- Sep 26, 2010
Lewis Hamilton will start from pole ahead of Nico Rosberg and Felipe Massa in Melbourne after a dominant display in qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix.
The reigning world champion never looked out of control as he eased to his fourth pole at Albert Park, eventually posting a time six tenths quicker than his teammate could muster.
In the first phase of qualifying it was quickly apparent who would be on the front row of the grid, but the battle behind was already hotting up with the Ferrari's and the Toro Rosso's, despite a quick spin for Sainz Jr at the final corner, showing pace on the option tyre whilst William's pace on the hard compound turned a few heads.
The main dramas came from Kvyat who just managed to squeeze into Q2 with a single flying lap after the Red Bull mechanics managed to fix damage to his cars wiring loom. Meanwhile McLaren's worst fears came to the fore as Button and Magnussen qualified 17th and 18th respectively, with Button being content with getting more mileage in his Honda engine. Meanwhile Ericsson in 16th joined the McLaren's on the sidelines as the final eliminated driver as Manor did not run again.
Minus Nico Rosberg complaining of his engine cutting out early in the session, Q2 was a slow-burner of a session with the action coming in the dying seconds. For a very brief moment it seemed Felipe Nasr had performed a minor miracle after he jumped up to 6th but he would eventually be pushed back down to 11th in what was a very respectable for the rookie. He'll be joined on the sixth row of the grid by fellow debutant Max Verstappen who may not be happy about being out qualified by his teammate, but can at least take solace in beating Daniil Kvyat who could only manage 13th. Meanwhile Hulkenberg and Perez filled the final two spots in the dropzone.
In the pole position shootout it was Hamilton who reigned supreme with Rosberg never coming close to matching his pace on either attempt. Felipe Massa recorded his best ever qualifying at Albert Park on his way to 3rd, and out qualified Vettel and Raikkonen who will start 4th and 5th. A mistake in the final corner for Bottas cost the Finn 3rd on the grid as he lines up 6th instead with Ricciardo and Carlos Sainz Jr. on the row behind. Finally the two Lotus' of Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado will start 9th and 10th in a good session for the Enstone outfit.
1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1:26.327
2. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 1:26.921
3. Felipe Massa, Williams, 1:27.718
4. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 1:27.757
5. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:27.790
6. Valtteri Bottas, Williams, 1:28.087
7. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, 1:28.329
8. Carlos Sainz Jr., Toro Rosso, 1:28.510
9. Romain Grosjean, Lotus, 1:28.560
10. Pastor Maldonado, Lotus, 1:29.480
11. Felipe Nasr, Sauber, 1:28.800
12. Max Verstappen, Red Bull, 1:28.868
13. Daniil Kvyat, Red Bull, 1:29.070
14. Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, 1:29.208
15. Sergio Perez, Force India, 1:29.209
16. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, 1:31.376
17. Jenson Button, McLaren, 1:31.422
18. Kevin Magnussen, McLaren, 1:32.037