Australia F1: Final results from Qualifications image

Red Bull world champion Sebastian Vettel qualifies on pole for the opening race of the 2011 season in Melbourne.

We have made the first step and starting the season this way with a pole position is a good sign for the team. We’ve been working very hard to get the RB7 to where it is now – it’s thanks to all those in the factory and those here, down under, for preparing the car. If you look at the points we still have zero like everyone else, so we need to see what happens tomorrow.”

Even so, it seems likely that Vettel’s challengers will come from the same group of drivers that pushed last year’s title fight down to the final race.

Michael Schumacher was the biggest casualty of Q2, failing to make the most of his fresh set of soft tyres on their first flying lap and missing the cut by 0.089 seconds.

It was a confidence blow for the seven-time world champion, who had aspirations of challenging for the podium ahead of the race, but it will allow him to start on hard tyres while the cars in front opted for softs.

Qualifying

Saturday, 26 March 2011

POS COUNTRY DRIVER CAR TEAM Q1 Q2 Q3
1 germany Sebastian Vettel 1 Red Bull-Renault 1:25.296 1:24.090 1:23.529
2 great britain Lewis Hamilton 3 McLaren-Mercedes 1:25.384 1:24.595 1:24.307
3 australia Mark Webber 2 Red Bull-Renault 1:25.900 1:24.658 1:24.395
4 great britain Jenson Button 4 McLaren-Mercedes 1:25.886 1:24.957 1:24.779
5 spain Fernando Alonso 5 Ferrari 1:25.707 1:25.242 1:24.974
6 russian federation Vitaly Petrov 10 Renault 1:25.543 1:25.582 1:25.247
7 germany Nico Rosberg 8 Mercedes GP 1:25.856 1:25.606 1:25.421
8 brazil Felipe Massa 6 Ferrari 1:26.031 1:25.611 1:25.599
9 japan Kamui Kobayashi 16 Sauber 1:25.717 1:25.405 1:25.626
10 switzerland Sebastien Buemi 18 Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:26.232 1:25.882 1:27.066
11 germany Michael Schumacher 7 Mercedes GP 1:25.962 1:25.971
12 spain Jaime Alguersuari 19 Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:26.620 1:26.103
13 mexico Sergio Perez 17 Sauber 1:25.812 1:26.108
14 great britain Paul Di Resta 15 Force India-Mercedes 1:27.222 1:26.739
15 venezuela Pastor Maldonado 12 Williams-Cosworth 1:26.298 1:26.768
16 germany Adrian Sutil 14 Force India-Mercedes 1:26.245 1:31.407
17 brazil Rubens Barrichello 11 Williams-Cosworth 1:26.270
18 germany Nick Heidfeld 9 Renault 1:27.239
19 finland Heikki Kovalainen 20 Lotus-Renault 1:29.254
20 italy Jarno Trulli 21 Lotus-Renault 1:29.342
21 germany Timo Glock 24 Virgin-Cosworth 1:29.858
22 belgium Jerome d’Ambrosio 25 Virgin-Cosworth 1:30.822
23 italy Vitantonio Liuzzi 23 Hispania-Cosworth 1:32.978
24 india Narain Karthikeyan 22 Hispania-Cosworth 1:34.293