Lewis Hamilton leads McLaren front-row lockout
By Stefan Bartholomaeus
Saturday 17th March, 2012 - 4:53pm
McLaren duo Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button have locked out the front-row for the Qantas Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix at Albert Park.
Hamilton completed two runs during the final Q3 session, but his first 1:24.922s lap would prove unbeatable.
Button’s second effort left him just 0.15s adrift of Hamilton, while Romain Grosjean and Michael Schumacher also improved with their second efforts and will share the second row.
Mark Webber was second after completing his single Q3 flying lap but was quickly bumped back to fifth.
The Australian, who did not have a working KERS during the final session, will start alongside team-mate Sebastian Vettel.
Nico Rosberg, Pastor Maldonado, Nico Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the top 10.
Fernando Alonso was the biggest scalp of Q2 – the Ferrari driver spinning his Ferrari into the Turn 1 gravel trap halfway through the 15 minute period. The Spaniard will start 12th.
Fellow former World Champion Kimi Raikkonen also faces a difficult Sunday afternoon after being eliminated in Q1. Raikkonen made a mistake at Turn 12 in what would turn out to be his final lap of the 20 minute segment.
HRT drivers Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan both missed the 107% qualifying cut-off, while the two Marussias made it in with relative ease.
CLICK HERE for more on HRT’s fortunes
Sergio Perez was relegated five positions on the grid following the session after requiring a gearbox change.
CLICK HERE for more on Sauber’s fortunes
Qualifying results, Australian Grand Prix
|5||2||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:27.117||1:26.297||1:25.651||17|
|6||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:26.773||1:25.982||1:25.668||18|
|9||12||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||1:27.464||1:26.314||1:26.451||18|
|10||16||Daniel Ricciardo||STR-Ferrari||1:27.024||1:26.319||No time||16|
|15||11||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1:27.469||1:27.086||16|
|DNQ||22||Pedro de la Rosa||HRT-Cosworth||1:33.495||6|
|Q1 107% Time||1:32.214|
* De la Rosa and Karthikeyan did not qualify after failing to meet the Q1 107% time.
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