Australian Grand Prix – Qualifying

[My notes from the practice sessions] [Drivers and races]

TSN usually uses the BBC feed but they’re not covering this race live, so I wonder who TSN will use? … Sounds like it’s still BBC, so we get them live but UK viewers will either have to watch Sky live or the BBC delayed coverage.

Pirelli have provided the soft (option; yellow band) and medium (prime; white band) tyre compounds for this race weekend, although intermediates and full wets got a lot of track time in the practice sessions!

Qualifying session 1 (Q1)
Green light – Q1 starts but there’s no-one rushing out of the pit lane
TG first on track in the Marussia (which was the Virgin team last year); teammate CP on track too now
Would be nice to hear more of the cars in the audio mix
TG deep in Turn 3 but keeps it on track; misses the apex in a couple more corners
TG 1:32.997
CP 1:32.349
SV runs a bit wide in Turn 1
PM 1:28.370
BS 1:28.223
FA blocked by NK –
SV 1:27.369
LH wide in Turn 1 – onto the grass but re-finds the track
KK 1:27.048
JB 1:26.986
10mins left of Q1; HK, NR & NK yet to set a time
SV held up by an HRT too
MS clouts the kerb in Turn 1 – that’s a stiff front wing
LH 1:26.800
NR 1:26.763
SV has to use lots of opposite lock to keep the Red Bull out of the wall in Turn 9
5mins left of Q1; bottom 7 are HK, FM, VP, TG, CP, PRo*, NK – PRo & NK are outside the 107% time
(*PRo = Pedro de la Rosa; PRe = Paul di Resta)
FM has had to take a set of the soft tyres in the hope of making to Q2
SP 1:26.596
JV 1:26.493
That’s P1 and P2 for the Toro Rosso team! (OK, they’re on soft tyres but still a good effort)
KK 1:26.182
(FM only manages P16 on soft tyres!)
Chequered flag
(RG jumps from P14 to P3)
VP trying really hard to get the Caterham into Q2 – lots of oversteer
Back of the grid: P18=KR, 19=HK, 20=VP, 21=TG, 22=CP, 23=PRo*, 24=NK*
*Both HRTs (PRo and NK) failed to clear the 107% (of the P1 time) mark, so they will have to appeal to the stewards to see if they can race tomorrow.

Qualifying 2 (Q2)
Force India of PRe is first out of the pit lane
Some of the midfield runners are on used options (soft compound)
PRe 1:27.304
BS locks up in to Turn 3
DR 1:26.624
SV 1:25.982
(FA P2)
(MW P2)
FA off into the gravel in Turn 1 – replay shows he touched the grass and spun under braking
LH 1:25.626
FA is furious at a marshal – there’s no-one to blame but yourself for that mistake!
Red flag – FA’s Ferrari is in a dangerous position; 8:22 left on the clock
Marshals lift the Ferrari out of the gravel trap
Q2 restarts as FA walks back through the pit lane and into the Ferrari motor home
FM weaving a lot on his out lap, trying to warm up his tyres
Pit-car radio for FM reminding him to work on warming the front tyres
FM’s Ferrari still looks like a handful on his flying lap
5mins left of Q2; 6 drivers have yet to set a time
NR 1:25.469
(MS P2)
3mins; bottom 7 are NH, FM, BS, PM, KK*, SP*, JV* (*=no time set)
1min left; bottom 7 are PRe, NH, FM, KK, BS, PM, SP
PM trying too hard in the last couple of corners but gathered it up for P7
Chequered flag
KK slides the tail in the final turn – only manages P12
Middle of the grid will be: P11=JV, 12=FA, 13=KK, 14=BS, 15=PRe, 16=FM, 17=SP (SP didn’t set a time)

Qualifying 3 (Q3)
MS looks very relaxed as he waves to the camera
Top 10 shootout is between NR, MS, LH, JB, RG, SV, PM, MW, NH & DR – that’s both Australian drivers in Q3
10mins on the clock; lights turn green
NR first on track; pushing hard on his out lap
NR 1:25.847 (used soft tyres)
LH 1:24.922
(JB P2)
(MS P2)
(RG P4)
(SV P2)
5mins left; order is LH, SV, MS, JB, RG, NR (rest have yet to set a time)
MW leaves the pits – should get a couple of quiet laps while the others are in the pits for new tyres
(MW P2)
90secs left of Q3; everyone’s on track but MW is heading for the pits
NR locks up in Turn 3
Chequered flag; SV is the last across the line to start a final flying lap
(PM P8)
(NH P9)
(MS P2)
(RG P2)
(JB P2)
Front of the grid: P1=LH, 2=JB, 3=RG, 4=MS, 5=MW, 6=SV, 7=NR, 8=PM, 9=NH, 10=DR (no lap time for DR)
That’s a McLaren front row! 🙂
RG in P3 – what will the F1 Rejects podcast make of that? 🙂

Provisional grid: LH, JB, RG, MS, MW, SV, NR, PM, NH, DR, JV, FA, KK, BS, PRe, FM, SP, KR, HK, VP, TG, CP, PRo*, 24=NK* (*assuming PRo & NK are allowed to race).

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