QUALIFICATION REPORT | Leclerc flies to the second pole of the year in Australia

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Qualifying for the 2022 Australian GP saw Charles Leclerc on pole after a fierce battle between Red Bull and Ferrari that saw the scarlet team come out on top in a session filled with incident and drama.

Mercedes struggle, McLaren comeback

As the defending constructors’ champion struggles continue, with Lewis Hamilton and George Russell qualifying P5 and P6 respectively, the most surprising Mercedes team was Mclaren, who managed to get both cars into Q3. Ricciardo and Norris qualified P7 and P4, a vastly improved performance compared to Bahrain. Woking’s side appear to be in the form they showed during pre-season testing at Barcelona.

Mercedes Voltage

One of the talking points in Q3 was the tension between Lewis Hamilton and his young teammate George Russell. On a push-lap, cool-lap, push-lap strategy, Russell was heard on the radio telling the team that Lewis needed to step up. Hamilton ended up overtaking his fellow Brit, could this be the start of a new inter-team rivalry?

Q1

The first qualifying session was marked by an awkward collision between Stroll and Latifi which caused a red flag two minutes from the end.


The next few moments saw a flurry of activity that saw Sebastian Vettel’s Aston Martin join the session for a final timing attempt, which saw him clinch 18th, ahead of team-mate Stroll and Latifi. It was a valiant effort from the Silverstone-based team who managed to fix Vettel’s car after a big shunt in FP3 just two hours earlier.


ELIMINATED IN Q1:

16th – Albon

17th – Magnussen

18th – Vettel

19 – Stroll

20th – Latifi

Q2

Qualifying 2 saw Perez in the lead with the two Ferraris trailing. It was a poor performance from Haas, with no car reaching Q3 – the first time this season.


ELIMINATED IN Q2:

11th – Gasly

12th – Bottas

13-Tsunoda

14th-Zhou

15-Schumacher

Q3

The last session of the afternoon was interrupted by a red flag offered by Fernando Alonso, who had been fast throughout qualifying. A hydraulic failure saw the Spaniard thrown into the wall just after completing the fastest mid-sector of his flying lap.


This resulted in several driver laps being invalidated before they could even complete them, prompting a high-pressure one-lap attempt in the final minutes of the session. In this environment, it was Leclerc who excelled by taking pole position in the Australian Grand Prix. However, his Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz struggled tremendously in Q3, not being able to set a representative time. The Spaniard will start 9th.

Q3 RESULTS:

1st – Leclerc

2nd – Verstappen

3rd – Perez

4th – Norris

5th – Hamilton

6th – Russell

7th – Ricciardo

8th – Ocon

9th – Sainz

10th – Alonso

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