2017 Australian Grand Prix grid

2017 Australian Grand Prix

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Row 11. Lewis Hamilton 1’22.188
2. Sebastian Vettel 1’22.456
Row 23. Valtteri Bottas 1’22.481
4. Kimi Raikkonen 1’23.033
Row 35. Max Verstappen 1’23.485
Red Bull
6. Romain Grosjean 1’24.074
Row 47. Felipe Massa 1’24.443
8. Carlos Sainz Jnr 1’24.487
Toro Rosso
Row 59. Daniil Kvyat 1’24.512
Toro Rosso
10. Sergio Perez 1’25.081
Force India
Row 611. Nico Hulkenberg 1’25.091
12. Fernando Alonso 1’25.425
Row 713. Esteban Ocon 1’25.568
Force India
14. Marcus Ericsson 1’26.465
Row 815. Daniel Ricciardo* No time
Red Bull
16. Antonio Giovinazzi 1’26.419
Row 917. Kevin Magnussen 1’26.847
18. Stoffel Vandoorne 1’26.858
Row 1019. Jolyon Palmer 1’28.244
20. Lance Stroll* 1’27.143

*Five-place penalty for gearbox change.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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97 comments on “2017 Australian Grand Prix grid”

  1. Love how mixed it is from p4 onwarts!

    1. Have an eye for Perez and Hulk tomorrow.

      Perez was saying that he could have made it into q3, but was javing some issues up shifting in his final attempt.

  2. Business resumed… should be exciting tomorrow though.

  3. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
    25th March 2017, 7:01

    I just hope Ferrari doesn’t ruin the strategy as last year. Seb has shown today a shot for the win is realistic.

    1. @omarr-pepper so close, there is a great shot for the title for Ferrari and Vettel. The development race throughout the season is going to be amazingly fascinating

    2. Seconded. But last year Ferrari showed us it never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity. At least there’s the chance that Seb might be saved by a move to Mercedes next year, although I still expect Lewis will continue to dominate.

    3. Not much to cock-up strategy-wise. Looks like it would be a clear 1-stop.

      1. Well, a (virtual) safety car or two might change that. Albert Park always has 1 or 2.

  4. Remember that Ferrari in third was almost a second behind the fastest Mercedes last year. This season can very much be the one we’ve been waiting for.

    A Merc – Ferrari first row! Can’t get more hyped for tomorrow!

  5. Wow. We have a battle on for this year!

  6. Yeess! Ferrari.

  7. The hype is real. It seems, I think, I hope, I want

    Going for a nap

  8. First corner collision for the guys in the front row? Maybe? Could it happen?

    1. And Grosjean wins the race maybe.

      1. Khaiwong +1

  9. Not bad. Hamilton still on top, but it wasn’t a walk in the park for Mercedes. Vettel said he lost time in turns 1 and 9, plus a tweak here and there, different tracks and whatnot, we could have interesting battles. Let’s see the race pace tomorrow.

    1. Also Bottas made 1 or 2 mistakes during his fastest lap, so I think in raw pace Mercedes is still the fastest but Ferrari is alot closer than in previous year. So lets hope for some good battles for the 1st Place :)

  10. Excited for this season! Vettel vs Hamilton!

    But the gap between drivers exposes the weak drivers. Ocon, Raikkonen, Magnussen, Stroll, Vandoorne and especially Palmer need to get themselves sorted.

    1. @lolzerbob it’s a great think if the driver can make a bigger difference. If a driver doesn’t turn up then they’ll eventually be out. We all want talent at the forefront , and hopefully it mean an increase in talent on the grid as teams find out that cash can only take you so far

    2. I wouldn’t write Vandoorne and Ocon off right now, however Stroll, Palmer and Magnussen have a tough season ahead I think.

      1. @paeschli

        Yes. Magnussens close fight with Palmer last year looks very bad now in light of them both performing horribly with new team mates.

        1. Maybe the cars allow more place for Grosjean and Hulk’s talent to shine as it did in junior formulae

        2. Sundar Srinivas Harish
          25th March 2017, 13:08

          I’m actually quite surprised about Magnussen. He looked pretty good in 2014 – consistently scored points, and I always thought it was quite unfair of McLaren to dump him like they did. Even last year he did better with the Renault than Palmer.

    3. MG421982 (@)
      25th March 2017, 7:32

      I was a fan, partially still am, but there’s nothing left to sort out for RAI. He should have been dumped after 2014. I don’t see Palmer and Magnussen as greats either.

      1. He almost beat Vettel last year.. and outqualified him over the course of the season. He’s got the skill… it’s just that he hasn’t been motivated since 2008.

    4. Has the 107% rule been abolished? Palmer is a tad out at 107.3%. Dispensation? (Note: with only 20 cars, max, on the grid, I want to see them all race.) Perhaps the main reason I’m asking is that the “midfield” (10th down) are all closer to to 107% than pole…

      1. Sundar Srinivas Harish
        26th March 2017, 3:28

        There would be quite a furor if it was, I think. They probably decided to round the figure up.

  11. Throw in a classic Hamilton start into this and we have a game.

    1. @rethla LMAO Hamilton only had two poor starts himself, Monza and Japan and the rest where issues with the clutch.

      1. @patienceandtime

        Call it “classic Mercedes technical start” if you want, it changes nothing.

        1. “Mercedes pole sitter start”

      2. nelson piquet
        25th March 2017, 7:38

        i see you under every youtube video involving hamilton, insulting everyone who disagrees with you. strong bias maybe? hamilton just made poor starts get over it

        1. You must be on Trumps fictional Youtube then.

    2. nelson piquet
      25th March 2017, 7:13

      or hamilton vettel crash and stroll wins

      1. We need 17 more crashes for Stroll to win, and they all need to happen fast before he himself crashes out.

  12. Oh My God. I can’t believe it. Lewis on pole. How did that happen? When even himself told us that the Ferraris were the best. At least Vettel is in P2 so a small chink of light. But the likelihood is that the Mercedes snoozefest will roll for another year. Hopefully Ferrari can pull something out in the race. For a moment I was hopeful that Bottas might shake up the expected order, but alas no.

    Bad luck for Ricciardo. Maybe he can pull something out during the race.

    I was giving Palmer the benefit of the doubt but it’s increasingly looking like that was a bad bet. I don’t think he’ll see out the season.

    1. I kinda expected Hamilton to take pole but I hope Vettel can get a magic start tomorrow, if he does, then this year may not be as bad as you think.

      Australians have never had great luck at their home race and I agree with Palmer even though I like the guy.

    2. Look at the gap @mortyvicar less than 3 tenths. It’s close. The starts wil be crucial. I’ll be sweating at the start tomorrow. Game on!

      1. @3dom, good point. Vettel has made some scintillating starts. Let’s hope that continues. Mercedes have the leading edge “finger hole” clutch release technology: let’s see if that makes a difference. I imagine it could also make it harder for gloved hands to find the biting point.

        I hope Seb gets out in front and if there are any stops for tyre change that Ferrari don’t screw it up this year.

        1. Mercedes have the leading edge “finger hole” clutch release technology

          Another example of F1 being at the cutting edge eh @mortyvicar? I bet the other team’s R&D departments are in overdrive trying copy it too, lol :-D

          Sarcasm from us both aside, I wonder if it will actually make a significant difference to their starts.

  13. Vettel gets Hamilton at the start. Kimi gets Bottas at the start. So Vettel, Lewis, Kimi, Bottas, Max. Top five at the end.

  14. Great to see the driver is making a difference here. I’m afraid Kimi should be doing better than this though.

    1. Kimi was constantly complaining about the setup. I just don’t think Ferrari got it right for him this weekend, which is unfortunate, because he was capable of maybe even pushing Valterri off the P3 slot.

      1. If you take that into account, you also need to take into account that Valtteri* made 2 mistakes during his run, so he’d been alot closer to LH without those, hence being further away from KR or SV.

        1. Yeah.. but human mistakes are a little different from poor setup by the engineers.

  15. I feel like Ferrari won’t be able to match Mercedes when it comes to rate of development throughout the season. This initial gap in qualifying will get bigger with more races to come.

    1. The same will happen as last year. Ferrari starting the season strong but will be catches by Red Bull as the season moves forward.

      It’s amazing how little has changed in the running order despite the rule changes.

      1. IMHO If there is little to no change in the team’s budgets relative to eachother than there will also be little change in the running order.

        The game changer in F1 is not new engine or earo rules, it’s the distribution of FOM money.

    2. MG421982 (@)
      25th March 2017, 7:23

      That’s why I wanted Ferrari to have an advantage.

  16. So its Mercedes first, barely, followed by Ferrari. With Bottas as the weak link that allows Ferrari to sneak a position. It appears like Vettel was deiving out of his skin though, making him either A: the most driven driver in the grid or B: the most dangerous, both to himself and other drivers.
    If its A: Ham has no chance, if its B: it may ruin what is proping up to be an exciting season.

    1. I wouldn’t call Bottas the weak link, as the distance between Rosberg and Hamilton wasn’t smaller than this. The difference is that Ferrari right now has a close tow on the Merc’s, which is entertaining:-)

    2. Any driver on the grid could be out-qualified by Lewis with the same margin (a part probably 3/4 drivers), let’s not forget that Rosberg sometimes did have bigger margins in qualifying to Lewis than 3 tenths. I consider this to be a good start for the new joiner Bottas.

  17. This could be an exciting start of the race tomorrow. Vettel and Ferrari used to be quick up to the first corner. Raikkonen should be capable of getting Bottas for sure. I just hope Ricciardo keeps his head cool and doesn’t get over excited.

  18. A bit of a mix-up with Sauber’s Q times? Or did Ericsson go into q2?

    1. Yes he did.

  19. Looking good after the doom and gloom of yesterday. Anxious wait for the race. Hoping the race pace is on the target for once from Ferrari.

    Kimi needs to pick himself up big time. He will be needed to pressure the Merc guys and also consolidate the points early in the season when RB seem to be nowhere.

    Brilliant lap from Ham, Vet and Bottas. To be within .3 off Hamilton is a good to say the least.

    2017 looks great now.

    1. that’s more like it @evered7

      Lets see how it goes tomorrow and how it translates to other tracks, Melbourne is a bit special, hope they stay this close throughout the season

    2. Luckily for Kimi, he’s got Bottas in that second Merc seat. I think that if the WCC goes down to the wire between Ferrari and Mercedes, both teams will have to take a good look at their #2 drivers and make a decision whether they need a better replacement.

      Still hoping Fernando gets that Mercedes drive and either Ricciardo or Verstappen get the Ferrari seat. Can’t even imagine how good the season would be with a Ham & Alo pairing at Mercedes vs Vet & Ric/Ver pairing at Ferrari would be. Liberty Media would be absolutely thrilled with the prospect.

  20. Ricciardo and Magnussen should also have possibilities to move forward during the first stint of the race.

    1. What about al the other drivers, I don’t understand why you would pick out these two drivers?

      1. Because they are relatively out of position I guess. Ricciardo should be up there with Verstappen in 5th/6th in terms of car performance and should be able to get there during the race I recon.

        Magnussen should be able to get his car a bit further up by the same token, but personally I’m not so sure he’s on par with his teammate.

  21. MG421982 (@)
    25th March 2017, 7:17

    Things look OK. Hoped until last second things will be even closer or a slight advantage for Ferrari, but it’s not that bad in the end. Really great to see Bottas a lot closer to HAM than Practices showed, but RAI is… disappointing again. Unless Ferrari builds a dominating car, there’s no chance they can win the WCC too with RAI in the 2nd car.

  22. Fascinating battle ahead tomorrow. Nice to see Vettel close up and he made a few errors on the lap. Hamilton as quick as ever. Nice to see Big John do well for Haas. Palmer was shockingly bad and Giovanazzi did really well considering the circumstances. Red Bull were disappointing

    1. RedBull are the big losers of this winter imho.

      The move to more aero should have been up their lane but instead they are a second behind both Mercedes and Ferrari…. that’s shocking to me.

      1. @jeffreyj
        That Ferrari query about their sophisticated hydraulic suspension was a big blow for them. It is understood that they were forced to change their design lately even though their car was already in production since the beginning of December after a final validation made by the Master Newey. Remember last year and since the Russian GP Red Bull were able to out pace Ferrari in the development race and their car was getting faster throughout the season despite the fact that they were bringing very little aerodynamic upgrades which raised suspicious that they were doing something clever set up wise.
        This whole suspension trick was to counter the Renault lack of power in the first place because they are paying the penalty of their car design philosophy (high rake angle) which is drag. In order for them to evolve Renault must bring more power, as simple as that.

        1. You can’t blame this solely on Renault @tifoso1989.

          Given where Hulk in his Renault and both Torro Rosso’s are, RedBull seemed to have progressed less than the other two Renault powered teams. Yes it looks like Ferrari’s power train has improved (given Haas’ performance especially) but the Renault is not out of the ball park like the Honda is.

          Everybody said that the RBR13 looked too simple in terms of bodywork at the launch and it was clearly behind the Merc and Ferrari in testing. Many expected major upgrades for Australia and although they did have some bits it didn’t look like major upgrades and behold, they are still clearly behind Merc and Ferrari.

          RedBull have underdelivered, it’s that simple really. (and to be clear, I’m not saying it isn’t hard or that I would have done a better job than Newey or whatever. F1 ís extremely hard and competative, it’s just that Ferrari and Mercedes seem to have done a better job and my hope that we’d see RBR in the title fight from the get go hasn’t come true)

          1. @jeffreyj
            I’m not blaming Renault, but what i wanted to say is that without the trick suspension which regulates the ride height, in order to be competitive RBR need a kind of Ferrari/Mercedes power to compensate the massive drag resulting from their car design.

            As for the look of the car, it’s a very different approach Newey was always known to work very well with the rear of the car and he was always capable of producing downforce out of nowhere. The car is simple, yes but that is the main idea, direct a single massive air flow to the rear with a high rake angle which helps the front to produce even more downforce and let the diffuser work more efficiently. This design also produces massive drag, as i said i strongly consider the Ferrari query on trick suspensions was one of the reasons that set back RBR, they’re still struggling with set up issues.
            BTW the FIA explicitly asked RBR and Mercedes to change parts from their suspension set up before the Australian GP

  23. Looking at the Haas result I think Ferrari have made a huge power unit step forward.

    I really hope we get Hamilton V Vettel in the same car next year so we can get that question answered. Today was that close that you can’t tell what is the driver and what is the car.

  24. It’s funny how everyone is bashing Kimi again after one quali session. If Vettel starts overdriving the car again, suddenly people will have to retract their words for the nth time.

    1. Word. I’m feeling dissapointed too, but still don’t understand the amount of bashing Kimi always receives from here.

      1. Did you miss its his 5th seasons of underperforming in the “pinnacle of motorsport”?

        1. Please explain to me how beating a 4 time world champion 13 – 8 in qualifying is called underperforming @rethla

          1. @paeschli

            13-8? Where did that come from, never happened.

            25-14 Vettel over their two seasons together, and a much bigger gap in the races.

          2. Where did that come from, never happened.

            @lolzerbob 2016 Formula One season

          3. @paeschli It was 11-10 and 10-10 if excluding Singapore.

    2. “everyone is bashing Kimi again”

      Everyone is not ‘bashing’ Kimi again, I really don’t know what you are reading. Over half a tenth of a second behind your teammate when you should be getting your championship fight to a flying start… what do you want us to say exactly? Good job?

      1. (half a second).

      2. @john-h Ricciardo crashed out in Q3, yet no one is saying he is past his prime and should retire.

        1. Kimi has been underperforming for years. Only at the back end of last season were there promising signs, of course there will be more scrutiny. Ricciardo was arguably the best driver of 2016.

          Look, I love Kimi. But he shouldn’t be that far behind at the sharp end of the grid, and this has been happening at Melbourne for years on end.

    3. Kimi fan, or you don’t like Vettel?

  25. Interesting start to the season, this might be a great season. Vettel and Ferrari are close, can Ferrari challenge Mercedes this season?
    Bottas did great in my opinion considering him being new to the team and Albert Park traditionally being one of his least favored tracks. I believe his best qualifying at this cirquit prior to today was fiftheenth. Looks like he might be able to give Hamilton a real run for his money this season.

  26. I think these cars do look more difficult to drive and some differences are appearing: Bottas, Ocon and Vardoone, all good drivers, slightly slower than their teammates Hamilton, Perez and Alonso, respectively (I’m sure they will improve as the season progress).
    Those considered not so good drivers meanwhile, destroyed by their teammates: Magnussen 2.4 s slower than Grosjean, Stroll 2.7 slower than Massa, Palmer 3.1 s slower than Hulkenberg, Ericsson almost dominated by Giovinazzi.
    Also the top three really looked like they were getting close to the limit.

    1. Ericsson almost dominated by Giovinazzi?
      I get that everyone hates Ericsson but dont bend the facts for a chance to bash him.

      1. Giovinazzi only had a free practice before qualifying and was pushing Ericsson out of Q2 until he made his mistake in the last lap.

        1. @korda-09 Yes but Giovinazzi made a mistake and Ericsson beat him on his first clean lap. Even if Ericsson hadnt made it i dont see any Domination here.

          1. Also Giovinazzis mistake was before Ericsson even set his time so i dont see how he was “Pushing Ericsson out”.

          2. If you cant see how embarrassing it is for Ericsson then i guess it’s just you and his mum

  27. Comparing with last years quali:
    Ham pole, Rosberg .360 slower, Vettel .838, Kimi 1.196, Max (Torro Rosso) 1.597 and in 8th place the first RB of Ric 1,752 down.
    So compared with last year we have a very good show in sight: Both Ferrari and RBR has gained about 0,5 sec on Merc from the start of the season – the show must improve from this alone and combined with the much more visual dynamic on track of the faster cars, this season has the scene set for a great succes. Can’t wait for the race:-)

    1. Indeed and now Bottas got within 3 tenths of Hamilton in the FIRST quali with the new team&car and still bashing him. He even made 1-2 mistakes on that lap, so I’m actually quite impressed by the speed he has. Also happy to see the differences are alot smaller than last year, which so many seem to be forgetting with their impatient haste making assumptions for the whole season after 1 FP1 of the season :D :D

      1. “and people are still bashing him*

      2. Who is bashing him? Where is all this bashing taking place? Lots of bashing going on someplace.

  28. Andrew Purkis
    25th March 2017, 8:04

    the Hass shows ferrari has made a good leap in qualy mode power nearly matching merc

    RBR shows renault hasnt

    we should have a proper race tomorrow

  29. Well done Giovinazzi! 4 drivers with better cars and more experience behind him and so close to Ericsson without any crash in his first F1 official day!

  30. Grosjean de best of the rest! That is a good surprise for me.

  31. Any chance of a 1990 style retro grid Keith? I’m sure I remember seeing one at some point last year.

    That music is pure nostalgia! Haha.

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