Vettel takes Australian GP pole at drying Albert Park

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel

Red Bull Racing duo Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber will share the front-row of the grid for this afternoon’s Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix after a frantic final two periods of qualifying.

Cold and greasy track conditons greeted the drivers for the 1100 start, which had been scheduled following yesterday evening’s postponement due to heavy rain.

Intermediates proved the order of the day until the very final minutes of Q3, where perfect timing allowed Vettel to shoot to the top of the order with just one second remaining.

The German abandoned an even quicker subsequent lap as it became clear that no one could challenge him.

Webber’s final effort left him 0.42s shy of his team-mate in second, with Lewis Hamilton, Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Nico Rosberg, Kimi Raikkonen, Romain Grosjean, Paul di Resta and Jenson Button completing the top 10.

Button and Massa both earlier enjoyed narrow escapes in Q2, moving out of the drop zone after the chequered flag fell.

The two McLarens of Button and Perez had both elected to switch to slick tyres part-way through the 15 minute Q2 hit-out, a decision that proved premature. Button was able to revert back to the inters for his final run while Perez persisted with a second set of slicks and will start just 16th.

Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg and his replacement at Force India, Adrian Sutil, were the victims of the late Button and Massa efforts and will share the sixth row.

Toro Rosso team-mates Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo share row seven after struggling for speed in the damp conditions.

Williams rookie Valtteri Bottas also ventured onto slicks in Q2 and will start just one place ahead of team-mate Pastor Maldonado, who was eliminated in Q1 yesterday.

The 2013 Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix will get underway at 1700 local time.

See below for the full qualifying result







1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:44.657 1:36.745 1:27.407
2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:44.472 1:36.524 1:27.827
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:45.456 1:36.625 1:28.087
4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:44.635 1:36.666 1:28.490
5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:43.850 1:36.691 1:28.493
6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:43.380 1:36.194 1:28.523
7 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 1:45.545 1:37.517 1:28.738
8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:44.284 1:37.641 1:29.013
9 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:45.601 1:36.901 1:29.305
10 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:44.688 1:36.644 1:30.357
11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1:45.930 1:38.067
12 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:47.330 1:38.134
13 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 1:44.871 1:38.778
14 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 1:46.450 1:39.042
15 Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1:44.300 1:39.900
16 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1:47.328 1:40.290
17 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1:47.614
18 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1:47.776
19 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1:48.147
20 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1:48.909
21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1:49.519
22 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1:50.626

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