Red Bull began 2011 the way they ended 2010 – with Sebastian Vettel charging to victory.
But the scale of his advantage will be a worry to team mate Mark Webber.
|Sebastian Vettel||Mark Webber|
|Qualifying time comparison (Q3)||1’23.529 (-0.866)||1’24.395|
Just like last year, Vettel was the fastest man in all three parts of qualifying.
He set a new fastest lap of Melbourne with a time of 1’23.529 at the beginning of Q3. He was on course to better it with his final effort until he ran wide at turn 14, but still had the best part of a second in hand over his team mate.
Though secretly concerned about the vulnerability of his KERS-less car at the start, he got away cleanly and was almost two-and-a-half seconds ahead by the end of the first lap.
Vettel was never headed in the race, except for three laps after he made his first pit stop. It was a near-perfect start to his title defence.
Webber’s form in his home race has often been a weakness and the yawning gap to his team mate will have been doubly painful.
After qualifying Webber said: “Obviously, disappointed to get bumped off the front row as well. Tried my best. Mystified to the gap to Seb, to be honest. I will have to go through it and have a look at where I can improve and go from there.”
By the end of 58 laps’ racing Webber was 38 seconds behind his team mate, partly due to needing an extra pit stop for tyres.
An error on his out-lap following that third pit stop cost him fourth place to Fernando Alonso.
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