Sebastian Vettel denied Mark Webber a dream Pole Position on home soil, as Red Bull Racing locked out the front row of the grid in Australia.
Although Webber had looked favourite to top the times in front of his adoring fans, the Australian had no answer to his young team-mates’s pace and had a settle for second.
Vettel’s lap can only be described as extraordinary, with the young German forced to wrestle with his car throughout his pace-setting lap.
The only man to come anywhere near the Red Bull cars was Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, who finished just under two tenths shy of pole. This was in contrast to the remainder of those in the top-ten shootout who were around six tenths of a second adrift.
Jenson Button was fourth for McLaren as his team-mate, Lewis Hamilton, suffered a disastrous qualifying session and was eliminated in Q2 as his tyres wore away.
“I wasn’t fast enough,” Hamilton told the BBC after qualifying. “I feel I got everything out of the car, I just really didn’t have any more grip out of the tyres.
“Basically my first run I got a lot of traffic so I wasn’t able to do a lap. So then I came in early – went back out early – and traffic was very difficult out there but I had a clear lap, just wasn’t able to get…”
Nico Rosberg once again outpaced his illustrious team-mate in sixth, however this time the gap was not as substantial as in Bahrain, with Michael Schumacher around a tenth shy in seventh.
Robert Kubica and Adrian Sutil once more underlined their pace and managed to creep into the top-ten shootout.
Meanwhile Heikki Kovalainen was the fastest of the new teams, in nineteenth, with team-mate Jarno Trulli right behind him. It was also a much improved day for Hispania with Senna and Chandhok managing to lap within six seconds of the outright pace in Q1 and within a second of Timo Glock’s faster Virgin in 21st.
Pos Driver Team Time 1. Vettel Red Bull 1:23.919 2. Webber Red Bull 1:24.035 3. Alonso Ferrari 1:24.111 4. Button McLaren 1:24.675 5. Massa Ferrari 1:24.837 6. Rosberg Mercedes Grand Prix 1:24.884 7. Schumacher Mercedes Grand Prix 1:24:927 8. Barrichello Williams 1:25.217 9. Kubica Renault 1:25.372 10. Sutil Force India F1 1:26.036 Eliminated in Q2. 11. Hamilton McLaren 1:25.184 12. Buemi Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:25.638 13. Liuzzi Force India F1 1:25.743 14. de la Rosa Sauber 1:25.747 15. Hulkenberg Williams 1:25.748 16. Kobayashi Sauber 1:25.777 17. Alguersuari Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:26.089 Eliminated in Q3. 18. Petrov Renault 1:26.471 19. Kovalainen Lotus F1 1:28.797 20. Trulli Lotus F1 1:29.111 21. Glock Virgin Racing 1:29.592 22. Di Grassi Virgin Racing 1:30.185 23. Senna HRT 1:30.526 24. Chandhok HRT 1:30.613