Australian GP Qualifying

Kimi Raikkonen will start tomorrow s Australian Grand Prix from pole position. The Finn finished the session four tenths of a second faster than McLaren s Fernando Alonso. Meanwhile, team-mate Felipe Massa damaged his Ferrari on the curbs during the second qualifying session, and settled for a lowly sixteenth.

Lewis Hamilton continued to please Ron Dennis, lining up behind double World Champion Fernando Alonso with the BMW of Heidfeld in third. The second BMW, driven by Robert Kubica, came in fifth, showing encouraging form for the German car maker. Fisichella completes the top sixth, eight tenths off the pace.

Predictably, during the first session the majority of drivers set a fastest lap and drove straight back into the pits. Hamilton looked quick and composed during his first F1 qualifying, just a fraction of a second slower than Kimi during Q1.

With Honda s surprising lack of pace, Rubens Barrichello was knocked out during Q1. With Super-Aguri so strong this year, eighth and twelfth during this session, Q1 presented more of a threat than last season. Other drivers to fall at the first hurdle included David Coulthard, Scott Speed, Vitantonio Liuzzi, Adrian Sutil and Christijan Albers.

During Q2, while on a fast-lap, Massa appeared to damage his car on curbs at turn nine and limped back to the pits. Elsewhere, Raikkonen traded times with Alonso, as Hamilton continued to impress, as did Heidfeld.

Sadly given his earlier form, Davidson was knocked out during Q2, with Sato given the honour of taking the controversial Super Aguri through to Q1 for the first time in their history. But while Super Aguri celebrated, Honda s lead team continued their disasterous form. With Barrichello already knocked out, Button failed to make the cut.

Other names to not make the top ten included Heikki Kovalainen in the Renault, the Williams of Nico Rosberg and Alex Wurz, and Massa in the damaged Ferrari.

Hamilton was the first to set any meaningful time during Q1, quickly followed by his team-mate Alonso, as he fought hard to keep the rooky in check. Then Raikkonen silenced everyone with a tremendous lap of 1m26.072, to leave the other nine drivers fighting over second place.

Alonso only just fought off the intentions of Heidfeld and Hamilton to snatch second. Webber took seventh infront of his home crowd, perhaps showing the potential of Newey s RB3.

The Toyota s of Trulli and Schumacher took up eighth and ninth position, with Sato finishing off the top ten in his Super Aguri.