F1 fans are in for a delight as pre-season suggested close competition overall. No fewer than six world champions on grid excelled expectations for a ground breaking season ahead. Qualifying at the Albert Park has been so close as Mclarens dominated the final standings. With 20th pole to his credit, matching the record of Alonso, Lewis Hamilton stormed in to pole ahead of the flawless driving of Button.
The reigning world title holder had to settle with a never before seen P6, behind him, home favorite Mark Webber who looks to turn his fortunes around. Mclaren’s pace on their pretty looking MP4-27 hasn’t been the only surprise as returning GP2 champion Romain Grosjean lines up on P3. Iceman’s comeback to F1 starts off at P17.
Veteran Michael Schumacher’s team shrouded by controversy due to innovative ‘W-Duct’, despite the quickness, Mercedes have to concern more on tyre degradation they suffered the whole last season. Nico Rosberg’s hopes of steady march in to title race blighted by fourth row start.
Maldonado is right up on P8 to score some valuable points he failed to deliver last season. New signing Bruno Senna lacks some pace out of his car dropped to P13. Hulkenberg promoted to the race seat in Force-India showed his talents behind the wheels for P9. To the ecstacy of Australian crowd, Daniel Ricciardo kept his eyes planted on the last point scoring position.
Ferrari had it all wrong on saturday, Alonso trapping in gravel, forcing him to a miserable P12. Speculations suggested that they have developed a front suspension which yields less. The pace developed could let the fight with just the mid-field. On the other half, beleagured Massa starts from P16. Kobayashi had a fine run of form in first half of the last season, P13 where he has to start away fresh in 2012. Perez dropped five places to P22 due to gearbox change.
Caterham looks right to battle with mid-field teams this season, unable doing so on qualifying restricted them to P18 and P19 with Kovaleinen and Petrov respectively. Inspite of having no pre-season tests at all, Glock and debutant Charles Pic kept their toes above 107% rule which HRT failed to make up.