Australian Grand Prix (2012) RESULTSun, 18 Mar 2012 00:00:00 -0700
Australian Grand Prix 2012 - McLaren were on pole (image Sky F1)
Qualifying at the 2012 Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne saw Hamilton on pole with Button alongside. But did it stay like that?
Qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix saw the dominance of the Red Bulls set aside for the first time in a couple of years, as Webber and Vettel were pushed down to the third row behind a McLaren front row and former world champion Michael Schumacher alongside the Lotus of Grosjean in row two.
After Hamilton’s stunning qualifying there was almost an expectation he would take off from the start and disappear from view. But Hamilton started poorly and it was Button who took the lead at the first corner and disappeared in to the distance, driving a race of his own and head and shoulders above the rest to take the first trophy of the season.
Hamilton pitted in second a lap after Button and came out behind Perez, and by the time he’d cleared the Mexican he was ten seconds behind his team-mate, and Button kept the margin until the next pit stop, which is where it went a bit wrong for Hamilton.
The safety car was deployed as Petrov’s stranded Lotus was recovered, just as Vettel approached the pit entry for his stop, whereas Hamilton had to slow behind the safety car. That allowed Vettel to leapfrog Hamilton for second place and, despite Hamilton’s best efforts, Vettel held hin off to the end.
Behind the front three Mark Webber managed a respectable fourth place and Alonso managed to put his Ferrari in fifth despite a poor show in qualifying. Williams nearly had a good start to the year with Maldonado chasing Alonso for fifth, but he crashed out on the last lap, handing sixth place to Sauber’s Kobayahsi with Raikkonen bringing home his Lotus in seventh place from 18th on the grid.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the race – apart from Alonso’s ability to take the Ferrari, which had looked poor but seemed to have pace, in to fifth place – was the poor results for what had looked like a strong Mercedes. Rosberg managed to run fourth for a while but ended down in twelfth with Schumacher – looking so strong on the second row – falling away and ending up out with a broken gearbox.
An eventful end to a decent race in Albert Park, with a completely dominant Jenson Button taking a well-deserved win. A single swallow does not a summer make, but the McLarens – despite Hamilton’s poor start and bad luck – do seem to be the most sorted cars on the grid – so far.
By Cars UK