Rain made for “extremely difficult” conditions in the first qualifying session with F1’s new cars, said Australian Grand Prix pole sitter Lewis Hamilton.
The power delivery of F1’s new generation of engines presents new challenges of its own and qualifying was the first time many drivers have run their current cars in wet weather.
“The conditions made it extremely difficult,” said Hamilton. “So much more power so you’re short-shifting into six, seventh before you can actually get the full throttle.”
Those who reached Q3 faced tough choice between intermediate and full wet weather tyres. Hamilton chose the latter, and beat Daniel Ricciardo (on intermediates) to pole by three tenths of a second.
“I was kind of on the limit, it was very difficult to know what the turnover point,” Hamilton explained. “Do you take a risk or not – I decided not to. Daniel obviously did a really god job on the inters so it was obviously a very close call between the two.”
“It’s been an interesting weekend and today made it so much harder for everyone with the conditions,” he added. “But I’m really happy with the job the team did.”
“These cars are a lot harder to drive in the wet and it was the first time for me driving in the wet – I’m sure it was for a lot of people – so a serious task, challenge today. But to be up here, both and Nico, is a great showing for the team.
“It’s obviously great to see Ricciardo up here for his first grand prix [with Red Bull],” he added.
2014 Australian Grand Prix
Image © Daimler/Hoch Zwei