Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Melbourne, 2012

2012 Australian Grand Prix grid

2012 Australian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton heads a McLaren one-two on the grid for the Australian Grand Prix.

Romain Grosjean claimed third ahead of Michael Schumacher and the two Red Bulls.

Row 1 1. Lewis Hamilton 1’24.922
2. Jenson Button 1’25.074
Row 2 3. Romain Grosjean 1’25.302
4. Michael Schumacher 1’25.336
Row 3 5. Mark Webber 1’25.651
Red Bull
6. Sebastian Vettel 1’25.668
Red Bull
Row 4 7. Nico Rosberg 1’25.686
8. Pastor Maldonado 1’25.908
Row 5 9. Nico Hulkenberg 1’26.451
Force India
10. Daniel Ricciardo No time
Toro Rosso
Row 6 11. Jean-Eric Vergne 1’26.429
Toro Rosso
12. Fernando Alonso 1’26.494
Row 7 13. Kamui Kobayashi 1’26.59
14. Bruno Senna 1’26.663
Row 8 15. Paul di Resta 1’27.086
Force India
16. Felipe Massa 1’27.497
Row 9 17. Kimi Raikkonen No time
18. Heikki Kovalainen 1’28.679
Row 10 19. Vitaly Petrov 1’29.018
20. Timo Glock 1’30.923
Row 11 21. Charles Pic 1’31.67
22. Sergio Perez* No time

*Five-place grid penalty due to gearbox change.

Did not qualify: Pedro de la Rosa, HRT and Narain Karthikeyan, HRT – outside 107% rule.

2012 Australian Grand Prix

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129 comments on “2012 Australian Grand Prix grid”

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  1. What a brilliant quali to start the year! Grosjean was fantastic. Great for the McLarens to lock out the front row too!

    1. i just want to see Helmet Marko’s face now…

      1. You’re mean :).

        Too bad Ferrari is as bad as many expected :(. We need Alonso up there.

        1. It was much worse than I thought. I hope they can get the car working later in the season.

      2. THANK YOU! :D

      3. @prdsh – Do you actually think Marko gives up and starts blaming people the minute something goes badly for Vettel? He knows there is still a fifty-eight lap race tomorrow.

        1. I just dont like Marko…I think Redbull team will have a better public image without Marko.. i very much like Redbull as a team w/o marko..Horner+Newey+Vettel combo is as good as Schumi+Byrne+Brawn… As far i remember marko was making noise during winter testing that redbull is ahead of others …also webber outqualified vettel today w/o kers… Vettel’s strength last year was pole lap n then a fast 1st two laps so that he is not in DRS zone when its enabled..Things will not be the same this year..i guess its going to be a Exciting season

          1. @prdsh

            I just dont like Marko

            Few do. But if you’re going to criticise him, at least criticise him for something he actually does. He has verbally attacked people in the past when they have blocked Vettel, but he has never thrown a tantrum when Vettel has been beaten fair and square. On pure pace, Hamilton, Button, Grosjean, Schumacher and Webber were all faster than Vettel today, and nobody did anything to slow him down. Marko isn’t going to be behaving like some rabidly-deranged orangutang in the Red Bull garage. He knows that there is still a full race distance tomorrow, and that nothing is set in stone. So to attack him for doing something that he did not do really just lowers yoruself to his level.

            As far i remember marko was making noise during winter testing that redbull is ahead of others

            All the teams say that. Nobody in their right mind is going to be saying “We built a wind tunnel model out of Lego, then sat around on out backsides for two months”. Of course they’re going to talk up their prospects for the season ahead. And if you’re that worried about what Marko said, perhaps you should spare a thought for Luca di Montezemolo, who is insisting that Ferrari can be on the podium when the car is nigh on undriveable.

          2. @prisoner-monkeys

            at least criticise him for something he actually does

            I think i am criticising him for what he does..i said i dont like him for the reason that though Mateschitz and Horner insists that drivers are equally treated at redbull ,in reality its not the case as long as marko is in the garage.. I am sure Redbull racing team will have a better public image without him…

          3. Your post implied that Marko would be aghast that Vettel was not on pole, and that his paltry sixth place had nothing to do with another driver blocking him.

    2. I read on twitter somewhere that its the first all-British front row since Damon Hill and David Coulthard took P1 and P2 at Australia in 1995.

  2. Superb. Rather disappointed to see Macca so far in front and Red Bull and (especially) Ferrari lagging behind, but oh my goodness, this is going to be a fantastic season.

    1. It’s not that far really – not compared to the Red Bulls have been in previous seasons. 2 different teams within 0.4 and I think ROS could have been closer. I don’t think McLaren have it sewn up at all.

  3. Kenny Davies
    17th March 2012, 7:11

    Unbelievable what Grosjean did!

    1. Fore sure. I’m positively gutted that Kimi never got to do a fast lap though.

      1. At least tommorow we have a chance to see Kimi charging through the field. Seems the Lotus is really fast so we could witness a comeback like Suzuka 2005.

        1. dont be so sure, i am picking he will be lucky to finish in the top 10.
          he is not up to speed yet, give him a couple of more races and he might.

    2. Almost as impressive as Hulk grabbing pole in Brazil a couple of years ago.

      1. More impressive by far. Brazil 2010 was a mixed weather qualifying. this wasn’t. Also Brazil 2010 was the 2nd last race of the season

      2. Hardly. That Williams we knew wasn’t all that fast otherwise. We know little about the Lotus at the moment, other than it is clearly more competitive than the Williams ever was, although it will be hard to judge until a more ‘normal’ racetrack.

        1. As I’ve pointed out, Brazil 2010 was a mixed weather qualifying. So the fact that, as seems likely, the Lotus is a better car in relation to Hulk’s Williams makes little difference. Freak results happen all the time in mixed weather qualys. This is not meant to downgrade Hulk’s great achievement, but to stick it with the big boys, just 0,3 off pole on your first qualy as, a Q3 rookie(his best qualy before that was 12th place) without weather assistance is an even greater success IMO. Unless the Lotus proves to be as fast as the Macca, that is :)

    3. anyone put Grosjean in the top 5???
      i put him 4th, wish i had put Schu in front of him now…

      1. Yeah i put him down for 5th (ham but p1 p2)

    4. Grosjean was fantastic but also Maldonado getting 8th for Williams is extremely impressive, especially with Senna back in 14th.

  4. Red Bull who? LOL! I knew the RB8 was nowhere near as planted as the Mac.

    1. “They’re just sandbagging” …

      1. Maybe they forgot to take the sandbags off?

        1. Or they were spilling, making the car unstable.

        2. They can put KERS where the sandbags currently are ;)

  5. Absolutely fantastic, absolutely freaking fantastic! What a great qualifying session that was to watch, haven’t been so buzzing for a qualifying in so, so long. Bring on a sensational season! So damn happy!

  6. Grosjean! Unbelievable!

    I’m also surprised Rosberg only qualified 7th. His Q2 Lap was better than his Q3. I think without his lock-up in turn 3, he’d seriously be challenging Hamilton for pole.

    And Schumacher’s best grid position since his comback, nice! :)

    1. Without the one lap he had on his tyres from the Q2 Red Flag, I’m sure he could’ve got pole!

      1. ?? he lost 3 tenths & ended up 3 tenths behind schumacher. Schu was also only 1 tenth behind hamilton sector 1, = in sector 2 and lost a bit of time (possibly a little mistake?) in sector 3.

        So all in all both could have been a little higher, but Rosberg lost a bit more grid wise with his bigger mistake.

  7. Qualifying is exciting again! When Grosjean crossed I got pretty excited. Not that I’m a Grosjean fan but it’s a sign that it’s somewhat up in the air.

    1. If he keeps this type of performance up, I might become a Grosjean fan!

      1. i wont be surprised if kimi raikkonen quit half way through the season we can already see his commitment ,looking at grosjean lap lotus is up there with the big boys

        1. @smokinjoe – I think it’s far too soon to comment on Raikkonen’s commitment.

        2. Nonsense comment. Raikkonen made a mistake in Q1’s final lap. How can you see lack of commitment from that is beyond logic.

          1. @montreal – Well, there was Brundle’s anecdote about how Raikkonen refused to do any running in FP1 and most of FP2 because it was wet. Perhaps that’s not a lack of commitment (you can understand why any driver would be willing to write off a session if the race is forecast to be dry), but I daresay it will clash with Eric Boullier’s style of management – he likes his drivers doing what he tells them to do, and he likes them doing it without question.

          2. @Prisoner Monkeys-Wasn’t it a combination of wet weather and a power-steering problem that made Kimi not to trust the car’s response. Feel is even more important in the wet than it is in the dry. If Kimi came up to Boullier and explained his decision, then I think it’s ok with Boullier whatever his style of management is.

            But, you may be right. We just don’t know the inside story so impossible to judge.

    2. I’m not getting too carried away. Just last year, I remember a pheomenal qualifying performance from a black and gold car – particularly compared to his much more experienced and better-rated team-mate – and his his first race was good, the team subsequently nosedived.

      1. And it certainly doesn’t help that they’ve got Boullier at the helm, I must say.

        1. @leucocrystal – I think the biggest barrier to Raikkonen’s success is Boullier. Particularly the way he treats drivers who deviate from the party line. He might be willing to be a little more flexible with Raikkonen, but I woudn’t be surprised if the team favours Grosjean for the rest of the race.

          1. Exactly, and I won’t be at all surprised either if you turn out to be right, though that would be a shame for Kimi.

          2. @leucocrystal – I think Raikkonen is thick-skinned enough that Boullier’s comments will just bounce straight off him. And so long as he performs, he has nothing to fear; Boullier will give him just enough rope to hang himself. The problem is that if Raikkonen doesn’t perform for whatever reason – even if it’s just a simple mistake on his final flying lap – then Boullier’s passive-aggressive managerial strategy will come into play. This probably won’t register with Raikkonen, because he’s never really indulged in intra-team politics, and he probably learned a long time ago that if he ignores the media, they will go away (a lesson Lewis Hamilton could do with learning). But it becomes a problem if Boullier decides to use this to favour Grosjean. When Grosjean was first announced as Lotus’ second driver, I couldn’t help but wonder if Boullier – who was on the “task-force” (you know it’s serious when they start using phrases like “task-force”) to get Formula 1 back into France; part of that strategy was getting a successful French driver – had chosen Grosjean to partner Raikkonen because his team-mate would be Raikkonen and Grosjean would naturally get a bit more media exposure. I’m not denying that Grosjean is talented, but I suspect Boullier might be willing to burn Raikkonen for the sake of Grosjean, espcially if Raikkonen doesn’t turn it up to eleven from the first day (which he hasn’t; he seems to be very fussy about his setup, and when he finally gets it to his liking, he’s not particularly quick). It’s bad for Raikkonen because if he wants a long-term future in the sport, being used for Grosjean’s benefit isn’t going to help.

            He should have gone to Williams. They’ve needed an exciting driver – not securing Raikkonen was one of the bigger mistakes they’ve made recently.

          3. @prisoner-monkeys

            not securing Raikkonen was one of the bigger mistakes they’ve made recently.

            Given that both their drivers out-qualified him today I find it hard to go along with that!

          4. Considering how Boullier has handled drivers in the past (and, like you mention, his participation in the French “task-force”), I would again not be at all surprised if your predictions turn out to be pretty much on the nose. It just further reminds me why Boullier really is among my least favorite team principals at the moment. I realize that politics are a part of the sport whether we like it or not, but I can’t help but feel there are classier (for lack of a better term) ways of going about it than he’s done so far.

          5. @keithcollantine

            Given that both their drivers out-qualified him today I find it hard to go along with that!

            Do you really think this is going to be a regular occurrence? Based on Raikkonen’s final lap time to the second sector, he was comfortably going to make it to Q2.


            It just further reminds me why Boullier really is among my least favorite team principals at the moment. I realize that politics are a part of the sport whether we like it or not, but I can’t help but feel there are classier (for lack of a better term) ways of going about it than he’s done so far.

            I don’t think it’s his politics. I think it’s his attitude. I see a lot of Jean-Marie Balestre’s “the best decision is my decision!” in the way he runs the team. Whatever Boullier says, goes.

          6. grosjean 3rd, raikonnen 18th. and you think williams made a mistake not signing raikonnen???? i could understand your comment if raikonnen was on pole, but then you also have to take into account finances and williams needed a driver with financial backing not someone who demands a high salary. raikonnen needs to prove himself again, in his last 2 seasons massa consistently beat him, and now he has not made a good start to his comeback. it has been 5 years or so since kimi was at his best, in rallying he wasnt great, very very inconsistent, and crashing so often. maybe he is past it as a driver – that happens to some.

            Lotus would be better off using kimi as a number 1 driver only for media purposes and giving the truly motivated driver (grosjean) who has improved and not deterioated in the past 5 years, the best chance so they can get the best possible results from the car.

  8. So far, I don’t think we have a dominant force! Great job Lewis. Grojean schooled Raikonnen today…

  9. What a season awaits us!

    1. yes you can see that from the body language of Alonso he was absolutely mad

      1. Great to see you guys (Alonso and Massa) here with us. :)

  10. now that was a qualy! sad to know that maybe Kimi is not up to the car, but also very very happy for Grosjean :D…now going to bed, it’s 4am!

  11. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. Lewis, Jenson, and especially Grosjean, were fantastic. So glad to see the red bull struggling. Perhaps this year will be for Vettel what is was for Hamilton last year (I totally respect and think Vettel is a great driver, but he, and his fans, need a good grounding)

    1. F1fanNL (@)
      17th March 2012, 7:22

      Why, If there’s one driver on the grid that’s kept himself grounded it’s Vettel.

      1. Hi five for Vettel’s one finger salute!

    2. i dont like Schum but now he has the car lets see what he can do with it,
      Lewis/Schum, both these guys are from different ages young/old, even if Schum can make the podium i would be glade for him, not as much as his fans but i would be happy for him, i think he can do it tomorrow.

  12. Grojean obviously running on low fuel. Good for the sponsors I guess. I can’t believe that’s real pace.

      1. That’s sarcasm, right?

    1. That old classic. The qualifying ‘Glory Run’…

    2. @bukester This is qualifying – everyone is low on fuel.

        1. @broxter There’s no indication in what he’s written that it’s intended as a joke. Nor does it even make sense as a joke.

          1. @keithcollantine I thought it was pretty obvious he was mocking people’s comments from pre-season, where they were suggesting the Lotus was at the front to because they were running low-fuel, to please the sponsors. Never mind.

          2. @broxter He could be, or maybe you’re giving too much credit.

            Like I always say, if you’re going to use sarcasm like this you need to make it obvious. There’s nothing in that comment that indicates it shouldn’t be taken at face value.

          3. Is he knowledgeable enough to quote a typical pre-season line of disparagement (indicating he follows F1 even during the winter), but not knowledgeable enough to know qualifying fuel rules? Sarcasm can be obvious even without the crutch provided by smileys.

          4. Keith, it was pretty obvious that it was a mocking comment. sarcasm at its best. i had a laugh when i read it, then i read your comment and i couldnt believe you didnt get it as a joke!

          5. I read it as a joke. Considering it is qualifying, the point of which is to go as quick as possible, why would anyone not try to do so? Ergo, this is referring to pre-season testing.

          6. You can either claim the comment is sincere or that it’s an insincere send-up of comments other people make. But when other people make those comments, they are being sincere. Therefore by insisting it’s a joke you’re also showing that it could just as easily be interpreted another way.

            So, as I said before, if you are trying to write a parody you need to do something to indicate that. Otherwise you run the risk of it being taken at face value – as several people have done here.

    3. Grojean obviously running on low fuel.

      As is everyone else, considering that it’s qualifying and all…

    4. The race fuel rule for Q3 was removed some time ago. No reason to believe that wasn’t real pace.

    5. They are all on low fuel! what would be the point in anyone carrying extra fuel than they need to. Thats the what makes this so beautiful, this is everyones true pace. SOOOO excited!!!

    6. It’s qualifying there all on low fuel mate

      1. You guys are seriously lacking a good dose of humor. You have all, quite incredibly really, missed the irony in @ bukester’s comment. Either that or yuo haven’t been keeping up with all the cynical comments about lotus from Winter Testing!!!!!

        1. The comment doesn’t mention anything about testing.

    7. @bukester Eh? Is that not the point? Third is third.

    8. I think this comment is referring to the remarks made by many in pre-season testing who were cynical regarding Lotus’ pace. The performance today was certainly the answer to the doubters.

  13. David Cooper
    17th March 2012, 7:17

    Really good to see SCHUMACHER challenging again, could this be a possible podium, the first since his ‘comeback?’
    Not sure, as Red Bull don’t just stop winning overnight, but very surprising grid there, and Ferrari?

    1. This is Schumi in quali, he usually makes up a few places at the start now where would that put him :-)

      1. David Cooper
        17th March 2012, 13:16

        Hope he does well Badger! :0)

      2. he makes up places when he qualifies his good car badly (like he did most of last year) and then has a faster car then cars in front so can easily make up places, only to get to the place he should have been in the first place if he qualified good. he is more likely to go back then forward tomorrow. redbull should overtake him in the race as they have better tyre wear then the mclaren, as witnessed all through preseason testing.

  14. Kenny Davies
    17th March 2012, 7:17

    First 5 rows separated by less than a second! McLarens’s gap to RBR is actually less than RBR’s gap to Macca last year. Its just that other cars have now occupied that space.

  15. What a run from Grosjean! You’d have got amazing odds on that result last week, but that car looks fundamentally fast. Should make watching Raikkonen spectacular tomorrow. Shame about Rosberg, who could probably have got pole with a clean run, and well done to Hamilton and McLaren.

    Should be a truly epic race tomorrow. Really looking forward to it!

  16. Wow, what a phenomenal qualifying session! I was willing Jenson along to get on the front row, and wanted him to get pole, but I’m not unhappy that he wasn’t. Only a tenth behind and I had Hamilton for pole anyway :)

  17. Can’t believe Red Bull are down there! Webber said he had no KERS, so that may make a difference, but still, amazing from Mercedes, McLaren and Grosjean!

  18. My pole prediction was .175 away, do i get any points for that?

    1. @preekel Nope – pole position predictions are only used as tie-breakers (in the Predictions Championship).

  19. As a huge Räikkönen fan, I am feeling disappointed. But at least Grosjean proved today that Lotus is very competitive. Kimi will win races with that car!

    1. if he beats grosjean

  20. I have $20 US on Rosberg to win tomorrow. Anyone with me?

    1. The only two things that can beat Lewis tomorrow are safety cars or car reliability!!!!!

    2. I think it all depends on Grosjean. If Lotus have as good a start system as they did at the beginning of last year he could be first by T1 and then anything could happen

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