Australian Grand Prix – Qualifying

The McLarens didn’t perform well in the practice sessions, whereas the new Brawn team faired much better.

Q1: (Qualifying session 1)
Green light but no rush of cars
GF first on track – he’s on the super-soft tyres (denoted by the green stripe)
GF 1:28.840
NR 1:27.833
FM P2
HK P5
NR runs a little wide
NR 1:27.083
LH sitting in the garage
KN 1:26.752
KR 1:26.615
LH leaves the pits on the super-soft tyres – that’s not a good sign
FA 1:26.474
RB 1:26.247
LH P2 – phew!
JB P2 – that’s both Brawn cars at the top!
RB 1:25.815
FM down in P20/last
5mins left
FM jumps from last to P2
3mins left
MW 1:25.427 on his home track
Chequered flag
JB 1:25.211
RB 1:25.006
Bottom 5 are: P16=Buemi, 17=NP, 18=GF, 19=AS, 20=SB
LH was P15, HK P13 – that’s really bad for McLaren

Q2:
KR first on track
KR 1:25.380
BBC interview LH – he’s out of the car – problems with the drivetrain? So he’ll start in P15 … unless the team have to change something (e.g. gearbox) in parc ferme that incurs a 5 grid spot penalty
TG 1:25.281
JB 1:25.205
SV 1:25.121
3mins left
HK can’t improve on P14
RB 1:24.783
JB P2
Bottom 5 are: P11=NH, 12=FA, 13=KN, 14=HK, 15=LH
Will we see a Brawn GP front row?

Q3:
The cars are fueled ready for the race
JB 1:26.600
RB P2
3mins left
RB 1:26.505
Chequered flag out
TG P3
NR P3
RK P3
JB 1:26.202
SV P3
Front of the grid: P1=JB, 2=RB, 3=SV, 4=RK, 5=NR, 6=TG, 7=FM, 8=JT, 9=KR, 10=MW

Pit/car radio as Ross Brawn calmly tells Jenson Button he’s on pole … and JB just manages to shout “yeeeaaah!” 🙂

So the provisional grid is:

  1. J Button (Brawn-Mercedes)
  2. R Barrichello (Brawn-Mercedes)
  3. S Vettel (RBR-Renault)
  4. R Kubica (BMW Sauber)
  5. N Rosberg (Williams-Toyota)
  6. T Glock (Toyota)
  7. F Massa (Ferrari)
  8. J Trulli (Toyota)
  9. K Räikkönen (Ferrari)
  10. M Webber (RBR-Renault)
  11. N Heidfeld (BMW Sauber)
  12. F Alonso (Renault)
  13. K Nakajima (Williams-Toyota)
  14. H Kovalainen (McLaren-Mercedes)
  15. L Hamilton (McLaren-Mercedes)
  16. S Buemi (STR-Ferrari)
  17. N Piquet (Renault)
  18. G Fisichella (Force India-Mercedes)
  19. A Sutil (Force India-Mercedes)
  20. S Bourdais (STR-Ferrari)

I always stress that this is the provisional grid, and here’s why – events since Qualifying ended:

  • LH has been given a 5 grid spot penalty because the team have to change his gearbox [FIA report]
  • Both Toyota drivers (TG & JT) have been sent to the back of the grid for rear wing infringements. “The Stewards have received a report from the Technical Delegate that the upper rear wing elements of cars No. 9 and 10 are showing extreme flexibility in contravention of Article 3.15 of the 2009 Formula One Technical Regulations,” said the FIA. [FIA report]

This means the grid now looks like this: JB, RB, SV, RK, NR, FM, KR, MW, NH, FA, KN, HK, LH, SBu, NP, GF, AS, SBo, LH, TG, JT.

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