Australian Grand Prix Qualifying: Lewis Hamilton takes the first pole of the season amid confusion

Written by F1_Charlie

Lewis Hamilton will start tomorrow’s Australian Grand Prix from pole position after breaking teammate Nico Rosberg’s stream of six consectuve pole positions.

It was the first qualfying session with the new knock out style elimination which caught out a number of teams and drivers. The format that was brought it to spice up the action failed to deliver making the ssession and anti-climax and left everyone confused.

A rush as the start of every session meant there was either little or no actions towards the end of each phase of qualifying. Whilst the format was all new, the result was remininsent of the last two seasons with Mercedes being the class of the field.

A mistake from Nico Rosberg on his first effort handed Hamilton his 50th pole position of his carrer. The final 3 and a half minutes featured the drivers sitting in the garage with the result already confrimed.

Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen will share the second row of the grid, Max Verstappen conintued to impress with his best time being just under half a second slower than the Ferrari of Raikkonen. 

The start of Q1 saw some drivers making mistakes. Nico Rosberg went off at Turn 1 with Vettel and Hamilton also having scrappy opening laps. Pascal Wehrlein was the first driver to fall victim of the new format and was closely followed by teammate Rio Haryanto. 

Haas fell victim to the new format. Both Esteban Gutierrez and Romain Grosjean were on course to better their grid positions but ran out of time to complete their laps, the new boys will start towards the back of the grid for tomorrow’s race.

Joloyon Palmer in the Renault managed to sneak his way into Q2 as the flag dropped. Teammate Kevin Magnussen also managed to make it into Q2 but was the first driver out in the second phase of qualifying. 

Q2 was where Mercedes really started to stretch their legs and showed their true pace which they seemed to have been hid throughout the winter. For the majority of the session the defending champions were over full second faster than their nearest challengers. Drivers were finding themselves eliminated whilst sitting in the garage after the slowest driver was elimated ever thirty seconds, not what the fans at home and at the track wanted to see. 

McLaren seemed to have a better showing this weekend in contrast to this time last season. Fernando Alonso will line up 12th place with Jenson Button in P13 tomorrow.

Q3 was largly uneventful with Lewis Hamilton marking his auhtoiry early on. Hamilton carried on to circulate as the other drivers in Q3 watched themselves be eliminated from the session on the TV screens in the garages as opposed to battling for position out on track.

Let’s just hope that the new format is tinkered with to something that actually works in time for Bahrain!

1. Lewis Hamilton

2. Nico Rosberg

3. Sebastian Vettel

4. Kimi Raikkonen

5. Max Verstappen

6. Carlos Sainz

8. Daniel Ricciardo.

9. Sergio Perez

10. Nico Hulkenberg

11. Valtteri Bottas

12. Fernando Alonso

13. Jenson Button

14. Jolyon Palmer

15. Kevin Magnussen

16. Marcus Ericsson

17. Felipe Nasr

18. Daniil Kvat

19. Romain Grosjean

20. Esteban Gutierrez

21. Pascal Mehrlein

22. Rio Haryanto