Max Verstappen took F1 Australian GP pole from the Mercedes pair, as Sergio Perez gets knocked out in Q1 after gravel run.
It was cloudy but dry to start the first part of the F1 Australian GP qualifying. There was an early spin for Williams’ Logan Sargeant at Turn 13 and with only nine lapped times, there was a red flag for Red Bull’s Sergio Perez going off at Turn 3.
He tried to get out but the car was beached as he complained of same issue which wasn’t resolved that hampered his FP3. At the front, teammate Max Verstappen set the pace with a 1m17.384s from Mercedes’ George Russell after a late push lap.
His teammate Lewis Hamilton was third after his late quick lap with Alpine’s Esteban Ocon in fourth. In the drop zone, McLaren’s Oscar Piastri was 16th with a 1m18.517s lap as he became the first to be knocked out from qualifying.
Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu (1m18.540s) was 17th with teammate Valtteri Bottas (1m18.714s) only 19th behind Williams’ Sargeant (1m18.557s). Perez was the only driver with no time on board after his early off.
The second part in F1 Australian GP qualifying saw long runs from a multiple drivers as McLaren’s Lando Norris had an early wide moment in Turn 3. At the front, Red Bull’s Verstappen kept his nose ahead to set a 1m17.056s from Aston Martin’s Alonso.
Haas’ Nico Hulkenberg put in a late lap to third but was pushed down by the Ferrari pair where Carlos Sainz was third. The drop zone saw a close knock out for Alpine’s Esteban Ocon (1m17.768s) in 11th by 0.007s to Williams’ Alexander Albon.
AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda (1m18.099s) was 12th from McLaren’s Norris (1m18.119s), with Haas’ Kevin Magnussen (1m18.129s) in 14th and AlphaTauri’s Nyck de Vries (1m18.335s) in 15th.
The final part in F1 Australian GP qualifying saw multiple changes on top where Red Bull’s Verstappen put in a 1m17.262s lap to be only 0.009s ahead of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton. It was close in the Top 4 who were separated by 0.086s after first run.
With the rain threat looming, they all went for a quick second run. The weather stayed as it is as Verstappen went quicker more with a 1m16.732s lap to take F1 Australian GP pole from the Mercedes pair who got the best of the rest behind Red Bull.
Russell (1m16.968s) was second from Hamilton with Alonso (1m17.104s) fourth from Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz (1m17.270s), with a different strategy from Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll (1m17.308s) saw him finish sixth from Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc (1m17.369s), who did not fare well.
Williams’ Albon (1m17.609s) was eighth while flying in the middle sector as Pierre Gasly’s (1m17.675s) first Q3 run in Albert Park in the Alpine earned him ninth from Haas’ Hulkenberg (1m17.735s).
Provisional Classification of the Qualifying session for the 2023 Australian Grand Prix 🇦🇺 #AusGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/moHfJzVPQ5
— FIA (@fia) April 1, 2023