Lewis Hamilton seems determined to start this season as he finished the last, with a dominating qualifying on the soft Perrelli tyres. Teammate Nico Rosberg’s efforts were sloppy at best yet such is Mercedes advantage carried over from last year that hostel managed second spot on the grid, a full eight tenths ahead of this spot Felipe Massa.
The order from that point is much much closer with Massa, Ferraris Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen all within a tenth of a second of each other. Williams driver Valtteri Bottas could have hoped for better but the Finn’s car snapped dramatically on the exit of the final corner, losing him time on the run to the line.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo recovered from what had been a difficult weekend so far to place seventh on home soil, the Australian doing just enough to prevent himself being out-qualified by leading Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz, the rookie driver impressing to not only crack Q3 but secure a spot on row four in eighth.
Lotus drivers Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado fill out the remaining top ten on the grid despite the rookies behind bitting at their heals all the way.
McLaren’s first qualifying session in their Honda powered cars was difficult to watch, with both Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen being dumped out of Q1, more than three seconds off the pace despite their soft tyres. We can only hope that this will be the last time we see the Mclaren’s flying Kiwi logo on the last row of the grid.
Full qualifying results for the opening round of the 2015 Formula 1 World Championship (F1), the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park.
1. Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 26.327s
2. Nico Rosberg GER Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 26.921s
3. Felipe Massa BRZ Williams-Mercedes 1m 27.718s
4. Sebastian Vettel GER Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 27.757s
5. Kimi Raikkonen FIN Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 27.790s
6. Valtteri Bottas FIN Williams-Mercedes 1m 28.087s
7. Daniel Ricciardo AUS Red Bull-Renault 1m 28.329s
8. Carlos Sainz Jr ESP Toro Rosso-Renault 1m 28.510s
9. Romain Grosjean FRA Lotus-Mercedes 1m 28.560s
10. Pastor Maldonado VEN Lotus-Mercedes 1m 29.480s
11. Felipe Nasr BRZ Sauber-Ferrari 1m 28.800s
12. Max Verstappen NED Toro Rosso-Renault 1m 28.868s
13. Daniil Kvyat RUS Red Bull-Renault 1m 29.070s
14. Nico Hulkenberg GER Force India-Mercedes 1m 29.208s
15. Sergio Perez MEX Force India-Mercedes 1m 29.209s
16. Marcus Ericsson SWE Sauber-Ferrari 1m 31.376s
17. Jenson Button GBR McLaren-Honda 1m 31.422s
18. Kevin Magnussen DEN McLaren-Honda 1m 32.037s
19. Will Stevens GBR Manor Marussia-Ferrari no time
20. Roberto Merhi ESP Manor Marussia-Ferrari no time
all times unofficial via Crash.net
2015 Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix Cheat Sheet