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After Japan
Championship Standings:
1 Lewis Hamilton 277
2 Nico Rosberg 229
3 Sebastian Vettel 218
4 Kimi Raikkonen 119
5 Valtteri Bottas 111
6 Felipe Massa 97
7 Daniel Ricciardo 73
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17 Marcus Ericsson 9
18 Jenson Button 6
19 Roberto Merhi 0
20 Will Stevens 0
21 Alexander Rossi 0

1 Mercedes 506
2 Ferrari 337
3 Williams/Mercedes 208
4 Red Bull/Renault 139
5 Force India/Mercedes 77
6 Lotus/Mercedes 60
7 Toro Rosso/Renault 44
8 Sauber/Ferrari 26
9 McLaren/Honda 17
10 Marussia/Ferrari 0
Vettel leads Red-Bull 1-2 in Australia GP qualifying

by Mark J. Cipolloni
Saturday, March 27, 2010


Sebastian Vettel
Just imagine if he had a Mercedes or Ferrari engine!  The young Austrian Sebastien Vettel is just faster than all his current rivals in F1, and with the latest Adrian Newey design to work with, there may be no stopping him, sans a mechanical malfunction. 

Vettel beat his Red Bull teammate and crowd favorite Mark Webber in all three qualifying segments to win pole position for the Australian Grand Prix F1 race in Melbourne. 

The only driver to come close to the two Red Bulls was Fernando Alonso's Ferrari in third just a tenth behind Webber.  The rest of the field is out to lunch.

Reigning world champion Jenson Button qualified his McLaren-Mercedes fourth, two tenths ahead of Ferrari's Felipe Massa.

(L to R) Mark Webber (2nd), Sebastian Vettel (1st) and Fernando Alonso (3rd) wave to crowd
Mercedes GP drivers wound up sixth and seventh, with Nico Rosberg again beating his seven times world champion teammate Michael Schumacher, but just barely as Schumacher continues his comeback learning curve.

"We had a reasonable qualifying session today and I am ok with the outcome even if I was a bit handicapped by traffic, especially on my final quick lap," said Schumacher. 

Resigned now to the fact his Ross Brawn Mercedes car just is not fast enough to compete for wins or pole, Schumacher went on to say that, "We made some changes with the car after practice this morning which did not work out perfectly. But in general I would guess the ranking that we see now reflects the situation well and our performance is probably the maximum for our car at the moment. Anyhow, we still have a lot in hand for tomorrow's race, and I am on the clean side of the grid for the start. As we all know, a lot can happen over the course of a race."

Vettel's lap of 1m23.919s was the only one all weekend to dip below the 1m24s barrier around the Albert Park circuit.

“A great result for the team," said Vettel. "It’s obviously Mark’s home race here – but he got pole in Germany, so it’s kind of a revenge (laughs)! But, it’s a long race tomorrow. I think we made a good step with the car ahead of today’s qualifying. The final session was all about if it would rain or not, so we waited a little bit at the start. My first lap in Q3 was the quickest and it was spot on until the last three corners. I was on the edge through Turn 14, but then I lost a little bit in last corner going on to the main straight. It was a very good lap up until that point though and the result says it all. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

“I would prefer to be on pole position of course," said a disappointed Mark Webber, "but second is still a good result and it’s great for the team to have a one-two. It would be nice to be one place further up, but Seb did a good job. It was a good battle – with about 800ths between us in the end. I wasn’t mega-concerned about the weather today, as it’s the same for everyone and whatever happens, happens! I think tomorrow will be enjoyable – but I would prefer a dry race, as the track can get slippery with intermittent conditions.”

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton never made it out of Q2, this time being beaten by even his older teammate Jenson Button.

More to follow.....



Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3
1. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:24.774 1:24.096 1:23.919
2. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:25.286 1:24.276 1:24.035
3. Alonso Ferrari 1:25.082 1:24.335 1:24.111
4. Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:24.897 1:24.531 1:24.675
5. Massa Ferrari 1:25.548 1:25.010 1:24.837
6. Rosberg Mercedes 1:24.788 1:24.788 1:24.884
7. Schumacher Mercedes 1:25.351 1:24.871 1:24.927
8. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:25.702 1:25.085 1:25.217
9. Kubica Renault 1:25.588 1:25.122 1:25.372
10. Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:25.504 1:25.046 1:26.036
11. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:25.046 1:25.184 -
12. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:26.061 1:25.638 -
13. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1:26.170 1:25.743 -
14. de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1:26.089 1:25.747 -
15. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1:25.866 1:25.748 -
16. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:26.251 1:25.777 -
17. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:26.095 1:26.089 -
18. Petrov Renault 1:26.471 - -
19. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1:28.797 - -
20. Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1:29.111 - -
21. Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:29.592 - -
22. di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1:30.185 - -
23. Senna HRT-Cosworth 1:30.526 - -
24. Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 1:30.613 - -

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