The first qualifying session of 2016 proved that the new qualifying regulations were a massive step backwards in terms of fun and excitement, and their failure to create any kind of qualifying drama completely overshadowed a somewhat historic result: Lewis Hamilton scored his 50th career pole position, making him one of only three drivers to reach that milestone.
Australian GP 2016 Qualifying | Lewis at 50
“I miss the old days of qualifying, when you would go out and run and run and run,” explained Lewis, in the post-qualy press conference. “This whole out one lap is neat but I think people were saying it was not exciting for the fans. All my engineers were saying it would be the case, they told the FIA but they ignored them. For me it proved how smart my engineers are,” said the triple Champion. “Although, I knew that anyway.”
Mercedes’ dominance didn’t seem threatened over a single lap at any point during the day, with Ferrari being a fair bit- almost a full second, in fact!- back. McLaren-Honda put in some good laps, but lamented a lack of running that they felt, it seemed, would have allowed them to move up the pack. Further up ahead, Max Verstappen ended up out-qualifying not only his teammate, but both of the senior Red Bull drivers.
Nicely, done, Max!
You can see how qualifying played out for everyone else in the handy-dandy results table, below. Save your breath (keystrokes?) commenting about how crappy qualifying was, though- there is already talk of the new format is already being abandoned.
|FORMULA 1 2016: AUSTRALIAN GP QUALIFYING – RESULTS|
|DRIVER NO.||DRIVER||TEAM||TIME||GRID POS.|
|33||MAX VERSTAPPEN||TORO ROSSO||1:25.434||5|
|55||CARLOS SAINZ||TORO ROSSO||1:25.582||7|
|3||DANIEL RICCIARDO||RED BULL RACING||1:25.589||8|
|11||SERGIO PEREZ||FORCE INDIA||1:25.753||9|
|27||NICO HULKENBERG||FORCE INDIA||1:25.865||10|
|26||DANIIL KVYAT||RED BULL RACING||1:28.006||18|