Mar 16

Formula One teams Australian Grand Prix qualifying report (updated)

Australian Grand Prix Formula One qualifying report

Melbourne - Albert Park - Australian Grand PrixToday’s report from Formula One teams & drivers in Melbourne.



Australian Grand Prix Formula One qualifying results


Red Bull Racing

Red Bull Racing


Car 1 SEBASTIAN VETTEL, Position: POLE POSITION! (3rd Practice – P12, 1:29.808)

“Obviously I was very happy with the result, but with the adjusted schedule we can’t be too euphoric right now – in a few hours the race is coming up, so it’s head down again to get on with that. Obviously it’s a very good result for myself and the team and with Mark in second we have a front row – it’s a surprise after not knowing where we were in winter testing.”

Car 2 MARK WEBBER, Position: 2nd, (3rd Practice – P13, 1:30.073)

“I think with such intense conditions like yesterday and today, it’s always easy to make a meal of it, but we didn’t. It was slippery yesterday and we came back again today for a very short explosive session; it’s all over in a flash. We needed to get things right, I would have liked two laps but we finished up the grid at the right end. The weather can change very quickly here, so it’s always hard to make a call.”

CHRISTIAN HORNER: “A fantastic way to start the season with a front row lock out. Both drivers delivered fantastic laps on their one and only lap on slick tyres. It’s the best possible starting place with Sebastian on pole and Mark alongside him for the first race of the season. We’ve only got a few hours until the start of the race, so it’s going to be a very busy afternoon for the mechanics.”

(Renault) THIERRY SALVI: “It was quite a tough qualifying session for the first race of the year with the time change. Regarding engine usage we are of course okay with it being the first event. There were no particular issues, Seb and Mark were happy with the engine behaviour and we don’t have any issues with temperatures. You can see with the weather that we have to work a lot on the drivability to make sure the drivers are happy.”



We love the Australian GP, even in the rain. In fact, we like it so much we decided to celebrate the season opener by asking @redbullracing followers for their favourite Aussie GP moments. Here’s our pick of the best responses…

The top five answers were:

1. Melbourne 2002. Mark Webber’s fifth place on his Formula One debut, as chosen by @OliiiB

2. Martin Brundle’s spectacular crash at the first Australian GP in Melbourne in 1996, as chosen by @f1dave77

3. Adelaide 1986 and the three-way battle for the title between Nigel Mansell, Nelson Piquet and Alain Prost. Prost won. Chosen by @Fanauto1

4. The 1994 race in Adelaide and the title battle between Damon Hill and Michael Schumacher, in which controversy reigned. As picked by @Reynardg

And our favourite, which comes from @tonysimmon, who says: “meeting my now wife and mother of my two boys at the Aus GP was a pretty good Aussie memory”. Awwww, sweet.

source: Red Bull Racing, redbullracing.com

Scuderia Ferrari

Scuderia Ferrari

Australian Grand Prix – Second and third row for Scuderia Ferrari

Australian Grand Prix
Melbourne, 17th March 2013
Qualifying session
Q1 ALO 2nd 1.43.850 10 MAS 6th 1.44.635 8
Q2 MAS 5th 1.36.666 8 ALO 6th 1.36.691 9
Q3 MAS 4th 1.28.490 7 ALO 5th 1.28.493 7
Weather: air 15 °C, track 16 °C. Light rain. Chassis: Alonso 299, Massa 300

Fourth and fifth places on the grid for Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso: that was the outcome at the end of qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix. On an unusual day for Formula 1 as the starting grid line-up had to be postponed, this result is a good basis on which Scuderia Ferrari can build for the race that starts in a few hours. Both Ferrari men ran the same tyre strategy: one set of extremes and one of intermediates in Q1, two sets of intermediates in Q2, one set of intermediates and one of Supersoft in Q3.

Fernando Alonso: “I am very pleased with this result, because if our aim for the year is to reduce the gap to our competitors and start from better positions than we have done in the past two seasons, we can claim to have managed it. After winter testing, it was difficult to draw any conclusions and that was also the case today, with a delayed qualifying and very changeable weather conditions. Once again, Red Bull demonstrated its superiority, but while it’s true that we fought with them right down to the last race, for the past two seasons, I am sure that once again this year we will be there to mix it with them, if we do everything perfectly without making mistakes. I think that starting from fifth, a podium finish is a realistic option”.

Felipe Massa: “Given the difficult conditions we encountered yesterday in the first part of qualifying and then again this morning, I’m reasonably pleased with this fourth place. In such changeable conditions, the slightest inconvenient could see you not make it through the various stages of qualifying. Now we can expect a long and difficult race where the strategy will play – like always – a key factor. Anyway, starting from a good position is a positive and encouraging sign for the start of this championship”.

source: Scuderia Ferrari, ferrari.com

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

  • Albert Park, Melbourne, Saturday March 16
  • “A stop-start session like today’s is tough for everyone”


  • MP4-28A-06
  • FP3:
  • 18th 1m33.527s (+6.598s) 8 laps
  • Qualifying
  • Q1:
  • 4th 1m44.300s (on Full Wets then Intermediates)

“Well, even though we didn’t manage to finish it, that was a really dramatic qualifying session, full of suspense and excitement.

“But, even though that uncertainty made things tricky for all the teams, I think our guys did a fantastic job. They kept calm and focused throughout the whole session, even in the gaps and delays, and as a result Jenson and I were always confident that everything was totally under control.

“We’ll have to follow a really tight schedule tomorrow – including a very short turn-around between qualifying and race – and that’ll be tough for everyone, especially the guys in the garage. Boys, I appreciate all your hard work in advance, okay?!

“Even so, I think the FIA stewards made the right call to postpone Q2 and Q3. The conditions were becoming too dangerous – in terms of low visibility as well as low grip.

“Tomorrow may be a tricky day for us, because our car isn’t yet as competitive as it’ll become, but our aim will be to score points with both cars so as to keep in touch with the teams who currently appear to be a little way ahead of us in terms of performance.”


  • MP4-28A-05
  • FP3:
  • 17th 1m33.236s (+6.307s) 7 laps
  • Qualifying
  • Q1:
  • 8th 1m44.688s (on Full Wets then Intermediates)

“A stop-start session like today’s is tough for everyone. For us drivers, it means we have to build ourselves up for the challenge of qualifying again and again – a bit like asking Usain Bolt to get ready for five 100-metre sprints one after the other and aborting four of them.

“That level of disruption creates quite a lot of mental and psychological stress for any athlete – but it was even worse for the fans, who’d been waiting excitedly for qualifying all day long and who then had to sit in the pouring rain with no on-track action to entertain them. So I’m very sorry for them, because the fans are what all sport is ultimately all about, but I hope we can make it up to them tomorrow by putting on a really exciting race.

“Even so, I believe the FIA had no choice. It was the right call to postpone Q2 and Q3 until tomorrow, for safety reasons.

“Having said that, deferring the completion of qualifying until Sunday morning means that I won’t now be able to go for coffee on the beach, which is my traditional pre-race routine here in Melbourne. But, you know, maybe that’s not such a bad thing, because it means I’ll be able to keep my Sunday morning Melbourne coffee as a lucky charm, since I don’t think we’ll be quick enough to win here tomorrow, so my coffee-then-win record here will remain intact.”

MARTIN WHITMARSH – Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

“Unseasonally heavy rain rendered today’s qualifying session unviable, with the result that we were only able to complete Q1. Q2 and Q3 will be run at 11.00am tomorrow morning, until which time all the cars will be held in parc fermé conditions.

“We started today’s Q1 session on Full Wets [tyres], but Jenson made the canny call to try Intermediates reasonably early, and immediately showed by neatly posting the quickest time theretofore that that was the way to go. Checo followed suit, and also recorded a fast and error-free lap.

“The weather is forecast to be dry tomorrow morning, and obviously we didn’t learn very much today about how our car will perform in the dry because it was so wet this afternoon.

“Time will tell.”

source: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, mclaren.com

05 - Lotus F1 Team

Lotus F1 Team

Set Fire to the Rain – Australian Grand Prix

The Melbourne skies offered up their famed four seasons in one day to interrupt and delay qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix. An eventful day at Albert Park saw Romain Grosjean top the times in FP3, then set the third fastest lap in Q1 before the remainder of qualifying was postponed. Kimi Räikkönen went fifth fastest in FP3 and eleventh quickest in the Q1 session. Qualifying will resume at Albert Park with the Q2 session, starting at 11:00 local time (01:00 CET).

Kimi Räikkönen, E21-03.

  • FP3: P5, 1:27.625.
  • Q: (Q1) P11, 1:45.545.

“It wasn’t easy with the traffic, people going off and the yellow flags but we went through to the second qualifying session tomorrow so it’s not all bad. The car doesn’t feel too bad in the wet – it’s an improvement on where we were last year for sure – but today the challenge was finding some clear space on track. The session being delayed until tomorrow was a shame but it’s the same for everyone.”

Romain Grosjean, E21-01.

  • FP3: P1, 1:26.929.
  • Q: (Q1) P3, 1:44.284.

“The day started pretty well; it’s the first time I’ve topped an official practice session and I have to say a big thank you to the team for their hard work since yesterday. We took a different direction with the setup and it’s clear we made the right decision. It’s frustrating to delay the rest of qualifying, but there were some good things for us to take from Q1. It’s no secret that wet conditions did not favour our car last year, but from what we saw today there have definitely been some improvements. I’m sorry for the fans as they have been fantastic all week and stuck around despite the weather. We have a big day tomorrow and it looks like staying dry, so hopefully we can put on a good show for them.”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “It’s been fun today.”

How did the team fare in the limited dry running today?

The changes we made to Romain’s car allied to the revised aerodynamic package clearly made a difference which was highlighted by him setting the session’s fastest time before the rain started. He was very happy with the improvement and is as content with his car as Kimi is with his. It’s been fun today reacting to the different weather conditions.

How about in the rain?

We’re in good shape. We’ve made some improvements to our wet setup following lessons learnt in pre-season testing which have certainly worked. It’s a shame that we can’t finish qualifying today, but it’s absolutely the correct decision; it was too wet.

What are the particular considerations for running qualifying and the race in one day?

It doesn’t change things too much if everything goes well in qualifying, but if there is a lot of work to do on the car between qualifying and the race then it’s going to be a busy day.

What are your thoughts in terms of strategy for tomorrow?

In terms of the weather it looks like tomorrow should be dry, in which case the supersoft is the faster qualifying tyre. That means the top ten starting on the supersoft and working to maximise its potential at the start of the race on high fuel and a newly washed track surface. The medium compound will be the preferred race tyre.

Are we feeling optimistic heading into the race?

We’ve looked good come both wet and dry so far so there’s no reason to think otherwise.

Kimi Räikkönen qualified seventh and Romain Grosjean eighth in today’s resumed qualifying session for this afternoon’s Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park. With an initially wet but rapidly drying track, both drivers progressed through the Q2 session using Pirelli’s intermediate tyres. The top ten determining Q3 session saw all competitors start on intermediates before moving to the supersoft dry compound.

Let’s Go

Kimi Räikkönen, E21-03 – Q3: P7, 1:28.738

“It was an okay qualifying session. We had just one lap on the dry tyres and I got a bit sideways at the end on a damp patch which meant I lost some time so that was a bit disappointing. The car seems to be working well. It had the speed, but when you have only one lap on dry tyres on a damp circuit setting a fast lap is not the easiest thing to do. The weather seems to be changing very quickly, but we’ve seen that before in Melbourne. It’s the same for everybody and it will be in the race too.”

Romain Grosjean, E21-01 – Q3: P8, 1:29.013

“That has to be one of the trickiest qualifying sessions I’ve ever had; the delay overnight then really mixed weather today made it a big challenge. Unfortunately we only got one flying lap on the dry tyres in Q3, which was a shame as it’s hard to know the limit in these kind of drying conditions. I had a small lock up into Turn 3 which lost me quite a bit of time so it could have been a bit better, but the main thing is we have both cars starting in the points positions. The race is long and it looks like being dry, so let’s see what we can do from here.”

James Allison, Technical Director: “There’s nothing to suggest we shouldn’t have a strong race.”

How did we perform in qualifying – part two?

Reading a drying track like we had today is always very difficult. There was the speed in the car to do better had there been more constant conditions.

What’s our potential in the race?

We’re more than adequately placed to put in a good showing this afternoon. We’ve shown well on heavy fuel in pre-season testing and the start will be interesting on the supersoft tyres.

What about the weather considerations?

We’re expecting it to be cool and dry. The temperatures will make graining an ever present threat, but there’s nothing to suggest we shouldn’t have a strong race.

source: Lotus F1 Team, lotusrenaultgp.com

Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team

Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team


Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg qualified in third and sixth places during the delayed Qualifying session for the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park this morning.

Nico topped both Q1 on Saturday afternoon and Q2 this morning, with both fastest times set on intermediate tyres

In Q3, the drivers completed a ‘banker’ lap on intermediates before switching the super soft compound

Lewis and Nico both set their fastest times on their second timed laps in Q3 on the drying circuit

  • Drivers No. Chassis No. Qualifying 1 Qualifying 2 Qualifying 3
  • Lewis Hamilton 10 F1 W04 / 04 1:45.456 P10 1:36.625 P3 1:28.087 P3
  • Nico Rosberg 9 F1 W04 / 03 1:43.380 P1 1:36.194 P1 1:28.523 P6
  • Weather Drying track
  • Temperatures Air: 17-18°C Track: 15-17°C

Lewis Hamilton

The conditions were very tricky out there today and the team did a great job to get us out at the right times. I haven’t had the best of weekends so far so I’m happy to have finally put a good lap together today. I’ve done a lap more than Sebastian on my tyres so I might struggle to go as long on the first stint but I’ll give it everything I can in the race this afternoon. The team have worked incredibly hard, both here and at the factories in Brackley and Brixworth, and they deserve a good result. We’ve got a good baseline to work from with this car but only time will tell where we can go from here.

Nico Rosberg

That’s a good team result this morning if you compare to where we were at the end of last year, so we have made some good progress over the winter, which is down to the fantastic work of the team back at the factories. However, we can also see that there is still a gap to the quickest team. I was very quick in the wet but later it didn’t work out as well on the slicks. The race will be a different story and I expect to have good race pace which will help me gain positions this afternoon.

Ross Brawn

The first objective in a qualifying session like that is to be on the right tyre at the right time and the team ran the session as we would hope to. Lewis and Nico both did an excellent job and didn’t miss any of the opportunities that came their way. The car seems to be handling well and we will have to see how that develops in the race. Overall, a reasonable start with a busy few hours ahead of us to prepare for the race.

Toto Wolff

Drying conditions provide more opportunities to do things wrong than right, so we have to compliment the team on the pit wall and in the garage that our session ran so smoothly this morning. To be starting the opening race from third and sixth positions is a first indication that the team has made a step from last year. But the race will provide us with a fuller picture of where we stand right now.

source: Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team, mercedes-gp.com

Sauber F1 Team logo

Sauber F1 Team

  • Rolex Australian GP – Qualifying – Saturday, 16.03.2013
  • Weather: heavy rain in qualifying 18 -23°C air, 18-31°C track

Heavy rain influenced qualifying massively. After Q1 had been delayed by 30 minutes, Q2 and Q3 were cancelled and will be taking place tomorrow at 11.00 hours. While the Sauber F1 Team driver Nico Hülkenberg finished 13th in Q1, Esteban Gutiérrez spun on a kerb, hit the barrier and couldn’t continue. He finished 18th and so did not progress further than Q1.

Nico Hülkenberg:

  • Sauber C32-Ferrari (Chassis 02/Ferrari 056)
  • Qualifying: 13th in Q1 (1:45.930 / intermediate tyres)
  • 3rd practice: 9th (1:28.253 min / medium tyres / 18 laps)

“We had an unusual qualifying session, which reminds me of the qualifying in Suzuka 2010 where the session was also postponed because of the rain. Usually Formula One works like clockwork, but you can’t influence the weather. The performance in general was good and now we have to focus on getting the best out of the situation tomorrow.”

Esteban Gutiérrez:

  • Sauber C32-Ferrari (Chassis 03/Ferrari 056)
  • Qualifying: 18th in Q1 (1:47.776 min / intermediate tyres)
  • 3rd practice: 10th (1:28.253 min / medium tyres / 20 laps)

“Unfortunately I made a mistake and feel sorry for the whole team. I feel very comfortable with the car and this is something that is a step forward for me. Now, of course, I need to avoid this kind of mistake and try to make the most of my potential.”

Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal:

“It was a qualifying in very difficult conditions and a shame Esteban went out, particularly because he had proven before that he was quick on full wet tyres as well as on intermediates. He definitely had the potential to make it into Q2, but was unlucky. However, there is still a race tomorrow in which he can make up posititions.”

Tom McCullough, Head of Track Engineering:

“The forecast was right about poor conditions. The car performed well on both the full wet and the intermediate tyres. Unfortunately Esteban was caught out by one of the kerbs in the wet. However, he had a very good pace prior to that. We need to regroup now and make the best out of qualifying tomorrow. Nico showed a solid performance and will participate in Q2 tomorrow.”


Rolex Australian GP – Qualifying Part 2 – Sunday, 17.03.2013

Weather: light rain 15 °C air, 13 °C track

After Qualifying was postponed due to heavy rain yesterday, Q2 and Q3 took place this morning. The Sauber F1 Team driver Nico Hülkenberg secured P11, whilst Esteban Gutiérrez took 18th place in Q3 yesterday.

Nico Hülkenberg:

  • Sauber C32-Ferrari (Chassis 02/Ferrari 056)
  • Qualifying: 11th in Q2 (1:38.067 / intermediate tyres)
  • 3rd practice: 9th (1:28.253 min / medium tyres / 18 laps)

„It was an eventful session. In terms of strategy we probably could have pitted for intermediates, but all up everything went well. P11 is a good starting point for the race.”

Esteban Gutiérrez:

  • Sauber C32-Ferrari (Chassis 03/Ferrari 056)
  • Qualifying: 18th in Q1 (1:47.776 min / intermediate tyres)
  • 3rd practice: 10th (1:28.253 min / medium tyres / 20 laps)

Tom McCullough, Head of Track Engineering:

“Q3 was possible today, but starting from P11 with a free choice of tyres puts us also in a good position. I think we can have a strong race today.”

source: Sauber F1 Team, sauberf1team.com

Sahara Force India F1 Team

Sahara Force India F1 Team

2013 Australian Grand Prix Qualifying Report

Sahara Force India delivered a strong showing as qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix resumed this morning. Paul Di Resta qualified in ninth, while Adrian Sutil ended the session in twelfth.

P9 Paul Di Resta, VJM06/04

  • Q1: 1:45.601
  • Q2: 1:36.901
  • Q3: 1:29.305

Paul: “We came here with intentions of reaching Q3 so it’s a good way to start the year. I think we got most things right today, especially the timing of the switch to a fresh set of intermediates towards the end of Q2. Ninth position is a good place to be starting and it’s on the cleaner side of the track too. It’s difficult to predict much for the race, just as it’s hard to predict the weather, but we’re in a strong place to start the race. Our long runs on Friday looked competitive and consistent so we will go into the race with maximum attack and aiming for points.”

P12 Adrian Sutil, VJM06/03

  • Q1: 1:47.330
  • Q2: 1:38.134

Adrian: “The track conditions were much better this morning, but it was still tricky and I didn’t feel that comfortable on the damp track. The key to Q2 was the timing of your lap and we probably changed a bit too early to the new intermediates because there was only one quick lap in those tyres. I had time for another lap, but my tyres were going off and I could not improve. Even so, I’m quite happy with the session and it’s not bad to end up twelfth in my first qualifying session back with the team. I can feel there is more to come and I felt good in the dry conditions on Friday, so I hope we carry that into the race.”

Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal

“We’re feeling pretty positive with our qualifying showing this morning and our performance level is about where we expected. The conditions remained tricky with a damp and drying track, but we managed to get Paul through to Q3 and that was a clear objective. Adrian didn’t feel totally comfortable in the wet, but given that this was his first qualifying session for over a year, twelfth place is a good effort. The weather forecast for the rest of the day looks uncertain, but our strong showing on Friday gives us every reason to be optimistic this afternoon. Points should be in reach for both cars and will remain our objective.”

source: Sahara Force India F1 Team, forceindiaf1.com

09 - Williams F1

Williams F1 

Australian GP Qualifying

Qualifying Notes

• Valtteri Bottas will start 16th with Pastor Maldonado 17th for the Australian GP later today.

• Heavy rain hampered yesterday’s qualifying session, meaning that Q2 and Q3 resumed on race day.

• Both drivers found it difficult to get the performance out of the FW35 during Q1 with Pastor unable to progress into Q2.

• When Q2 resumed on Sunday, Valtteri pushed hard on the intermediates, but the team’s gamble to switch to the supersoft tyres didn’t pay off and he was unable to improve on his lap time.

Mike Coughlan, Technical Director: It was a difficult qualifying to start the season for us and we are not where we want to be. Yesterday we struggled in the rain with Pastor qualifying 17th but we are working hard to figure out where our problems are. When the session resumed with Valtteri today, we gambled on a move to the supersoft tyres for his final run in Q2, but the track just didn’t dry fast enough for us. We have good race pace though so we are now focusing on that and we’ll be fighting hard to deliver some points.

Valtteri Bottas: It wasn’t the easiest qualifying session to start my Formula One career. It was good to get through Q1 yesterday but the conditions were tricky again today as it was getting drier all the time. We tried the supersoft tyre, but unfortunately it didn’t allow us to improve our lap time. We will now focus on getting ready for the race later and will aim to do our best to get into a points-scoring position.

Pastor Maldonado: It was a difficult qualifying session for us yesterday as the car had very little grip and the conditions were not favourable. We have been working hard to prepare the car for the race and there is still more work to do this season. Our long run pace should mean that we can make up some places from our grid position though so this is now our focus.

source: Williams F1, williamsf1.com

Scuderia Toro Rosso logo

Scuderia Toro Rosso


Jean-Eric Vergne (STR8-03)

  • Qualifying
  • Best lap: (Q2) 1:38.778, pos. 13th

“Qualifying was going quite well on my first run. However, when I came into the pits after the long first run on Intermediates, I was expecting to fit the same type of tyres again. But the team opted to put me on slicks: I believed they had a better picture of the situation than I did, but it turned out to be the wrong choice and cost me a chance to get into Q3, which is a shame. All the same, thirteenth isn’t bad and I’ll be aiming for points this afternoon.”

Daniel Ricciardo (STR8-01)

  • Qualifying
  • Best lap: (Q2) 1:39.042, pos. 14th

“The beginning of the session, when the track was at its dampest, went quite well, but within a couple of laps I was already experiencing problems with the rear of the car and I sensed it would get more difficult as the track dried. I feel we didn’t have the set-up quite right and we need to look into that now. It’s always tricky in mixed conditions. We were aiming for Q3, but from fourteenth on the grid, there’s still a chance of having a good race in a few hours from now.”

source: Scuderia Toro Rosso, tororosso.com

Team Caterham logo

Team Caterham

Melbourne, Australia – Saturday 16th March 2013

Caterham F1 Team Partner information
Dell has more than 43,000 services team members in approximately 90 countries, 60 technical support centres and seven global command centres

FP3: Overcast (early), rain (starting at 1415), min / max track temp 20° – 31°, air temp 19° – 23°
Q1: Wet, track temp 16°, air temp 17°

Fastest laps / positions:
FP3: VDG 1.30.598 / PIC 1.30.959
Q1: VDG 1.49.519 / PIC 1.50.626

Total laps:
FP3: VDG 20 / PIC 19
Q1: VDG 11 / PIC 10
Charles Pic, car #20, chassis CT03-06
1401 – 1410: Run 1, 6 laps (medium tyres)
Changes: n/a
1415 – 1417: Run 2, 1 lap (supersoft tyres)
Changes: front wing flap angle, front / rear brake duct blanking
1437 – 1447: Run 3, 5 laps (wet tyres)
Changes: brake balance
1450 – 1504 Run 4, 7 laps (intermediate tyres)
1729 – 1751: Run 1, 10 laps (wet / intermediate tyres)
Giedo van der Garde, car #21, chassis CT03-05
1401 – 1412: Run 1, 7 laps (medium tyres)
Changes: n/a
1415 – 1417: Run 2, 1 lap (supersoft tyres)
Changes: front wing flap angle, front / rear brake duct blanking
1437 – 1449: Run 3, 5 laps (wet tyres)
Changes: brake balance
1451 – 1504: Run 4, 7 laps (intermediate tyres)
1729 – 1752: Run 1, 11 laps (wet / intermediate tyres)

Driver quotes

Charles Pic: “Sometimes qualifying goes like it did today. We obviously didn’t finish where we wanted to but for much of the session we looked pretty good, especially halfway through the session when we were putting in pretty good times.

“We made the call to switch to inters with about five minutes left of the session and for the first lap it was very tricky – there was a lot of standing water and it was hard to keep the car on track, but it improved pretty quickly and I was starting to push before I touched the white line which caused me to spin and I made contact with the barrier which meant I had to pit. Until that point I was much faster but didn’t have the luck you sometimes need.

“Our pace was good in the conditions today, similar to a number of cars ahead, but it’s obviously important to finish our fastest laps – today we didn’t do that but that speed gives us reason to be positive.”

Giedo van der Garde: “Honestly I’m disappointed with where we ended up today as we could definitely have finished higher. We made quite a few changes to the car overnight and it felt much better in FP3 so I was feeling good about qualifying.

“The delays at the start of quali obviously weren’t ideal but I was very calm and looking forward to getting out there. It was obviously the same conditions for everybody and it was very tricky out there – I hit a puddle on my first run and span off which meant I had to pit for a new nose, but the boys did a good job to get me out again quickly and we were looking good.

“With a few minutes left in Q1 we switched to inters and the car felt great. On my last run I was well up but I had to back off for double yellow flags and that was the end of my chance. It’s a shame as I know we’d have finished higher, but sometimes it’s like that.

“Now we have some more work to do to prepare for the race. Starting where we are we just have to make sure we can avoid any problems at the start and concentrate on getting to the end of what will be my first Grand Prix. If it’s raining again at least we know what the track’s going to be like so I’m looking forward to it.”

source: Team Caterham, caterhamf1.com

Marussia F1 Team logo

Marussia F1 Team


  • 2013 Australian Grand Prix – Qualifying
  • Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia
  • Saturday 16 March 2013
  • BIANCHI MR02-02 P19 1:48.147 11 laps
  • CHILTON MR02-03 P20 1:48.909 11 laps

Qualifying hour for the Australian Grand Prix really couldn’t have presented more challenging circumstances for the Marussia F1 Team driver line-up of Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton. They left the pitlane for their debut shoot-out with their MR02 cars shod in the Pirelli Extreme Wet tyre and took to a track that had been saturated by more than two hours of heavy rain. It was a true test of their mettle – one which they passed with flying colours.

Dark clouds began looming just prior to the Free Practice 3 session. In the final hour of preparation for qualifying, both drivers completed installation laps and then Jules left the garage and was able to complete five laps in the dry before the heavens opened, setting the 14th fastest time before the session was halted for 25 minutes. Max meanwhile was held up in the garage when he experienced a problem selecting first gear for the start of his first run. A software glitch was rectified but not before he had lost the opportunity of some dry running to prepare for qualifying.

As it happened, experience of a dry track was not required for their maiden Q1, which took place on a circuit that at times resembled a river rather than a racetrack. Several more experienced drivers battled to keep their cars on track but Jules and Max kept cool heads and their cars on the asphalt, delivering performances which belied their youth and level of F1 experience. They ended the day P19 and P20 respectively out of 22 drivers. Q2 and Q3 have been postponed until Sunday morning at 11.00hrs local time.

Jules Bianchi #22

“These were very challenging conditions for my qualifying debut, especially as none of my limited pre-season testing experience with the Team was in the wet. I can’t deny it was disappointing – and a little daunting! Yesterday’s dry running showed a lot of promise so it would have been nice to get a better feel for where we are in performance terms, but we just had to make the best of it. In the end though I am very happy with the job we did today and where we have ended up. Clearly we were not able to show our full potential and yet we ended up in the right place relative to the cars around us – both ahead of Caterham and close to the cars ahead. So I look forward to a return to dry conditions – which is what we hope to see tomorrow – and to my first Formula 1 Grand Prix. To be honest, whatever the weather brings, this is an exciting moment for me and one I have been looking forward to for a long time.”

Max Chilton #23

“I’m pretty pleased with how today has gone when you look at the circumstances. I hadn’t really expected to be sitting in the garage for 30 minutes seeing a river forming on the track outside when I’d contemplated my first F1 qualifying experience. With that in mind, I’m really encouraged with how we fared. With the conditions starting to clear a little in the dying minutes of the Q1 session I knew everything hinged on that final lap. We were improving in each sector so I knew we would be okay, it’s just a little disappointing that my last lap was affected by the Yellow flag. Now my thoughts turn to tomorrow and I can’t wait, rain or shine.”

John Booth, Team Principal

“It was a big ‘ask’ of two rookie drivers to face a qualifying session like the one we’ve experienced today, but then we have absolute faith in our line-up and that has been rewarded today. Both Jules and Max performed admirably in what must have been very daunting conditions and we are very pleased with where we find ourselves today. I have to admit that we were disappointed to be faced with a wet qualifying. The car looked good in the dry yesterday and we were hoping to use qualifying as the barometer it can be in showcasing relative outright performance. Nevertheless, that’s racing and we’ll continue to feel encouraged by a very positive start to the weekend – and hopefully the season.”

source: Marussia F1 Team, marussiavirginracing.com

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2013 Australian Grand Prix – Qualifying


Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel claimed his 37th career pole position at the Australian Grand Prix using the P Zero Red supersoft, after an unusual qualifying that was split between Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning.

Q1 took place on Saturday as usual with Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg going fastest on the Cinturato Green intermediate in the early stages. As the rain fell harder, Q2 and Q3 were postponed after multiple delays, with darkness drawing in and more rain expected.

All 16 eligible drivers started the second session at 11am on Sunday using the Cinturato Green intermediate tyre, with track temperatures of 13 degrees centigrade and ambient temperatures of 15 degrees. With five minutes to go, McLaren driver Sergio Perez was the first to move onto the Red supersofts. However, the track was still not ready for slicks, with Rosberg again going fastest in Q2 on the Green intermediates and the slick tyre runners eliminated.

The final qualifying session also started on intermediate tyres, with McLaren’s Jenson Button the first driver to go out on slicks. But with the track drying all the time, pole position was set in the closing seconds – with Vettel actually crossing the line for his lap with just one second to go.

The final free practice session on Saturday morning was also characterised by wet weather, with Lotus driver Romain Grosjean going quickest.

Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “The pressure was on everybody with Q2 and Q3postponed until this morning, but safety always comes first. With the risk of drivers aquaplaning on standing water, or losing control over the many slippery painted white lines that are a particular feature of this street circuit, it was the right decision. Judging the crossover point proved to be the key to qualifying today. The rapid warm-up and peak performance of our supersoft tyres enabled the leading drivers to push with confidence during Q3 even when the track was not totally dry. With not so much information to go on from qualifying, it will be interesting to see how the different race strategies pan out. Due to the low temperatures we experienced some graining on the supersoft, but it was still the most effective tyre for the conditions in qualifying.”

The Pirelli mystery strategy predictor:

The strategy, as usual, will depend on the weather and the speed of each car. If it rains, then the strategy is much harder to predict – and the teams will just have to rely on any opportunities that come their way.

Likely winning strategies are as follows:

The fastest strategy looks likely to be a two-stopper: Start on the Supersoft / 1st stop: change to Medium on lap 14 / 2nd stop: change to Medium on lap 36.

The second fastest strategy is a three-stopper with a start on the Supersoft / 1st stop: change to Medium on lap 8 / 2nd stop: change to Medium on lap 23 / 3rd stop: change to Medium on lap 40.

Fastest compounds in FP3:

1. R. Grosjean 1.26.929 Hard New

2. F. Alonso 1.27.000 Hard New

3. F. Massa 1.27.241 Hard New

Fastest compounds in FP3:

1. R. Grosjean 1.26.929 Hard New
2. F. Alonso 1.27.000 Hard New
3. F. Massa 1.27.241 Hard New

Top 10 tyre use:

Vettel Supersoft 1m27.407s
Webber Supersoft 1m27.827s
Hamilton Supersoft 1m28.087s
Massa Supersoft 1m28.490s
Alonso Supersoft 1m28.493s
Rosberg Supersoft 1m28.523s
Raikkonen Supersoft 1m28.738s
Grosjean Supersoft 1m29.013s
Di Resta Supersoft 1m29.305s
Button Supersoft 1m30.357s

source: Pirelli, pirelli.com

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Renault Sport F1

coming soon

source: renault.com

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coming soon

source: Cosworth, www.cosworth.com/f1