Vettel leads Red Bull front row
Sebastian Vettel has taken pole position for the Australian Grand Prix. After coming out unlucky at Bahrain, the young German has a new chance tomorrow to secure a Grand Prix win. Mark Webber completes the Red Bull front row, while Fernando Alonso is a very close third.
The Albert Park race track is a lot different from Sakhir, and many teams are expecting to improve their form compared to two weeks ago.
As the first session started off, lots of driver found their way to the track, and 5 minutes later all 24 cars were on track. Webber and Alonso changed top places for a while, before the Vettel put in a good effort and topped everyone.
Felipe Massa meanwhile has trouble warming up his tyres and struggles to keep up with Alonso's pace. The Ferrari is however by far quick enough to get him securely through Q1.
At the closing of the session, Nico Rosberg is second fastest, ahead of Button, Hamilton, Alonso, Webber and Schumacher.
In the rear end of the pack, Vitaly Petrov and all new cars are out. Petrov has a terrible final lap, but is still quicker than Kovalainen. Trulli is following, ahead of the Virgin cars and the Hispanias.
When he 15 minutes of Q2 start counting, Webber is the first man on track, followed closely by Liuzzi. Again, many drivers choose to put in some laps early in the session, resulting again in very crowded track conditions.
The first laps prove extremely interesting as Alonso puts in quickest in the early stages but almost everyone is now on the softer tyre. Mark Webber however has the harder tyre and is second fastest, extremely closely matched to Alonso. His teammate Vettel is in a similar case and is third.
One minute later Webber is actually faster, on a tyre that is expected to be half a second slower than the soft one.
In the fight for the last places for Q3, Hamilton is in trouble after requiring to change his tyre pressures halfway through the session. Kubica is going quicker, just as Sutil, Schumacher and Barrichello.
Hamilton really was facing an impossible task and even had to return the pitlane in the last minute as he didn't have enough fuel for another attempt. He is out, ahead of Buemi, Liuzzi, De La Rosa, Hulkenberg, Kobayashi and Algersuari.
Q3 is kicked off by Alonso, and once more most drivers choose to start early. Vettel is waiting a little bit. Webber is initially fastest, for the first time running on the softer tyre. Alonso is second.
2 minutes later Vettel is pushing extremely hard all the way through his lap and moved up to provisional pole with a 1:23.919, the first man to go faster than 1:24 this weekend.
With 4 minutes to go, most cars are now back in the pits, except for Buton who is trying to benefit from a clear track. Button is currently 5th and moved up one spot after this attempt. At the same time Hamilton is walking down the paddock, disappointed for not making it to Q3, and surprisingly being beaten by Button this early in the season.
Back on track, Alonso is stil on the softer tyre, while the Mercedes GP cars have chosen to fit the harder tyre. The Red Bulls are still on the softer compound, but since none of the front runners were able to improve their initial times, Vetel is on pole, ahead of local hero Webber and Fernando Alonso.