Red Bull cast an ominous shadow on the Australian GP by locking out the front row after dominating today’s qualifying session for the Australian Grand Prix.

Qualifying Top 3

Perhaps as a little bit of revenge for last year’s German GP, it will be Sebastian Vettel who starts from pole ahead of his Australian team-mate, Mark Webber. The German rocketed around the Albert Park circuit with the fastest lap of the weekend – a 1:23.919.

Despite the will of a massive home crowd, Webber couldn’t topple his team-mate from top spot, despite posting the quickest sector times in the first and final sectors of the lap.

The track temperature took a dip in the final qualifying session, and with the exception of Fernando Alonso, no one could touch the Adrian Newey designed RB6’s in final qualifying, with the Red Bull duo finishing a massive 0.6s quicker than a fourth-placed Jenson Button.

Felipe Massa finished fifth-quickest in the final session, just fractions quicker than the Mercedes duo of Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher – the younger German again out-pacing his elder statesman, but this time by just four-hundredths of a second.

One surprise exit from Q2 was none other than Lewis Hamilton, who was unable to optimise a decent qualifying strategy that saw him abort his first Q2 run and suffer graining on his second run.

The ignominious honour of being the sole ‘experience team’ runner to join the rookie outfits in the usual Q3 elimination fell to Renault Vitaly Petrov on this occasion – the Russian battled horrible oversteer on this last-ditch effort and this was not enough to save him from the drop-zone.

As expected, HRT again occupied the last row of the grid, but in spite of their relative lack of running, they managed to set times within 6 seconds of the fastest Q1 pace and within a second of Timo Glock’s Virgin Cosworth that lies ahead of them on the grid.

2010 Australian GP Qualifying Times:

Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3
1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing 1:24.774 1:24.096 1:23.919
2. Mark Webber Red Bull Racing 1:25.286 1:24.276 1:24.035
3. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:25.082 1:24.335 1:24.111
4. Jenson Button McLaren 1:24.897 1:24.531 1:24.675
5. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:25.548 1:25.010 1:24.837
6. Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 1:24.788 1:24.788 1:24.884
7. Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP 1:25.351 1:24.871 1:24.927
8. Rubens Barrichello Williams 1:25.702 1:25.085 1:25.217
9. Robert Kubica Renault 1:25.588 1:25.122 1:25.372
10. Adrian Sutil Force India 1:25.504 1:25.046
11. Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:25.046 1:25.184
12. Sébastien Buemi Toro Rosso 1:26.061 1:25.638
13. Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India 1:26.170 1:25.743
14. Pedro de la Rosa Sauber 1:26.089 1:25.747
15. Nico Hülkenberg Williams 1:25.866 1:25.748
16. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1:26.251 1:25.777
17. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso 1:26.095 1:26.089
18. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1:26.471
19. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus 1:28.797
20. Jarno Trulli Lotus 1:29.111
21. Timo Glock Virgin Racing 1:29.592
22. Lucas di Grassi Virgin Racing 1:30.185
23. Bruno Senna HRT 1:30.526
24. Karun Chandhok HRT 1:30.613  

[Image from AUTOSPORT]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.