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
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
|12||Jaime Alguersuari||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1’26.103|
|14||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1’26.739|
|16||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1’31.407|
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|
|3||Mark Webber||Red Bull-Renault||1’24.395|
|10||Sebastien Buemi||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1’27.066|
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Browse all 2011 Australian Grand Prix articles
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