Sebastian Vettel produces Melbourne master class
Pole position was never in doubt for Sebastian Vettel in this morning's season-opening qualification session from Albert Park.
The defending drivers’ champion managed to lead the field in a confident fashion and closed the deal by a margin of eight tenths of a second ahead of McLaren's Lewis Hamilton (10/3) and teammate Mark Webber (5/1).
"It's a good position to be in. It's the best position, pole position, so I'm very happy with that,'' said Vettel . "But we need to keep our feet on the ground and see how we get on tomorrow.''
Vettel basically owned Melbourne this morning and approaching the end of quali-3, Red Bull's hope of a one-two were looking in fine form, only for Lewis Hamilton to put a quick lap together and split the RB7's in the first three.
2010 Australian GP winner Jenson Button (9/1) would love to complete an Aussie hat-trick of victories this weekend, but that looks unlikely considering the Monaco-based Brit was more than surprised to hear that neither his McLaren teammate Lewis Hamilton, or Sebastian Vettel had used their KERS system for that bit of extra poke.
Jenson had clearly had his finger quite literally on the button, quite a lot of the time.
The Ferrari's were disappointing today. Fernando Alonso (12/1) has claimed P5, but looked far from convincing, while 6th placed Felipe Massa (66/1) struggled with traction.
Scottish born Paul Di Resta (500/1) may not be backable as a race winner just yet, but in his first qualification session in an F1 cockpit, the Force India newbie managed an impressive 14th.
"I think if you'd have said that we would be starting the race from P14 going in to qualifying, we'd have been pretty happy." said the Scot " So for my first qualifying session I think we have to be happy with our result today and it gives me a place to build on for the future. I'd like to thank everyone in the team for their efforts and I'm really looking forward to the race tomorrow."
A fantastic achievement for the DTM Cup winner who beat F1 veterans Sutil (300/1), Barrichello (40/1), Heidfeld(40/1) and Trulli(250/1) in the Saturday session.
Michael Schumacher's good test momentum was not carried through to qualification.
The Mercedes master just couldn't break into that top ten Q3 session and was once again out driven by Nico Rosberg (50/1), while Adrian Sutil's movable rear wing was causing enough problems in its own right, the Force India driver lost control when engaging for the straight - but to his credit, Sutil did manage to regain control before the car turned in to a cloud of carbon fiber.
So, can Sebastian Vettel break his 2010 curse and begin the 2011 F1 season by converting a cracking pole position into a race win? 10/11 says he will, but following last year's conversion rate, he has much more to prove before he gets my stakes.
Place your bets on the Australian Grand Prix!
Race Winner: 10/11 Sebastian Vettel, 10/3 Lewis Hamilton, 5/1 Mark Webber, 9/1 Jenson Button, 12/1 Fernando Alonso, 50/1 Nico Rosberg, 50/1 Vitaly Petrov,66/1 Felipe Massa, 80/1 Michael Schumacher, 100/1 Kamui Kobayashi,250/1 Rubens Barrichello,250/1 Sergio Perez, 250/1 Jamie Alguersuari, 250/1 Sebastien Buemi, 300/1 Nick Heidfeld, 300/1 Adrian Sutil, 500/1 Pastor Maldonado, 500/1 Paul Di Resta, 1000/1 Jarno Trulli, 1000/1 Heikki Kovalainen, 2000/1 Jerome D'Ambrosio, 2000/1 Timo Glock, 2500/1 Narain Karthikeyan, 2500/1 Vitantonio Liuzzi.
Podium Finish: 2/9 Sebastian Vettel, 4/6 Lewis Hamilton, 5/6 Mark Webber, 6/4 Jenson Button, 13/8 Fernando Alonso, 6/1 Nico Rosberg, 7/1 Felipe Massa, 7/1 Vitaly Petrov, 14/1 Michael Schumacher, 14/1 Kamui Kobayashi, 33/1 Sergio Perez, 40/1 Nick Heidfeld, 40/1 Rubens Barrichello, 40/1 Jamie Alguersuari, 40/1 Sebastien Buemi, 66/1 Adrian Sutil, 100/1 Pastor Maldonado, 100/1 Paul Di Resta, 250/1 Jarno Trulli, 250/1 Heikki Kovalainen, 300/1 Narain Karthikeyan, 300/1 Vitantonio Liuzzi,500/1 Jerome D'Ambrosio, 500/1 Timo Glock.
Winning Nationality: 4/6 German,2/1 British, 5/1 Australian, 12/1 Spanish, 50/1 Brazilian, 50/1 Russian, 100/1 Japanese, 250/1 Mexican, 250/1 Swiss, 500/1 Venezuelan, 1000/1 Italian, 1000/1 Finnish, 2000/1 Belgian, 2500/1 Indian.
Winning Margin: 5/6 Over 6.500 Seconds | 5/6 Under 6.500 Seconds.
Winning Constructor: 1/3 Red Bull, 2/1 McLaren, 12/1Ferrari, 40/1Mercedes GP, 40/1Renault, 80/1Sauber, 150/1Toro Rosso, 250/1Williams, 300/1Force India, 750/1Team Lotus, 1500/1 Virgin Racing, 2000/1 HRT.
Number of Finishers: 4/9 Under 17.5 | 13/8 Over 17.5.
Lap 1 Retirements 8/11 - 0 | 3/1 - 1 | 11/2 - 2 | 17/2 - 3 | 8/1 - 4 or more.