F1 – Australian GP – Qualifying
It is time for the new Formula 1 season! It could have even been called a new era since we introduced the controversial Halo this year. It was a busy four months full of developing new cars and engines, but we are finally back in Australia. It promised to be a dry qualification, although some rain was forcast, with some unexpected twists.
During the first session, you could notice that the drivers still have to get used to their new cars as we saw some drivers drifting around the circuit. Leclerc, Hamilton and Grosjean, among others, had a bit of trouble with keeping their car on the track. Also, Bottas seemed to have some problems with his DRS wing. We went to the next session with Hartley, Ericsson, Leclerc, Sirotkin and Gasly in the knockout zone.
Hulkenberg had in the second session some braking issues which lead to the lock up of his wheels. Nonetheless, he could save his car from crashing and went through to the third and last session. Some people thought that the Force India drivers would be the best midfielders this year, because they had some very good results in 2017. That seemed anyhow less possible since the tests in Barcelona and this Grand Prix. Both of the Force Indias stayed in the knockout zone. We also had to leave Alonso, Vandoorne and Stroll behind.
After a few minutes in the last session, we had a red flag. Bottas spun off in turn two and crashed with the rear end into the wall. The car was catapulted and stood in the middle of the track, which caused the red flag. It took ten minutes to remove the car, its fallen off parts and oil on the circuit. It was a close call for the top five. Raikonnen almost had the pole, but missed it due to a bad exit of the last few corners.
Pole position was for Lewis Hamilton with Kimi Raikkonen completing the first row. The second row was for Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen. Ricciardo, who has to move three places down as a penalty due to speeding in the pit lane during the second practice session along with two penalty points on his license, completed the top five. The other five drivers in the top ten are Magnussen, Grosjean, Hulkenberg, Sainz and Bottas.
Tomorrow we will see who is the winner of the first race of 2018 and who will lead the drivers championship. Stay tuned for more news!