Coverage starts at Midday
McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button got their 2012 world championship campaign off to the best possible start as they took the top two positions on the grid for the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park on Saturday evening, and just to make things even better for the Woking team, Romain Grosjean put his Lotus third ahead of Michael Schumacher’s Mercedes and the Red Bulls of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel.
Nobody got near to Hamilton’s 1m 24.922s, but Button’s 1m 25.074s put him ahead of Schumacher, who had improved to 1m 25.336s. The German’s time, however, was not sufficient to resist Grosjean’s 1m 25.302s, making it a tremendous return to full-time Formula One racing for the Frenchman.
1 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:24.922
2 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:25.074
3 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:25.302
4 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:25.336
5 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:25.651
6 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:25.668
7 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:25.686
2012 Technical upgrades and changes to the cars so far - http://www.formula1.com/news/technical/
Lara B showed up at yesterdays qualifying and was interviewed with her mum.
First race of the new year so I found this write up that may help people who are new to Formula1 enjoy the race and bring them up to speed with information about each driver.
1st Lewis Hamilton (McLaren), Former world champion, very talented driver with an "agressive" drive style. Had a dissapointing last year because he had a hard time to get his mind focussed due to unrelated issues.
2nd Jenson Button (McLaren), always has been a very underrated driver who is getting a bit more appreciation lately, also a former world champion who is known for his clinical style. Drives really clean and calculated, not as fast in pure speed as Hamilton but his tactical decision making makes up for this.
3rd Grosjean (Lotus), French "Rookie" (He did drive 6 races in 2009 already but I still consider him a Rookie) who's best result ever is a 13th position. His teammate is Kimi Raikkonen who is a former world champion returning to Formula 1 after driving the World Rally Championship for 2 years. He is widely considered to be a much more experienced driver than Grosjean but he screwed up his Qualification and has to start from 17th position. If Grosjean manages to keep or even improve his 3rd position that will be sensational.
4th Michael Schumacher (Mercedes), the most succesful Formula 1 driver ever who won 7 world championships. He took a 3 year break from 2007 to 2009 after which he returned. His results so far haven't been up to his standerd and he has yet to score a podium since his comeback. His 4th place is his best qualification result since he returned.
5th Mark Webber (Red Bull), Australian and thus it's his homerace. Experienced driver but most of the time not really sensational, got beaten by his teammate Vettel for the last couple of years.
6th Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull), Current world champion, he is the "wonderkid" of Formula 1 at the moment, becoming the worlds youngest champion ever in 2010 and immediately won his 2nd title in 2011, he is considered the man to beat by many but he was struggling in the qualification.
7th Nico Rosberg (Mercedes), Schumachers teammate, solid german driver but quite invisible most of the races.
8th Pastor Maldonado (Williams), brings a lot of venezuelan money which got him a seat at Williams, performed much better than anyone expected in qualification.
9th Nico Hulkenberg (Force India), young and very talented German driver who already has 1 season behind his belt in 2010, was test driver in 2011. Solid qualification.
10th Daniel Ricciardo (Scuderia Toro Rosso), Australian "Rookie" (Drove some races last year for HRT which was considered the worst team of the pack) driving for the Red Bull Junior team (Scuderia Toro Rosso) did very well in qualification by reaching Q3.
11th Jean Eric Vergne (Scuderia Toro Rosso), really talented French driver also driving for Scuderia Toro Rosso, it'll be interesting to see how the battle between him and Ricciardo will unfold.
12th Fernando Alonso (Ferrari), Ferrari's number 1 driver and 2 times world champion, almost always puts Massa's performance to shame but didn't impress in Qualification, he made a big mistake in Qualification and went off in Q2, has to start in this dissapointing position. I expect him to atleast win a few spots and possibly even reach the top 5.
13th Kamui Kobayashi (Sauber), Japanese driver driving for the Sauber team, this guy is one to look out for, he is known for his balls out overtaking manouvres and his 1 stop strategies (Running VERY long on 1 set of tires while the others pit and get more fresh tires).
14th Bruno Senna (Williams), Nephew of Ayrton, half decent driver but not nearly as special as his uncle. Mainly in Formula 1 because of his name and sponsors, most of the races completely invisible.
15th Paul di Resta (Force India), Rookie of the year in 2011, has to make steps now and should be expected to be atleast as quick as his teammate Hulkenberg which didn't happen in qualification.
16th Felipe Massa (Ferrari), Drives for Ferrari and is most well known for underperforming at almost every occasion and his accidents with Hamilton (Youtube Hamilton and Massa)
17th Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus), former world champion who returned after driving Rally cars for 2 years. Didn't deliver due to a driver error in qualification and has to start in the back. I expect him to either crash out or finish in the top 6. Famous for his press meetings.
18th Heikki Kovalainen (Caterham), decent driver driving for one of the new teams, quite invisible most of the time while he gets out as much out of the car as he can.
19th Vitaly Petrov (Caterham), did decent at the beginning of last year, after that he started to perform less and less, then bought his seat at Caterham only a few weeks before the start of the season.
20th Timo Glock (Marussia), does what he has to do but isn't very special himself nor does he have a decent car.
21th Charles Pic (Marussia), Rookie at one of the backend teams, will be hard for him to prove himself in that car.
22nd Sergio Perez (Sauber), had a 5 place grid penalty and will be starting from the very last spot. He did sometimes perform well last year but he really has to step up this year. Has a lot of Mexican money which got him into the Formula 1.