Home > Motorsports > Australian GP: Button on the Pole, Hamilton to start 15th

Australian GP: Button on the Pole, Hamilton to start 15th

DSC0908 by Mypoorbrain.Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello were excited about their prospects in the season-opening Australian GP and that was for good reason, because the Brawn-Mercedes teammates will be starting 1-2. Button secured the pole with a fastest lap of 1:26.202 in the third qualifying round; Barrichello’s fastest lap was 1:26.505.

What was more shocking than Brawn’s dominance, however, was the fall of the McLaren-Mercedes team. Lewis Hamilton had stated that he had some reservations going into the season and it appears that the reigning World Champion is set to struggle in the first race of the season. Hamilton’s fastest lap in the first round of qualifying was 1:26.454, which was more than one second off of the fastest times of the round. Hamilton and his teammate Heikki Kovalainen will start 15th and 14th, respectively.

The fuel strategies will be interesting come race time, because the presence of Sebastien Vettel and Timo Glock ahead of Ferrari drivers Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen on the gris suggests that they may be starting the race with a light fuel load. Therefore, there may be multiple teams that are planning on three-stop strategies, instead of the customary two stops.

Qualifying Order:
1. Jenson Button (Brawn-Mercedes)
2. Rubens Barrichello (Brawn-Mercedes)
3. Sebastien Vettel (RBR-Renault)
4. Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber)
5. Nico Rosberg (Williams-Toyota)
6. Timo Glock (Toyota)
7. Felipe Massa (Ferrari)
8. Jarno Trulli (Toyota)
9. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)
10. Mark Webber (RBR-Renault)
11. Nick Heidfeld (BMW Sauber)
12. Fernando Alonso (Renault)
13. Kazuki Nakajimi (Williams-Toyota)
14. Heikki Kovalainen (McLaren-Mercedes)
15. Lewis Hamilton (McLaren-Mercedes)
16. Sebastien Buemi (STR-Ferrari)
17. Nelsinho Piquet (Renault)
18. Giancarlo Fisichella (Force India-Mercedes)
19. Adrian Sutil (Force India-Mercedes)
20. Sebastien Bourdais (STR-Ferrari)

(Photo of Reubens Barichello by Jose MaIzquierdo Galiot)

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