hate…

      4. You can’t prove how good a driver is or isn’t based on one qualifying session. Heidfeld not exactly great at qualifying anyway, though I do believe that he should have done better.

        1. You guys can make all the excuses you want.. Forever. Nick is just not good enough. It’s all well to say that I conclude this based on one session.

          You guys keep coming to the conclusion that he is a good driver based on a few occasions where has beaten Kubica in qualifying..

          1. Heidfeld is good driver because he has proven himself as a quick and reliable driver. Heidfeld beat Kubica in 3 or the 4 seasons they were together as team mates, and he has beaten him on a lot more than just on a few occasions.

          2. I’d say he was a good driver based on his consistency, his ability to finish races and stay out of trouble, his knack of scoring good points, and his 12 podium finishes in an era of F1 dominated first by Michael Schumacher, and then several very high-quality drivers and equally fast teams, teams which he was rarely a part of. Coupled with the fact that people keep on employing him.

            That and his beard.

          3. @slr
            Oh, again with that silly argument… Firstly, how can you count season 2006, where Kubica joined for the last six races? Secondly, 2007 was Kubica’s first full season in F1 so no wonder he was behind Nick, who was at that point 6 years more experienced.

            So, I can agree with You that Nick was better than Robert in 2009 in a shi*ty car. But pointing that he is better driver using the famous “3 of the 4 seasons” argument seams funny to me.

          4. summers: not funny – its just stupid :)

          5. Bottom line is, that Heidfeld beat Kubica in 2007 (convincingly) and 2009. That’s why the argument is valid.

            But people defending Heidfeld against Kubica won’t have a leg to stand on if the German gets beaten convincingly by a driver who scored 1/5 the tally of Kubica last year.

  3. James allen (I think he does the questions at the end) stated that Vettel didn’t have KERS – which vettel obviously didn’t deny, but is this true?

    Nice work by Vettel though, seriously showing Webber who’s boss.

    Personally, I also don’t think HRT should be allowed to race tomorrow. Bits falling off the car and slow. Having said that, must of been a hell of a lap by Liuzzi to only be 2 seconds slower than virgin who have tested all winter!

    1. jose arellano
      26th March 2011, 7:34

      i was thinking the same. i reckon if they allowed them to race they are going to beat the virgins!

    2. TBH, He’s 3 seconds away from the Virgin.
      It doesn’t make less of his lap, pushing an untested car in qualifying, bravo.

      1. Considering Virgin were a second off of that until today, HRT are doing pretty well, and might even be looking potentially faster than Virgin, if they get the cars running earlier next race.

    3. Well, I kind of feel bad about HRT not being able to race, or to test their car in order to improve. It doesn’t bode well for their next races.

      1. They had months of winter testing to improve their car. They had all last year to design and build it, because they didn’t update last year’s car. That’s more than enough time for a viable, competent team to get up to speed.

        This isn’t primary school. They had the same opportunities as every other team on the grid, they just haven’t used them.

        1. The purpose of the 107% rule isn’t to drive a team out of the sport entirely, but to ban them from racing until they improve. How can they improve without testing? It’s an archaic rule from a different era, when testing was possible, and it does not fit modern Formula One.

          1. The 107% rule is nothing whatsoever to do with “giving teams a slap on the wrist so they’ll improve”.

            It was brought in when the grid was choked with entries from HRT-like teams who didn’t have the budget, organisation, drivers, or talent to actually mount an F1 campaign.

            Then they just limited the number of teams who were given entries, which obviated the need to have a “go home, you’re wasting our time” rule.

          2. Was there or wasn’t there a chance to improve and test your car back then? There was, today there is not. Simple as that. The rule is archaic. By the way, the grid isn’t crowded today, so this argument goes out the window as well.

          3. Read the HRT thread. HRT are not being denied an opportunity to improve. They had all last year, all the testing sessions, and all the free practice sessions. They didn’t “fall short”. They are not a team that belongs in the elite category of sport because they cannot get the basics done.

            They haven’t actually produced a car to “improve”! They’re using last year’s monocoque and last year’s nose! They had a whole year to change that – how long do you want to give them, exactly? Should we hold the season over for 10 years until they finally get last year’s car working, or something?

          4. They can use fridays to test and set up just like the others.

            They will need to do more than just an instaltion lap on friday to make the 107% cut

          5. I don’t know if you noticed, but “the others” will get tons of valuable data from the race. HRT had to pay all the expenses to fly their staff and equipment to Australia and they are denied the opportunity both to compete and to gather data.

            If you don’t want them to race, fine, they didn’t make the 107%. However when the rule was invented, in-season testing was possible. Now they must figure out what’s wrong with the car before they fly to the next GP.

            Friday just before the race is way to late to spot the things that need fixing, much less fix them.

            If you don’t think they deserve to have a chance, if you don’t think that F1 needs young teams like that, if you don’t appreciate all the work and don’t see the obstacles that a team without financial backing must overcome, then you should start looking for your sporting spirit. It seems that you had lost it.

          6. You are arguing about this as though it was the school sports day, and “having a go” is good enough.

            This is F1.

            It’s not for amateurs, or first timers, or hopefuls. There are plenty of those in lower formulas – in fact, that’s what lower formulas are supposed to be for. What’s supposed to happen is that the cream rises to the top, and professional, competent outfits get to compete at the highest level of the sport on merit.

            There are plenty of other outfits who could take HRT’s place, be a “new face” on the grid, and struggle for the first while before establishing themselves. The difference is that ART, Prodrive, Lola etc would be professional and competent enough to not embarrass themselves.

          7. There are no outfits good enough to take the place of HRT. In fact there is one empty slot this year, and nobody managed to take it.

          8. Wrong. No professional outfits applied for the extra slot. Because a professional outfit (like ART or Prodrive) looked at what F1 would cost, looked at their capabilities, and the sponsorship situation, and said “we’ll wait til the new engine regs come in, thanks”. Because they’re not delusional amateurs playing games.

    4. Well in his second attempt at the lap on the Vettel onboard I was wondering why the KERS battery wasn’t going down. I presume it didn’t for the Pole lap too.

      1. I was wondering why Vettel bothered with his final qualifying lap at all, the only reason I could think was that he didn’t like the set of tyres left at the end of his first run and wanted to set a better time to be left with a better set of tyres to start the race on? Otherwise it seems like a risky strategy to run at all when it’s not needed.

    5. I would agree with 107% if they enabled teams who fall foul of it to have extra testing, to bring them up to speed and not make them a liability in qualifying.

      1. Absolutely Agree! Just banning the race is not a good idea. I think the purpose of 107% rule is “if you want to race, you should improve your car”, so just banning the race and no test, who could on earth improve? even Ferrari, Mclaren, Redbull couldn’t!

      2. I agree but HRT didn’t even use the testing sessions before, seems like there is no guarantee they’d even use an extra session….

      3. If they would enable testing for teams bellow 107, than that would open big range of opportunities for Ferrari to tell Massa to be bellow 107 and then have testing for Alonso to win the championship :)

        1. Oh, that’s a great idea(though unlikely). we should find clever way.

          1. Maybe if both drivers dont finish, the team could test one race distance. That would open interesting strategic opportunities for teams.

  4. Congrats for Hamilton!

    Nice to see the 3 rookies together on the grid on P13, 14, 15!

    1. It was great.

      What wasn’t great was being treated to another 2 hours of BBC’s Red Bull/McLaren/Ferrari show.
      1 hour of discussion about 3 or 4 teams, followed by the same talking points being rehashed during the qualifying, followed by the same things being rehashed after qualifying.

      Petrov, a guy who was written off before the season even began as a bad pay driver, gets Renault up to 6th on the grid while his expert teammate goes out in Q1, for a team who have had all sorts of interesting stories during testing, doesn’t even get interviewed or discussed after the session. Poor showing.

      1. Agreed! I remember a line from a preview here wich said that Australia is an unusual track, don’t take conclusions to quickly! and the BBC was pretending that Team Lotus must go back to the drawing board because of their poor result, and Kubica is better than Heidfeld bla bla. it’s the first race BBC!

  5. Conclusion: don’t use KERS?

    1. You know, I’m wondering if it’s just too coincidental that neither had KERS…

      1. Vettel’s lack of KERS seemed to be deliberate so for them it was probably quicker without or too risky to run or something. Therefore they would have adjusted the break bias to suit not using KERS. Hamilton however, had a failure and was set up to use KERS so his brake balance would have been wrong. I think the true pace gap between them is more like 5 tenths because of the loss of pace through bad brake balance.

        All speculation of cause

        1. Interesting theory, especially as Vettel didn’t make much of it at all and Horner was pretty quiet too.

          1. in fact, that rather suspicious blanking of the subject, along with the radio messages we heard in practice urging him to use it, could suggest he can’t handle using it. He was one of the most outspoken drivers over the winter about being overworked in the cockpit afterall.

          2. Jake does have a point. I think Vettel also is the one who is most aggressive with the DRS. As we saw with Sutil, KERS and DRS migh t be compromising eachother. Perhaps for Vettel staying away from KERS (only using it as “don’t get passed button” at start and in race?) and focusing on using the DRS works the best, and may mean he can take corners better?

      2. Well you can’t deny that it would make your car go faster, but it’s whether thinking about kers is too much to handle for the drivers. So much that they are losing more time through taking bad lines/ braking points and losing more than they are gaining. personally I think they probably can handle it!

        1. can you take it off and put that weight else where?

          remember the kers hasnt move on much from 2009. when it was pretty much useless for all the teams that run it except late on with mclaren.

          so perhaps its better off without it.

          1. i don’t think it would give much advantage because of the dictated weight distribution this year

        2. I agree with your point about using kers possibly causing other losses. However this would only apply to using it in the optimal way (i.e. using the engineers’ calculations as to exactly when and where to apply it and saving it to deploy at the optimum moments in the lap).

          Surely if you’ve got it onboard anyway there would at least be some advantage in using it even as a more blunt instrument (e.g. using it all up in the middle of the straights when there isn’t much to do anyway) which takes away the downside of having to multi-task at the more critical moments

      3. I think it rather shows how much an absolutely focused driver is. Vettel was just totally “in it” there and Lewis as well.

        1. A minor point, but we don’t know at what point during his fastest lap Lewis’ KERS failed. It could have been fairly close to the end and not have effected his time too much.

  6. No KERS and the top 2 still getting the front row. Brilliant.

    1. Is KERS really trash once again? Oh no…

      1. It doesn’t seem as a big factor in terms of outright pace, especially with todays bigger margins, but what is interesting I think is KERS doubters saying it has no effect since every one is using it in the same places, but watching the onbords of different cars, that simply isn’t the case.

    2. Younger Hamii(Formally Younger Hamilton)
      26th March 2011, 8:39

      8 TENTHS OF A SECOND Quicker than Mark thats incredible fro Seb.By the Way,Apparantly Lewis had a KERS Problem and that would have lead to problems with the Brake Balance and Bias and Seb didnt use it as well.Normally KERS would gain you around 0.3-0.5secs per lap but anyway Congrats to Seb and Lewis,did a brilliant Job for us Fans and Their teams.

      Little Bit Dissapointed with Jenson though,Watching him through Practice i thought he would pip Lewis in Qualifying and he was more comfortable with the Balance and Setup as well but at the end Lewis got it right and was 0.4secs quicker than him.

      Ferrari,What the Hell happened to them,When i was watching Friday Practice i thought they were sandbagging and put more fuel in their Cars,for Race Simulations/Stints we know hiding their outright pace.I expected more from them in Quali and it didnt come.

      As For the Race,i assume Seb and the others on the right hand side of the grid is on the clean side which is the racing line.I Expect Mayhem down to the First Corner around the midfield and i’d 2/3 Pit Stops from all drivers thats if without any issues or damage to their cars.Of course due to the high tyre degradation of the Pirelli Tyres.I think The Top 10 will go with :

      1st Stint-Soft
      2nd Stint-Hard
      3rd Stint-Hard

      The Rest However:

      1st Stint-Hard
      2nd Stint-Soft
      3rd Stint-Hard(Possibly Soft for grabbing Fastest Laps)

      Who Knows whats gonna happen in this First Race,Australia is so Unpredictable in many many ways.ROLL ON F1 2011!!!

      1. I think the rest will go Hard, Hard, Soft or Hard, Soft, Soft if they think the tyres will last. Hard, Soft, Hard makes no sense as the soft tyres are most effective and will degrade less quickly when the car is lightest.

  7. It’s impressive how Mclaren has improved. Fall of Ferrari is more impressive. Little sad to a Ferrari fan.

    1. And even more sad was watching Massa. The guy spend half the time losing the control of the car. He doesn’t seem like making a new start like he was saying.

  8. The way Vettel attacked the final corner was epic, completely outclassed everyone else on the track.

    Interesting to see that Renault, Toro Rosso and Sauber are showing quite some pace. It will be interesting to see how the battles in the midfield go this year, hopefully some of them could be challenging for podiums at some of the less car dependent tracks (i.e. Monaco) or in challenging conditions.

    It promises to be an exciting season.

  9. Mclaren have improved a lot. but why Vettel didn’t use KERS?

    Onboard with Alonso

  10. Boris84 (@)
    26th March 2011, 7:34

    HI !
    Tell me please !
    They did not use KERS or the din have KERS ?

    1. Malfunctioning in the fastest laps for both Lewis and SEb.

    2. Hamilton is confirmed no KERS.
      Vettle, I watched his qulay lap and he didn’t appear to be using KERS, did not press any buttons in usual KERS places, possibly KERS could be on back but I don’t think he used it.

      1. Thanks !

  11. Sutil’s scary near collision suggests that KERS combined with DRS makes the car very unstable without being a little conservative. I predict this isn’t the last we see of this kind of thing.

    1. Good point. Maybe Webber is right that the rear wing should stay fixed in qualifying too.

      1. I wonder if the use of these systems is why Webber is so far off Vettel, if so no wonder he wants DRS fixed in Qualifying. Personally I think they should only be allowed to us it in the same zone as in the race

      2. Maybe Webber is right that the rear wing should stay fixed in qualifying too.

        Because we wouldn’t want F1 to be challenging?

        I disagree quite strongly with Webber on this one.

        1. Agreed – we are always hearing about how the drivers have such an easy life due to the technology used and then when they have something difficult to content with people suddenly argue it should be dropped.

          (Personally I always entirely disagreed with the argument that traction control etc made it too ‘easy’ for the drivers, I doubt it was ever easy and I remember being amazed by the way Renault could get a car to launch off the line in a way that the others couldn’t get close to.)

          1. I agree quite strongly with you on this one.. This was anyway the trend of this pre-season if you ask me..

            Drivers complaining about the tyres.. The wing, the kers.. Was there anything they were not complaining about?

            Nice save by Sutil btw :D

        2. This is probably one time we don’t feel the same Keith. What challenge is that? Who’s better at playstation combos by pressing many buttons together?

          I prefer the challenge on being who can drive faster instead who’s better at being an octopus. I want drivers to concentrate on how good they can try to take the next corner instead of how much buttons and how fast they will push them.
          Why should driving be turned into such a video-game combo breaking exercise?

    2. No it doesn’t, it suggests, as 5 years of previous seasons should tell you, that Sutil is an unstable driver who has difficulty keeping an F1 car on the track.

      1. Everyone else managed to do it fine. Even the HRT’s kept it on the road.

        It’s just standard Sutil, that’s all.

        1. Well, that too, yes. Good job by DiResta to pick up and show him he can’t afford to do that anymore. That was exactly what I had expected Liuzzi to do last year, but he couldn’t.

      2. There is so much hatred on the internet for Sutil. He hardly made any mistakes last year, made one today (as did many other drivers) and suddenly tghe army of haters come out again.

  12. I don’t think the time you have for Buemi is correct…

  13. It’s funny how before the race when they interviewed a good chunk of the drivers asking who they thought their competition was gonna be, & Vettel was the only one I heard mention McLaren. Lewis Hamilton as always proving that he’s capable of extracting more from the car than seems possible. So proud of my McLaren team! Red Bull is definitely the team to beat though. Let’s see how it all pans out with full loads of fuel & race conditions.

  14. I hope Petrov jumps Alonso at the start and pulls off another Abu Dhabi.

    1. Hahaha this would be hilarious to see!

    2. Webber is also with Hamilton, a little worried now! ;)

      1. charlieboy (@)
        26th March 2011, 7:56

        Surely you are not suggesting Webber is going to run Hamilton off the road … again

        1. I hope he does it right this time. Last year it was only 1 lost position. A real shame

          1. Just practising for Singapore

    3. Hopefully we get to see fists of rage from Alonso again after the race haha

    4. He might just jump Alonso there, but I would doubt it ending like in Abu Dhabi, what with Alonso having to really battle to get speed out of the car. Petrov might just drive away! ;-o

      1. If Petrov is faster then its not Abu Dhabi and if Alonso is faster he has DRS now, so shut your pieholes (sounds a little bitter, huh?! :-D )

    5. I hope to see Petrov repeating last year’s start performance.
      But i don’t think there will be Abu Dhabi scenario:
      -They both will start with fresh engines
      -Albert Park is not dull. There are lot’s of overtaking opportunities.

  15. My Favorite line in this article is

    “Alonso finds himself in close proximity with Vitaly Petrov once again on row three.”

    1. My Favorite line in this article is

      “Alonso finds himself in close proximity with Vitaly Petrov once again on row three.”

      Hahaha, it should’ve said “in close proximity with arch-rival Vitaly Petrov”.

      1. Seriously guys… Pet has never landed a podium much less 2 WDC’s. I’d wager that Alonso get another WDC before Pets can get even a 2nd spot on the podium.

        I don’t think we’ll ever be hearing the Russian national anthem at the end of any F1 race.

        1. They’re referring to what happened when Alonso was behind Petrov in Abu Dhabi.

        2. Well, i bet Alonso won’t get WDC this season.
          I can’t bet that Petrov won’t be on podiumthis year though, whether it will be freakish coincidence or his performance…

        3. Petrov was written off before the season started as a guy who’d spend most of the year in the gravel trap.

          Yet there he is in P6, he only had one opportunity at a flying lap in Q3, and he took it.

          I’m rooting for Petrov on the podium tomorrow.

  16. Hi guys, i wasn’t watching the BBC feed, i followed the session on a local TV.
    In the fastest lap, Vettel didn’t use KERS, according to the Graphic Interface.
    Some people say KERS can make your lap 0,4-0,6s better?
    so why didn’t he pressed the button?, or it was removed from his car, so it was much (i don’t know, it must weight at least 50-60kg) lighter? was it mentioned in the BBC feed, or do you guys know something?
    it surely can’t be 50kg lighter, they have fill it up with ballast or something?


    someone commented earlier an ALO win. Well, i’m a huge ferrari fan, but i just really can’t see ANY real scenario when he could be on top. Yeah i know, everybody can get mech. failure, rain SC, but these are 1% chances:S

    1. Don’t write Alonso off just yet. The Ferrari’s speed was slow compared to testing and practice but this is Australia we’re talking about, where tonnes of crashes happen on the first corner.

      1. well i know, but even he he didn’t mess up the last sector, he is still 0,6-0,8 behind vettel, that big of a gap is not going to disappear :\. well in my opinion, last years australian grand prix was the best by far.

        Ohh yeah, and thanks the DRS, we won’t see another abu dhabi, where his superb F-Duct helped a lot for Petrov, and it was probably he’s only race where he didn’t messed up a single corner (remember spa…), but also it was his last race, so he may be in the same form:D

        1. I believe it was not only f-duct but also Petrov’s fresh engine.
          And let’s not forget that Abu Dhabi is just super-dull track in terms of overtaking.

          Also remember Turkey when Petrov was able to keep Alonso behind for good part of the race despite Fernando’s engineer opinion that Vitaly will make mistake very soon.
          And with all that Alonso overtook very aggressively when Petrov’s tyres degraded severely. That maneuver sent Petrov to the pits with puncture, leaving him out of the points.

      2. Then again, he is next to Petrov, who was just the guy to get some of those collisions started last year with his quick getaway from the grid. Alonso himself might remember last years race as well.

      3. I think it really down to getting heat into the tyres. Track temps were about 20C today. It may be a problem for a few of the teams.

        Good news is… summer is coming up soon.

    2. Did vettel use kers at any point in qualy?

      if he didnt, then he wasnt running it and moved the ballast else where. cos the difference is huge. and that would be a good reason.

      as said kers teams werent that fast in 09.

  17. What’s going to be funny is if Alonso gets stuck behind Petrov for a second race in a row!

  18. Alonso’s lap was going well until the final sector. My reading of that is that his tyres gave up on him in the last few corners.

    That has to be ominous for him as he has to start the race on those tyres.

    Vettel was untouchable, so all credit to him – and well done to the rookies, all of whom did very well. Last place for d’Ambrosio might not seem like much but making the 107% cut is an achievement in itself.

    1. Absolutely! The rookies have been great I expected more from Maldonado but Segio Perez has been great

    2. I dont get the feeling that Alonso had a poor last sector, infact it was a recurring trend with all the cars. I think it was just the ridiculous speed and traction of the redbull through the last few turns where most others were struggling for grip! for instance lewis was just 2 or 3 tenths off vettel at the end of the second sector only to lose a further 5 tenths through the last few corners.

      1. I also have that feeling, although it isn’t perhaps the Red Bull, but Vettel, especially as even Webber lost quite a lot in that sector.

      2. It’s called downforce

    3. I agree, with both Alonso and earlier with Schumi it was clear that the tyres lost it in the last sector.

      And Virgin did a pretty big step from yesterday, they improved by over a second. Good job.

    4. I wonder if using less of the KERS and the FFW isn’t the faster way to do a quicker lap. The faster you are going,the harder you have to break and you have to break more often, meaning less speed through the corners.

      Slow down to go fast. Anyone?

  19. I am still shocked with Vettel’s turn. Simply unbelievable. The face of Webber said it all.

    As hard as it is to me to say this; Hamilton has been impressive also, hats off.

    As a Ferrari fan I cannot believe what I have seen today at both P3 and Quali, back to square one I am afraid

    I wonder what could have happen if Kubica had been on track today, looking at Petrov’s time I believe he could have easily been in the fight for the first line.

    I believe this is going to be another incredible racing season

    1. I think Petrov put in a stellar performance during quali today, and that really makes you wonder how fast the Renault could actually go. I’m sure Kubica would have been able to get that car on row 2, and I’m disappointed with Nick’s performance today.

  20. I know that its too soon to tell, but Ferrari are not as close to the Red bull as they were thinking. Alonso is gonna have a tough job this season..

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