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Jenson Button Wins Australian Grand Prix, Ends Red Bull Dominance

Last weekend marked the beginning of the 2012 F1 season and on Saturday the qualifying session was dominated by McLaren Mercedes as both pilots grabbed the first two positions on Sunday’s grid. Lewis Hamilton won the pole position with a time in Q3 of 1:24.922, followed by his teammate Jenson Button who did his fastest lap in Q3 in 1:25.074. The surprise of the qualifying session was the Lotus-Renault pilot Romain Grosjean who obtained the third place on the starting grid, with a time of 1:25.302 in Q3.

A very nice surprise was the veteran and seven times world champion Michael Schumacher who achieved the fourth fastest time of the qualifying session with his Mercedes, finishing his fastest lap in 1:25.336. Places fifth and sixth were occupied by Red Bull Racing-Renault with Mark Webber on 5th and current world champion Sebastian Vettel on 6th, followed by Schumi’s teammate Nico Rosberg on 7th. Pastor Maldonado had a great Saturday, obtaining the 8th on the starting grid, ahead of Nico Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo.

Ferrari had a disappointing qualifying session,  as Fernando Alonso only managed the 12th place on the grid with a Q2 time of 1:26.494, while Felipe Massa started yesterday’s race from the 16th place, managing his fastest lap in Q2 in 1:27.497. Kimi Raikkonen made a comeback this year in F1 and he started Sunday’s race from the 18th spot, with a Q2 time of 1:27.758.

Here are the full results for the qualifying session of the 2012 Austrlian Grand Prix organized in Melbourne:

1. Lewis Hamilton Britain McLaren-Mercedes 1m 24.922s
2. Jenson Button Britain McLaren-Mercedes 1m 25.074s
3. Romain Grosjean France Lotus-Renault 1m 25.302s
4. Michael Schumacher Germany Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 25.336s
5. Mark Webber Australia Red Bull-Renault 1m 25.651s
6. Sebastian Vettel Germany Red Bull-Renault 1m 25.668s
7. Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 25.686s
8. Pastor Maldonado Venezuela Williams-Renault 1m 25.908s
9. Nico Hulkenberg Germany Force India-Mercedes 1m 26.451s
10. Daniel Ricciardo Australia Toro Rosso-Ferrari no time Q3

11. Jean-Eric Vergne France Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m 26.429s
12. Fernando Alonso Spain Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 26.494s
13. Kamui Kobayashi Japan Sauber-Ferrari 1m 26.590s
14. Bruno Senna Brazil Williams-Renault 1m 26.663s
15. Paul di Resta Britain Force India-Mercedes 1m 27.086s
16. Felipe Massa Brazil Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 27.497s
17. Sergio Perez Mexico Sauber-Ferrari no time Q2*

18. Kimi Raikkonen Finland Lotus-Renault 1m 27.758s
19. Heikki Kovalainen Finland Caterham-Renault 1m 28.679s
20. Vitaly Petrov Russia Caterham-Renault 1m 29.018s
21. Timo Glock Germany Marussia-Cosworth 1m 30.923s
22. Charles Pic France Marussia-Cosworth 1m 31.670s

DNQ. Pedro de la Rosa Spain HRT-Cosworth 1m 33.495s#
DNQ. Narain Karthikeyan India HRT-Cosworth 1m 33.643s#

As far as the race is concerned, Jenson Button managed to win yesterday, in a race which he dominated right from the beginning when he successfully passed his pole-sitting teammate from McLaren Mercedes at the first corner after the race started. Red Bull’s Vettel grabbed the second place at the end of the race while in third place came Hamilton.

On the fourth place at the finish line came Vettel’s teammate Mark Webber, followed by Ferrari’s Alonso who had a very good race, finishing in 5th after starting on the 12th place on the grid. Behind the Spaniard came Kobayashi in his Sauber Ferrari, while Kimi Raikkonen obtained an excellent result, finishing the Australian GP on the seventh place in his Lotus-Renault. On the eight spot came Sergio Perez in his Sauber, followed by local pilot Daniel Ricciardo from Toro Rosso-Ferrari and Paul di Resta in his Force India-Mercedes.

On lap 11th of the race Michael Schumacher went wide into the first corner of the track and damages his gearbox and soon after that he retired from the race.

These are the results of yesterday’s Australian GP:

1. Jenson Button Britain McLaren-Mercedes 58 laps 1hr 34m 09.565s
2. Sebastian Vettel Germany Red Bull-Renault +00m 02.1s
3. Lewis Hamilton Britain McLaren-Mercedes +00m 04.0s
4. Mark Webber Australia Red Bull-Renault +00m 04.5s
5. Fernando Alonso Spain Ferrari-Ferrari +00m 21.5s
6. Kamui Kobayashi Japan Sauber-Ferrari +00m 36.7s
7. Kimi Raikkonen Finland Lotus-Renault +00m 38.0s
8. Sergio Perez Mexico Sauber-Ferrari +00m 39.4s
9. Daniel Ricciardo Australia Toro Rosso-Ferrari +00m 39.5s
10. Paul di Resta Britain Force India-Mercedes +00m 39.7s

11. Jean-Eric Vergne France Toro Rosso-Ferrari +00m 39.8s
12. Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes +00m 57.6s
13. Pastor Maldonado Venezuela Williams-Renault +1 lap
14. Timo Glock Germany Marussia-Cosworth +1 lap
15. Charles Pic France Marussia-Cosworth +5 laps
16. Bruno Senna Brazil Williams-Renault +6 laps

Rtd. Felipe Massa Brazil Ferrari-Ferrari 46 laps completed
Rtd. Heikki Kovalainen Finland Caterham-Renault 38 laps completed
Rtd. Vitaly Petrov Russia Caterham-Renault 34 laps completed
Rtd. Michael Schumacher Germany Mercedes-Mercedes 10 laps completed
Rtd. Romain Grosjean France Lotus-Renault 1 lap completed
Rtd. Nico Hulkenberg Germany Force India-Mercedes 0 laps compelted

DNS. Pedro de la Rosa Spain HRT-Cosworth Did not qualify
DNS. Narain Karthikeyan India HRT-Cosworth Did not qualify

The next race of the season is scheduled for this upcoming weekend in Malaysia on the Sepang International Circuit. The length of this circuit is 5.543 km while the race distance is 310.408 km as there will be 56 laps. The current lap record belongs to Juan Pablo Montoya who in 2004 managed to do a lap of the track in 1:34.223.
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