Paul Henman formula1 Australian Grand Prix – Qualifying

Australian Grand Prix – Qualifying

Round 3 of the 2022 season is in Melbourne, Australia, which means it’s the middle of the night for me. Unfortunately TSN doesn’t care about F1 so I’m struggling to watch the recording between pixelation, audio interruptions, and the usually poorly-timed adverts.

News since the Saudi Arabia GP:

  • ALB was given a three-place grid penalty (to be applied tomorrow) as a result of his late-race move on STR [FIA]
  • VET is back after missing the first two races due to COVID
  • “Alonso and Tsunoda make final penalty-free power unit changes at third round” [racefans.net]

Free Practice round-up:

  • FP1:SAI, LEC, PER, VER, NOR, OCO, HAM, RIC, ALO, BOT
    “Sainz reprimanded, Stroll cleared but under investigation again” [racefans.net]
    “Vettel fined €5,000 for riding moped on track after practice” [racefans.net] [FIA]

  • FP2: LEC, VER, SAI, ALO, PER, OCO, BOT, NOR, GAS, RIC (HAM P13)
    “Tsunoda collects second reprimand as Hamilton and Stroll are cleared” [racefans.net]

  • FP3: NOR, LEC, PER, ALO, SAI, RIC, VER, HAM, BOT, TSU

Qualifying session 1 (Q1)
Air temperature 23°C; track 32°C
Mechanics working on VET’s car; sounds unlikely he’ll be able to run in Q1
TSN1 is virtually unwatchable πŸ™
VER 1:18.580
5mins left of Q1; bottom 5 are ZHO, TSU, LAT, STR, VET
VET still not in the car, so he won’t set a Q1 time and therefore will start P20 assuming he gets the ok from the stewards to race
Red flag – LAT is in the wall
STR has a broken front-right suspension – was there contact with LET?
Replay: yes, it looks like LAT rejoined the track (having gone off at Turn 3?) just behind STR; STR lets LAT past but then suddenly moves right, smashing into the side of LAT, spinning the Williams into the wall
STR was being shown a blue flag – presumably for the Alfa Romeo that was catching him, rather than for LAT
So Q1 is suspended with 2mins remaining – that could be good news for VET if the Aston Martin mechanics can rebuild his car in time
The bottom five for the restart: ALB, MAG, LAT, STR, VET
Marshals and track workers are quickly cleaning up
There’s already a queue at pit exit but there’s 5mins before the restart
VET leaves his garage with 30secs to go before the restart
Green light; RIC leads a train of 11 cars out for a final flying lap
Chequered flag
VET P18
ALB has stopped on track
Back of the grid: ALB*, MAG, VET, LAT; STR did not set a time
*ALB has a 3-place penalty from the previous GP, so he’ll be P19

Qualifying session 2
VER on a second warm up lap; moving left as HAM flies past; VER asks if HAM was on a flying lap; yes (will he be penalised?)
5mins left of Q2: OCO, BOT, ZHO, SCH, TSU
PER 1:18.340
Chequered flag
OCO goes P8, relegates GAS to P11
TSU P13
Middle of the grid: GAS, BOT, TSU, ZHO, SCH

Qualifying session 3
Top 10 shootout is between PER, SAI, LEC, VER, ALO, NOR, RUS, HAM, RIC and OCO
PER 1:18.98
VER P2
HAM P3
OCO P3
RIC P3
Order after first run: PER, VER, RIC, OCO, NOR, HAM, LEC, SAI, RUS, ALO
Yellow flag – ALO’s in the wall in sector 3
LEC 1:18.239
Red flag with 6:58 on the clock; order is LEC, PER, VER, RIC, OCO, NOR, HAM, SAI, RUS, ALO
Radio from ALO – “I lost the hydraulics; I couldn’t change gear”
Green light; Q3 resumes
Radio from RUS reporting “Lewis is going very slow”
RUS P8
3mins remain
RUS P4
VER 1:18.154
Chequered flag; order is VER, LEC, PER, RUS, RIC, HAM, OCO, NOR, SAI, ALO
NOR P4
LEC 1:17.868
HAM P5
Front of the grid: LEC, VER, PER, NOR, HAM, RUS, RIC, OCO, SAI, ALO

Provisional grid: LEC, VER, PER, NOR, HAM, RUS, RIC, OCO, SAI, ALO, GAS, BOT, TSU, ZHO, SCH, ALB*, MAG, VET, LAT; STR did not set a time
*ALB has a 3-place penalty from the previous GP, so he’ll be P19

Penalty Updates:

  • STR handed three-place grid drop for causing collision with LAT [FIA]
  • ALB “has been disqualified from the results of qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix, after his Williams team were unable to provide the FIA with a sufficient fuel sample from his FW44.” [FIA]
    “Following his disqualification the stewards confirmed he will be allowed to start the race. β€œThe stewards have received a request from Williams Racing to allow car 23 to start the race. The stewards therefore grant permission for car 23, Alex Albon to start the race.”” [racefans.net]
    What’s unclear to me is what that means for his 3-place penalty (from the previous race) which was going to be added to tomorrow’s grid position

[2022 calendar and line-up]

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