A qualifying day to forget for Kubica and Gasly

Date published: March 16 2019

Who had the pace in Melbourne? Turns out Mercedes did and Ferrari didn’t…

Here is how qualifying day unfolded…

Nothing like a bit of love from home to get a driver going…

McLaren paid tribute to Charlie Whiting with their MCL34 carrying the simple message “Thank you Charlie”.

Whiting passed away on Wednesday night having suffered a pulmonary embolism.

Nothing beats the taste of ear wax first thing in the morning!

Lando Norris got the jump on Robert Kubica but only because the Williams driver took avoiding action.

But yeah, we understand the desire not be stuck behind a Williams out on track.

Sebastian Vettel jumped up to P1 on his very first timed lap, a 1:23.739.

But couldn’t hold onto P1 for very long as Lewis Hamilton followed him out of the pits and beat him by 0.04s.

Williams and Kubica’s woes in the pits continued as he whacked the wall as he entered, leaving bits of bodywork on the tarmac.

A second run on fresh softs saw Vettel up his pace but again he was pipped by Hamilton, a 1:22.292 for the reigning World Champ.

That put him 0.264s up on Vettel while Charles Leclerc was third fastest in FP3.

After a short break, it was time for qualifying…

There were no surprises as to which team occupied the last row in Q1…Robert Kubica starting P20 after suffering a puncture on his second run.

But the Q1 exit of Pierre Gasly, with Red Bull only opting for a single run in the first qualifying session, proved to be a big shock.

A frantic Q2 saw Lando Norris head into the top-10 shootout on debut, whilst Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo could only seal a P12 start for his home race.

Heading into Q3, some chap called Lewis Hamilton was the man to beat…

Into Q3, and it was Valtteri Bottas who made a big early statement with a superb 1:20.598 to take provisional pole ahead of Hamilton by four tenths.

Bottas probably thought he had that one in the bag…but Hamilton fancied setting some more records instead. An eighth pole for the five-time World Champion in Australia!

Where were you Ferrari?

 

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