Qualifying: Hamilton Takes First 2012 Pole Ahead of Button

Published on by Kevin V. (Kdawg)

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We were all desperate to see how the first Qualifying session of the 2012 season would end up. Now, we don't have to wait anymore! It turns out, our predictions were right: McLaren was a monster in Qualifying. Hamilton got his season off to a great start with pole, while Jenson Button lined up second, a tenth behind his teammate. Romain Grosjean stepped up from being in the midfield in Practice to qualify third, which proves that the speed he had in testing was real. Something different about the picture above? No Red Bulls or Ferraris, but we'll get to that later.

 

Michael Schumacher was still close to the top in the Mercedes, and the German lined up fourth. Behind Schumacher was Mark Webber, who was disappointed with fifth. Mark was still happy to out-qualify his teammate, Sebastian Vettel, who didn't know what was going on. It had been a poor weekend for Red Bull and hopefully for them, they can manage to make it back up to a podium.

 

d12aus3708.jpgNico Rosberg qualified behind the Red Bulls in seventh, and he was followed by a great surprise. Pastor Maldonado was able to power his Williams to eighth, and if the Venezuelan can hold the position for the race, this could be his "move up" season. I will certainly be rooting for young Pastor during the race, so make me proud Maldonado!

 

Ferrari made a terrible performance in Qualifying with Alonso spinning out and Massa not doing well either. Alonso could say that his spin prevented him from moving on to Q3, but Massa couldn't. It must've not been Felipe's day, but it still cost him dearly. Now, even if he has a great day during the race, he still has to climb up through the field if he wants any chance of a good result. We'll have to see what happens and if Felipe and Fernando can manage to make it into the points.

 

d12aus3791.jpgThe two Finns in the field qualified 18th and 19th, but the one who qualified in 18th wasn't happy after Qualifying. That Finn would be Raikkonen, who was disappointed to see his teammate, Grosjean qualify third and to see him qualify 18th. The other Finn was Heikki Kovalainen, who was also ashamed that he wasn't any higher than he was last year. However, if the Caterham team can work hard and make good upgrades to the car, they could get one step closer to points, so keep an eye on them, because they might be fun to watch.

 

Both HRTs didn't qualify, which wasn't a huge surprise, and they will get to watch the race from the garage.

 

Here are the final results of Qualifying:

Pos 
Car No Driver Team Q1Time 
Q2Time 
Q3Time 
Laps
1 4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:26.800 1:25.626 1:24.922 14
2 3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:26.832 1:25.663 1:25.074 15
3 10 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:26.498 1:25.845 1:25.302 21
4 7 Michael Schumacher 
Mercedes 1:26.586 1:25.571 1:25.336 18
5 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 
1:27.117 1:26.297 1:25.651 17
6 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:26.773 1:25.982 1:25.668 18
7 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:26.763 1:25.469 1:25.686 16
8 18 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1:26.803 1:26.206 1:25.908 20
9 12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1:27.464 1:26.314 1:26.451 18
10 16 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 1:27.024 1:26.319 No time 16
11 17 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 1:26.493 1:26.429   12
12 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:26.688 1:26.494   12
13 14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:26.182 1:26.590   12
14 19 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1:27.004 1:26.663   16
15 11 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:27.469 1:27.086   16
16 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:27.633 1:27.497   16
17 15 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1:26.596     11
18 9 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 1:27.758     9
19 20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1:28.679     7
20 21 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1:29.018     8
21 24 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1:30.923     10
22 25 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1:31.670     9
DNQ 22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1:33.495     6
DNQ 23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1:33.643     6
    Q1 107% Time   1:32.214      

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Comment on this post

tommyh 03/17/2012 15:55

Yea for Lewis Hamilton! And a new face on the podium, Romain Grosjean.with a big smile. I just watched Q3 this morning in LA. I hope the track stays dry for the race tomorrow. Have a great day,
Kdawg!