2014 Australian Grand Prix, Qualifying Report.

Qualifying was always going to be fascinating in this first race of the 'new formula' in 2014. After the intrigue in practice where Red Bull looked like they had solved most of their problems, Mercedes and Williams set the pace. Would qualifying be the same?


Result:
PositionDriverTeamTime
1Lewis HamiltonMercedes1m44.231s
2Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault 1m44.548s
3Nico Rosberg Mercedes1m44.595s
4Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes1m45.745s
5Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m45.819s
6Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Renault 1m45.864s
7Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes1m46.030s
8Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m47.360s
9Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes 1m48.079s
10Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes 1m48.147s
11Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1m44.437s
12Kimi RaikkonenFerrari 1m44.494s
13Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1m44.668s
14Adrian SutilSauber-Ferrari 1m45.655s
15Kamui KobayashiCaterham-Renault1m45.867s
16Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes1m47.293s
17Max ChiltonMarussia-Ferrari 1m34.293s
18Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m34.794s
19 Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari 1m35.117s
20Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault1m35.157s
21Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault1m36.993s
22Pastor MaldonadoLotus-RenaultNo-Time


Lewis Hamilton scored the first pole position of the year in qualifying. The 32nd in his career equalling that of fellow British world champion Nigel Mansell. Red Bull have improved since the last week of testing in Bahrain, Sebastian Vettel failed even to make Q3 and starts 12th. Lewis Beat Vettel's team mate by 3 tenths in the dying seconds of the wet qualifying session.

Rosberg had taken provisional pole temporarily before Hamilton and Ricciardo improved their times late on. Nico will start third ahead of McLaren's d├ębutante Magnussen. Both drivers, as well as Ferrari's Fernando Alonso (5th) and Ricciardo (2nd), set their times on full wet tyres.

The wet weather specialists Vergne and Hulkenberg (6th and 7th respectively) both set times on intermediate tyres whilst Vergne's Toro Rosso team mate also impressed with Daniil Kvyat lining up in 8th despite an off track excursion during Q3

Whilst Williams were hoping to be in the fight for pole, they struggled a little in the wet finishing up 9th and 10th although on different tyres. Bottas does however have a 5 place grid penalty to serve.

At the end of Q2 Kimi Raikkonen had a small crash at Turn 3 which bought out yellow flags and frustrated several drivers who weren't able to make it into Q3. This led to some big names being cut in Q2 including 09 Champ Button, 07 Champ Raikkonen and 4 Time Champ Vettel. Other Q2 causalties were Sutil, Kobayashi and Perez.

Rain halfway through Q1 curtailed running however Marussia's Max Chilton will be pleased to be 'Fastest' of those cut in Q1, beating his team mate Bianchi. Other Q1 casualties included Gutierrez (Sauber) and Ericsson (Caterham).

Joining them however were the two Lotus drivers, Grosjean & Maldonado. The car looking pretty poor meaning that Maldonado didn't even set a time as he aborted his only real attempt after running off the track - twice.