Kimi Raikkonen
Kimi Central arrow Race results arrow Raikkonen flies to Australian GP pole
Sunday, 18 March 2018
Raikkonen flies to Australian GP pole
Saturday, 17 March 2007

kimi pole Kimi Raikkonen took a commanding pole position for the Australian Grand Prix, while his teammate and the pre-race favourite Felipe Massa will start a lowly 16th after suffering a mechanical problem in Q2.

Fernando Alonso will join Raikkonen on the front row, but the world champion had to dig deep to close to within 0.4 seconds of the Ferrari, for Raikkonen had been nearly a second clear of the field after his first flying lap in Q3.

A last-gasp effort from Nick Heidfeld saw the BMW-Sauber split the two McLarens in third, leaving Lewis Hamilton to start his first Formula One race from fourth. The GP2 champion had been faster than Alonso in Q1 and Q2, but ended up 0.3 seconds behind in the session that counted...


Massa could only watch from the sidelines while this battle unfolded. He had been fifth quickest in Q1, but halfway around his first Q2 flying lap his Ferrari slowed to a crawl and pulled off onto the grass. Robert Kubica and Giancarlo Fisichella complete the top six for BMW and Renault.

In their first season, Super Aguri never made it beyond Q1, but Takuma Sato made it right through to the top ten session with the team's massively improved, and controversial, 2007 car. He will start 10th. Despite outpacing Sato for most of practice, Anthony Davidson was 0.159 seconds slower than his teammate in Q2 and therefore narrowly missed the top 10 cut. However he was still justifiably delighted to earn 11th on the grid. Super Aguri's form was always going to put some of the larger teams at risk of missing the Q1 cut-off.

In a frantic last minute scramble at the end of the first segment, both Williams, both Toyotas and Jenson Button all flirted with elimination before jumping into the top 16 on their last laps, leaving Honda's Rubens Barrichello and Red Bull's David Coulthard to join the Toro Rossos and the Spykers on the final three rows.

The two Williams and Button then failed to progress beyond Q2, as did Renault's Heikki Kovalainen. The Finn was a second slower than teammate Fisichella in the segment and could only manage 13th on the grid for his first Formula One race.

Against all expectations after their difficult winter and uninspiring practice form, Toyota got both cars into the top ten. Such a result looked even more unlikely when the team made a farcical start to Q2, with Jarno Trulli departing the pits with a rear jack still hanging from the back of his car, and Ralf Schumacher stuttering around a minute off the pace at first after developing a gearbox problem. Remarkably, Toyota were able to revive Schumacher's car in time for him to rejoin the session and break into Q3, where he would qualify ninth, one place behind Trulli. Home crowd favourite Mark Webber also did better than expected, qualifying the still developing Red Bull in seventh place.


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