F1 2013

Red Bull lockout front row

Red Bull drivers Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber locked out the front row for the Australian Grand Prix in the delayed final session of qualifying this morning.

The duo were significantly faster than the opposition, Vettel clocking a 1:27:407 with Webber a sizeable four-tenths down on his team-mate. Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton was 3rd after a shoddy qualifying session that came good on his final attempt, out-qualifying his new stablemate Nico Rosberg who had set the pace for much of the morning.

Jenson Button once again led the way on tyre choice; but when the track dried out his MP4/28 let him down.

Jenson Button once again led the way on tyre choice; but when the track dried out his MP4/28 let him down.

Felipe Massa slipped his Ferrari into 4th ahead of 2012 runner-up Fernando Alonso, the difference just 0.003 between the Scuderia machines who were chased by Rosberg, Raikkonen, Grosjean and Paul Di Resta, who finally managed to get ahead of his own team-mate Adrian Sutil.

McLaren took several gambles during Q2 and Q3, Jenson Button leading the field on tyre choice in the tricky damp conditions before the dry line arrived and rendered his MP4/28 a blunt instrument once again; he starts 10th. Sergio Perez was the first man to go for dry tyres in Q2 but he couldn’t make them work, inexplicably pitting to fit another set of super-softs rather than reverting to the intermediate favoured by everyone else. He couldn’t improve his time and will start the race later today from 14th place.

Nico Hulkenberg and Adrian Sutil were 11th and 12th, ahead of the Toro Rosso’s of Jean Eric Vergne (who is acquiring a reputation as something of a wet-weather specialist) and Daniel Ricciardo. Williams’ Valtteri Bottas was 16th fastest and slowest of all.

Results of yesterday’s aborted Q1 can be found here.

POS DRIVER TEAM TIME
1 Sebastian VETTEL Red Bull 1:27:407
2 Mark WEBBER Red Bull +0.420
3 Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes +0.680
4 Felipe MASSA Ferrari +1.083
5 Fernando ALONSO Ferrari +1.086
6 Nico ROSBERG Mercedes +1.116
7 Kimi RAIKKONEN Lotus +1.331
8 Romain GROSJEAN Lotus +1.606
9 Paul DI RESTA Force India +1.898
10 Jenson BUTTON McLaren +2.950
11 Nico HULKENBERG Sauber 1:38:067
12 Adrian SUTIL Force India 1:38:134
13 Jean Eric VERGNE Toro Rosso 1:38:778
14 Daniel RICCIARDO Toro Rosso 1:39:042
15 Sergio PEREZ McLaren 1:39:900
16 Valtteri BOTTAS Williams 1:40:210
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