2011 Australian GP – Saturday Practice Results


Sebastian Vettel fired a clear warning shot to his rivals as he topped Saturday practice with a scorching lap of 1:24.507, almost 9 tenths faster than his team mate Mark Webber. The McLarens were right behind the Red Bull pair, but they were more than a second off the world champion’s pace. Ferrari were a bit off-colour, with Fernando only sixth, behind Petrov. But it still doesn’t show us the actual pace of the cars – Fernando can surely go faster, Rosberg and Schumacher should be in the top 8 by my reckoning.

I really hope Red Bull don’t have anything more to show, this pace is certainly well beyond the chasing teams. It would kill all the excitement this season has built up so far. But then qualifying pace may not really matter this weekend, and indeed this entire season. Although the wear rate on the Pirellis in Australia has dropped significantly compared to Barcelona, it is still a major factor in determining the winner of the race.

The new teams must be cursing Vettel at the moment – he looks set to knock them out of the 107% rule and out of the starting grid. Only Lotus look capable of qualifying under this rule at the moment. HRT just about managed a slow lap for Karthikeyan, and they are seriously looking in trouble at the moment. It would be a big surprise if their cars started the race.

Here are the session results :

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