KERS? HRT? DRS? Acronyms galore in Melbourne

Well we’ve finally seen the drivers take to the track with low fuel and battle each other outright with their best efforts, or have we? Despite Sebastian Vettel’s massive pole position gap he wasn’t using KERS and nor was team-mate Mark Webber. This is impressive as the system is worth up to 3 tenths round albert park, and the team were not deploying it. One assumes they have the system in their car as they cannot simply add it after qualifying due to the park ferme conditions.

Read on after the break

If autosport are to believed its rumoured that the team have a start only KERS system that will only be good for one use (IE it doesn’t recharge) but this still doesn’t explain why the team didn’t use it at all. Lewis Hamilton also set his time without using KERS as the system had packed up during Q3, leaving Jenson Button mystified as to where the gap was. Several drivers have struggled to get heat into the tires while others have been taking very leisurely out laps and Massa spun coming out of the pitsin a similar manor to Karun yesterday. Sutil also got it very wrong with the DRS coming out of the last corner (the DRS system can be used at all times during quali and practice) but managed to keep it out of the wall. The most experienced man on the grid dropped out in Q2 by sticking his Williams in the gravel on a out lap after touching the grass, a poor showing for Williams this saturday.

At the other end of the grid HRT start off worse than last year with the cars doing only installation work (1 lap for Liuzzi  and about 5 for Karthikeyan) and then failing to qualify. Its the second sloppy start  in a row to a season from Hispania, however the car does look like it will make it inside the re-instated 107% rule as Luzzi wasn’t that far off. Considering Liuzzi managed only one lap in practice (Karthikeyan managed 5)and was only 1.7 seconds off the qualifying time, there is hope that they’ll make it into the race next time out. Being only 2 seconds off the virgin is as well encouraging for the team who really need to get some running and fast! Furthermore the team are yet to deploy a DRS rear wing which would see a big gain in times.

Full results from qualifying:

Pos  Driver                Team                  Time             
 1.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault      1m23.529s
 2.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes      1m24.307s  + 0.778s
 3.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault      1m24.395s  + 0.866s
 4.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes      1m24.779s  + 1.250s
 5.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari               1m24.974s  + 1.445s
 6.  Vitaly Petrov         Renault               1m25.247s  + 1.718s
 7.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes              1m25.421s  + 1.892s
 8.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari               1m25.599s  + 2.070s
 9.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari        1m25.626s  + 2.097s
10.  Sebastien Buemi       Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m27.066s  + 3.537s
Q2 cut-off time: 1m25.882s
11.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes              1m25.971s
12.  Jaime Alguersuari     Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m26.103s
13.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari        1m26.108s
14.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes  1m26.739s
15.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Cosworth     1m26.768s
16.  Adrian Sutil          Force India-Mercedes  1m31.407s
17.  Rubens Barrichello    Williams-Cosworth
Q3 cut-off time: 1m27.222s                          
18.  Nick Heidfeld         Renault               1m27.239s
19.  Heikki Kovalainen     Lotus-Renault         1m29.254s
20.  Jarno Trulli          Lotus-Renault         1m29.342s
21.  Timo Glock            Virgin-Cosworth       1m29.858s
22.  Jerome D'Ambrosio     Virgin-Cosworth       1m30.822s
23.  Tonio Liuzzi          HRT-Cosworth          1m32.978s
24.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth          1m34.293s
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