Incredible Australian Qualifying For Formula One With Charles Leclerc On Pole!

Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari celebrates his pole position in qualifying parc ferme. 09.04.2022. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 3, Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Qualifying Day. © Copyright: Bearne / XPB Images

By: Myanna Wedes

It was a nail-biting qualifying event with so much drama unfolding with the crashes of both Aston Martin Cognizant Formula 1 Team cars with Lance Stroll also receiving a three-place grid penalty for his error with Nicholas Latifi and Sebastian Vettel just managing to get the car out back on the track, a real display of sportsmanship from his mechanics/engineers. The qualifying session was dominated by Scuderia Ferrari, Oracle Red Bull Racing and followed closely by Mercedes AMG-Petronas and McLaren Mercedes. We thought the qualifying session was going to be finalised early on though it went down to the wire and Charles Leclerc proved his ability to work under pressure whilst his teammate struggled when it was clear he had more performance to give though technical issues arose causing the team to be run around with limited time trying to fix those issues under the watchful eyes of a sold-out crowd. The solution for Sainz will be to reset and focus all of his energy on the race tomorrow. He can be angry, and have a discussion with the team, although if he wastes energy on what could have been, his focus levels will not be at 110% like his teammate who is ready to take the win. We feel the Scuderia Ferrari is the car to beat this weekend and strategy will be crucial in order for Leclerc to stay in front of the Red Bull cars!

Carlos Sainz:

“The lap at the end, we had a problem with the starter, we couldn’t start the car – we had to go out three minutes later to when we were planning to go out. I couldn’t prepare the tyre, I couldn’t warm up the tyre.”

Charles Leclerc:

“Yes, it was a good lap. This time I took quite a bit of risk, especially in Turn 6 which was tricky.”

“So, very, very happy, and it’s good to be starting on pole tomorrow.”

“I’ve always struggled, even on the previous layout. I’ve always struggled with these types of corners that are not really 90 degrees, but it’s just strange. And yes, always struggled with my driving style here, but I think it’s also an overall thing for all the drivers; it’s a very tricky track, very challenging track for us drivers, and it was even trickier with the sun.

In terms of Oracle Red Bull Racing Formula One Team, they put on a strong performance although Max Verstappen still was not satisfied and we expected Sergio Perez to come out ahead based on his performance all weekend in comparison to his teammate. Verstappen should be happy considering his weekend has been quite terrible with a lack of pace, balance and not being comfortable enough to push. In contrast, Perez feels good and is excited about the race so expectations tomorrow will be interesting to see how they are managed.

We must say that both McLaren and Mercedes did a great job considering their up and down laps and free practice session performances. It was unfortunate for Daniel Ricciardo who felt good though in the last qualifying was not able to improve. The removal of a DRS zone was also a topic of discussion before practice and then in qualifying.

“For safety reasons, DRS Zones will be reduced to 3 for the remainder of the event.

“DRS detection 1 will be moved to before Turn 9, DRS activation 1 will be after Turn 10, DRS detection 2 will remain unchanged, with the following activation zones will be renumbered accordingly.”

With that said, we expect the fight to be on with Daniel Ricciardo, Lando Norris, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell. Hamilton put together a good lap and is working hard to get the Mercedes up to where it needs to be not to mention the factory working tirelessly to improve.

Lewis Hamilton:

“My last lap, I felt like I there was more in it, so I had this unexpected step of grip and didn’t get to maximise it, but I am still naturally happy with it.”

The goal for Hamilton and the others will be to keep Sainz behind them and away from the fight at the front in order to stay on target for a potential podium finish. With the Australian Grand Prix, anything can happen and no doubt, it will be an electric start with a completely sold-out event!

The estimated attendance figures for day three were 123,247 people. Race day is sure to be one to remember for generations to come and with the Australian event cementing its priority as a key event on the calendar.

POSNODRIVERCARQ1Q2Q3LAPS
116Charles LeclercFERRARI1:18.8811:18.6061:17.86821
21Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING RBPT1:18.5801:18.6111:18.15421
311Sergio PerezRED BULL RACING RBPT1:18.8341:18.3401:18.24021
44Lando NorrisMCLAREN MERCEDES1:19.2801:19.0661:18.70320
544Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES1:19.4011:19.1061:18.82528
663George RussellMERCEDES1:19.4051:19.0761:18.93326
73Daniel RicciardoMCLAREN MERCEDES1:19.6651:19.1301:19.03222
831Esteban OconALPINE RENAULT1:19.6051:19.1361:19.06123
955Carlos SainzFERRARI1:18.9831:18.4691:19.40822
1014Fernando AlonsoALPINE RENAULT1:19.1921:18.815DNF15
1110Pierre GaslyALPHATAURI RBPT1:19.5801:19.22619
1277Valtteri BottasALFA ROMEO FERRARI1:19.2511:19.41013
1322Yuki TsunodaALPHATAURI RBPT1:19.7421:19.42417
1424Zhou GuanyuALFA ROMEO FERRARI1:19.9101:20.15516
1547Mick SchumacherHAAS FERRARI1:20.1041:20.46519
1623Alexander AlbonWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:20.13511
1720Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI1:20.25411
185Sebastian VettelASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES1:21.1493
196Nicholas LatifiWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:21.3728
NC18Lance StrollASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDESDNF2
Pole for Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari, 2nd for Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB18 and 3rd for Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing. 09.04.2022. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 3, Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Qualifying Day. © Copyright: Batchelor / XPB Images
Circuit atmosphere – Ferrari fans. 09.04.2022. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 3, Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Qualifying Day. © Copyright: Bearne / XPB Images
Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari F1-75. 08.04.2022. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 3, Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Practice Day. © Copyright: Batchelor / XPB Images