The first GP of 2012 F1 World Championship begins with a exciting qualifying, full of surprising moments. Lewis Hamilton took the pole position in 1.24.922 with a superb performance and out qualified his teammate Jenson Button, who arrived second and completed the McLaren 1-2. Red Bull aren’t clearly in the same situation as last year: with Webber fifth, who was driving without KERS, and Vettel sixth, seven tenths behind the first, their dominance seems over. The car suffered the restrictions of the blown diffusers, the element which gave them most of the performance last year.
The Ferrari team, after a disastrous FP3, where it became obvious that the Scuderia would have struggled, showed his lack of pace arriving 16th with Massa; Fernando Alonso, unfortunately, made a mistake in turn 1 of Q2 and was forced to leave the car, even if the engine was still on. He will start from 12th place, ahead of Massa, who didn’t even manage to set an acceptable lap to do better than the teammate.
But the real surprise of the day is Romain Grosjean: the French driver qualified third, with a stunning performance which gave him the chance to beat the Mercedes, in a good form compared to last year, the RBR, and, most of all, Kimi Raikkonen, the man everyone was looking at, who will start from the 18th position, due to staying out on hards while the other mid-field drivers were switching to the softs.
Here the top ten: HAM, BUT, GRO, MSC, WEB, VET, ROS, MAL, HUL, RIC.
Karthikeyan, Ricciardo and Kovalainen were investigated for hindering Alonso, Schumacher and De La Rosa. HRT won’t race tomorrow as the limit of 107% was crossed.