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Australian GP 2010

MARCH 27, 2010

Qualifying Report - Fine Vettel dominates

Sebastian Vettel, Australian GP 2010
© The Cahier Archive

Sebastian Vettel will be on pole for tomorrow's Australian Grand Prix after he dominated qualifying at Albert Park.

On a cold day in Melbourne with the threat of rain hanging over the circuit, all the cars came out early to set a banker lap in each of the three sessions. Vettel's second pole of the year came after he set the fastest time in all three, pipping Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber by a tenth to the dismay of the local crowds.

Fernando Alonso took third in the Ferrari, ahead of Jenson Button's McLaren and the fellow Ferrari of Felipe Massa. Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher will start in 6th and 7th for Mercedes while Rubens Barrichello, Robert Kubica and Adrian Sutil round off the top ten.

Lewis Hamilton was the shock man to miss out on Q3, having to settle for 11th. Since the Liegate story at this event last year, Hamilton claims to have grown as a man and a driver. He had ample opportunity to prove his point this weekend by showing his brush with the traffic police on Friday hadn't affected him but the chance passed him by in a difficult Q2.

In Q2 the Red Bulls were the only cars on the hard tyre but Webber still set the fastest time early on before he was eventually overtaken by Vettel, who also set the pace in Q1. Sebastien Buemi, Vitantonio Liuzzi, Pedro de la Rosa, Kamui Kobayashi, Jaime Alguersuari and Nico Hulkenberg also missed out.

Traffic was a major problem in Q1 with drivers having to slow down to a crawl to try and find space for a flying lap. Vitaly Petrov's Renault was the surprise car to miss out alongside the three new teams. Heikki Kovalainen won that mini-battle, albeit four seconds off Vettel's leading time. Kovalainen outpaced team-mate Jarno Trulli who claimed a broken seat, followed by the Virgins of Timo Glock and Lucas di Grassi and the HRTs of Bruno Senna and Karun Chandhok.