Silver rush at Melbourne
McLaren's Lewis Hamilton took pole position for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix on Saturday ahead of team mate Jenson Button as world champion Sebastian Vettel was banished to the third row of the grid.india Updated: Mar 18, 2012 00:43 IST
McLaren's Lewis Hamilton took pole position for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix on Saturday ahead of team mate Jenson Button as world champion Sebastian Vettel was banished to the third row of the grid.
The Briton's best lap of one minute 24.922 seconds put him just ahead of compatriot and fellow former world champion Button, who was second quickest in 1.25.074 and will make up an all-McLaren front row for the first time since 2009.French driver Romain Grosjean sprung the biggest surprise by steering his Lotus to the third fastest lap and he will line up alongside the Mercedes of seven-times world champion Michael Schumacher on the second row.
Vettel, who claimed a record 15 pole positions last season including on his way to victory at Albert Park, was sixth fastest just behind his Red Bull team mate and Australian hope Mark Webber in fifth.
"It's an incredible feeling to be back here and to get off to such a good start," said Hamilton, who won at Albert Park from pole position in 2008.
"I think it's my and Jenson's first one-two in qualifying so it's fantastic to start the season this way. It's going to be incredibly tight and tense in the race."
HRT out of race
HRT drivers Narain Karthikeyan and Pedro de la Rosa will not compete in the Formula One season opening Australia Grand Prix here Sunday after failing to meet the qualifying time.
Track debrief | Narain's figures | Follow the Indian