And so it begins… Welcome to the most competitive season in Formula One history. New cars, new drivers, new rules and a new location later in the season. There are 24 of the world’s best drivers just waiting to begin their 2011 championship attack and with the stage now set for tomorrow, calling this race fever inducingly exciting would be an understatement. Let’s go racing!
Qualifying this morning left many on the edge of their seats as for the first time we could gauge the true pace of the team’s new toys. The first big surprise came from 7 time World Champion Michael Schumacher not only being out-qualified by his team mate but also not even making it into the top 10 shootout. Mercedes-GP even thought they had a competitive car and the German was bewildered as to where the previously seen pace had gone. Ferrari after looking strong through winter testing struggled with grip from the new Pirelli rubber down under and failed to impress; Alonso 5th and Massa far behind in 8th. The real fireworks were at the front between McLaren and Red Bull. Everyone expected the energy drinks company to be quick but McLaren with some “risky” upgrades had managed to gain nearly a second in performance bringing their once helpless car back into the game. Jenson Button claimed 4th despite some tyre issues and Mark Webber tops the seconds row in 3rd. However the most astonishing events come from the front row. Both Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel without the use of KERS, worth 0.3 seconds on a qualifying lap, set the two fastest times! Hamilton takes 2nd ready for tomorrow morning but Vettel by almost 0.8 of a second stormed to pole.
Tomorrow mornings race couldn’t get more exciting with McLaren in a good position, Red Bull quick but shedding their tyres and with over 70 pit-stops expected you would be mad to miss it! 7:00AM GMT, see you there.