Qualifying analysis - Red Bull the team to beat 27 Mar 2010
Red Bull clinched the front row of the Melbourne grid with ease on Saturday, with Sebastian Vettel taking pole ahead of team mate - and local hero - Mark Webber. Behind the Red Bull duo, Ferraris Fernando Alonso, McLarens Jenson Button and Felipe Massa in the other Ferrari made up the top five. The big surprise, however, was Lewis Hamilton failing to make it through to Q3. We take a team-by-team look at how all the runners performed
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 23.919s, P1
Mark Webber, 1m 24.035s, P2
Vettel admitted that his best lap on his first run got a bit messy towards the end when he slid wide undertaking for Turn 15, but he kept it all together for a strong enough run for pole position. Webber was disappointed to lose out by a small margin to his team mate but said hed done his best, and for Red Bull it was an excellent result that bodes well for the race.
Fernando Alonso, 1m 24.111s, P3
Felipe Massa, 1m 24.837s, P5
Alonso was happy that the gap to Red Bull was significantly less than it was in Bahrain, and said he was happy with the way that his Ferrari ran. All three top qualifiers said that the key to the race will be first to finish it, and then to figure out where. Massa was mystified by his inability to generate sufficient temperature in his tyres, and on this occasion was no match for his team mate.
Jenson Button, 1m 24.675s, P4
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 25.184s, P11
Button was much happier with the pace of the McLaren in qualifying than he had been in Bahrain, but said his MP4-25 did not feel as well balanced as it had been on Friday and that understeer cost him a few tenths in Q3. Hamilton was surprised to fall in Q2, but said he had a poor first run with traffic, and then could not get the right temperature into a set of new soft tyres on his second run.
Nico Rosberg, 1m 24.884s, P6
Michael Schumacher, 1m 24.927s, P7
Rosberg made a couple of mistakes on his soft tyre runs, while Schumacher complained of traffic. Both switched to the harder tyre as rain seemed imminent, but neither was able to improve on their sixth and seventh places.
Rubens Barrichello, 1m 25.217s, P8
Nico Hulkenberg, 1m 25.748s, P15
Barrichello had a good day, with a strong afternoon run to eighth place. But he said he could have gone a little quicker but for traffic. Hulkenberg simply said he was disappointed with his result.
Robert Kubica, 1m 25.372s, P9
Vitaly Petrov, 1m 26.471s, P17
Kubica got the maximum out of the R30, with his ninth place, and admitted that the car isnt easy to drive as some performance was lost in the afternoons cooler conditions. Petrov looked good in the morning but admitted that qualifying is a new experience that he is still learning about and said he was very disappointed not to make Q2, as the sector times clearly showed he had the pace to do that.
Adrian Sutil, 1m 26.036s, P10
Vitantonio Liuzzi, 1m 25.743s, P13
Sutil said that the soft tyres didnt get up to optimal temperatures on either of his Q3 runs, but that he couldnt be disappointed to start 10th. Liuzzi said he was really disappointed, and that the traffic had been impossible on his runs in Q2. He cited particular problems with Hulkenberg and De la Rosa, and said that in all of his sessions on all of his laps he struggled for clear laps.
Sebastien Buemi, 1m 25.638s, P12
Jaime Alguersuari 1m 26.089s, P17
Buemi said he was reasonably happy with his days performance and that he didnt think he could have done much more. Alguersuari said his performance was okay but that he might have got a bit more out of the soft tyre.
Pedro de la Rosa, 1m 25.747s, P14
Kamui Kobayashi, 1m 25.777s, P16
Sauber are still some way off Q3 but they were closer than in Bahrain and the cars seemed reliable again. De la Rosa complained of traffic, while Kobayashi said he expected to be higher than 16th. He made a great save when the C29 got very sideways going on to the pit straight on his best lap.
Heikki Kovalainen, 1m 28.797s, P19
Jarno Trulli, 1m 29.111s, P20
Once again Lotus were the best new team, and once again Kovalainen outpaced Trulli. The Finn said the T127 felt better than it had in Bahrain, but Trulli had a problem with his seat which was loose in the car, rendering it harder to drive than it should have been.
Timo Glock, 1m 29.592s, P21
Lucas di Grassi, 1m 30.185s, P22
Glock lost a lot of track time in the morning with a blocked gearbox filter, while he and Di Grassi both experienced a problem picking up the last dregs of fuel when running light in qualifying.
Bruno Senna, 1m 30.526s, P23
Karun Chandhok, 1m 30.613s, P24
Senna lost time with a hydraulic problem in the morning, but in the afternoon both F110s kept running throughout Q1 and the two drivers proved evenly matched and were respectably close to Di Grassis Virgin.