He might have started from P2 on the grid but that didn’t stop Jenson Button from storming to victory at the season opening Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park in Melbourne. Reigning Champion Sebastian Vettel finished second, ahead of pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton in third.
Button took the lead on the first corner itself and never looked like relinquishing it as he kept the gap to those behind him and controlled the race pace. It was a lucky break with the Safety Car for Vettel on lap 38 as he took second spot and Hamilton ended up behind him in third place.
Mark Webber finished fourth ahead of Fernando Alonso who had started from 12th but drove a good race to finish fifth. Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi finished sixth with Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen in seventh & Sergio Perez in eighth. Daniel Ricciardo finished ninth for Toro Rosso and the last point in tenth place was taken up by Paul Di Resta of Force India.
The vroom of the engines is back for another enthralling year as the Formula 1 season kickstarted off in Melbourne for the Australian Grand Prix. And it was McLaren and not Red Bull at the head of the order as Lewis Hamilton headed a McLaren lockout at the front of the grid with teammate Jenson Button. Lotus’ Romain Grosjean will be a surprising third place starter.
Mercedes showed good pace as Michael Schumacher clocked the fourth fastest time in Qualifying with the Red Bulls of Mark Webber and Champion Sebastian Vettel in fifth and sixth places ahead of Nico Rosberg in seventh and Williams’ Pastor Maldonado in eighth. Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg & Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo rounded off the top ten.
It was a disastrous qualifying session for Ferrari as Alonso could only muster 12th fastest and Felipe Massa 16th. They clearly are struggling to come to terms with their car as was evident throughout the pre-season tests and earlier practice sessions. It was also not a good comeback for former Champion Kimi Raikkonen as he could only muster 18th place on the grid with Lotus as he complained of steering issues with his car and a miscalculation from his team denied him another lap to get into Q2.
Though it is still early days, McLaren seem the team to beat but remains to be seen if Hamilton or Button score points off each other and allow the other drivers to take advantage. Red Bull & Mercedes seem to be playing catch up and although the Mercedes looked quicker throughout the first practice, there have been murmurs of irregularities with its DRS wing & how it handles the aerodynamic air flow around the car.
My prediction is Jenson Button for the Race win with Schumacher second and Vettel third.
The Red Bulls proved they do have wiings at the Albert Park Circuit in Melbourne as they locked out the first row at the Saturday Qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix. Sebastian Vettel notched up his second successive pole position as he drove the wheels off his car on his first flying lap in Q3 and that proved more than enough.
Teammate Mark Webber grabbed the second fastest time and would hope this time around he’ll have a fulfilling home race. Fernando Alonso took P3 as Ferrari couldn’t quite match up to the pace of the Red Bulls. There seemed to be some rain falling at the end of the qualifying session and probably that put off the drivers from going all out at the fag end of the session.
McLaren’s Jenson Button took P4 and Felipe Massa only managed P5, ahead of the Mercedes’ of Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher in P6 & P7 respectively. Rubens Barrichello put his Williams on P8 ahead of the Renault of Robert Kubica and the Force India of Adrian Sutil.