Felipe Massa will start the Australian Grand Prix in seventh after a strong qualifying session at Albert Park, with a fastest lap of 1:24.443.
Lance Stroll was 19th quickest in his first Formula One qualifying session, but will start the Australian Grand Prix from the back of the grid after receiving a penalty.
Both drivers joined the majority of the grid on the new-for-2017 ultrasoft tyres in all qualifying sessions.
An incident at Turn 10 for Lance in FP3, causing damage that required a gearbox change, meant that the Canadian received a five-place grid penalty and will start tomorrow’s Australian Grand Prix from the back of the grid.
Paddy Lowe, Chief Technical Officer: Unfortunately it wasn’t a great day for Lance with his accident in FP3. It really set his whole day off to a bad start, from which it was difficult to recover. There was a lot of work needed on the car; we changed the entire back end as well as most of the front suspension. The team worked very hard to get the car ready for qualifying but there was only time for him to get one run in the first session. Under huge pressure and with not very much practice in the car in any sort of qualifying format I think that Lance did a good job to get that time on the board. On Felipe’s side it was actually a very good day. We were hoping to get a position in the top 10 after a good session in FP3 with some long runs to gather the data we missed yesterday. Then it was a solid qualifying session for him with quite a tight fight in the top 10. Felipe did a great job to get P7 on the grid. I think Felipe can put up a good fight for points tomorrow in the race. Realistically for Lance, the race will be difficult but it will be a good opportunity to gain experience and put him in a better position with more confidence for China. Congratulations to the team for producing a car that is able to compete strongly in the top 10 from race one. The 2017 season is underway!
Felipe Massa: It was a good qualifying session. I am happy with my qualifying and the laps I was doing. It’s the first qualifying session of the season and the first time I have used the new ultrasoft tyres, after missing some laps on those yesterday. All in all I was happy with qualifying. Sixth would have been a great position for us today but I think Romain did a very good lap, which I was not able to beat. That said, I am sure we can fight in the race and I’m really looking forward to making the first race of the season a good one.
Lance Stroll: The day started off tough and it was hard to recoup from that. What happened in FP3 was a little touch and it led to a lot of things. The qualifying session was in a rush and we didn’t get to do what we had planned. However, the team did a great job to get me out in qualifying so a big thank you to them. I think we have to forget about today, especially as our pace was much better than that, and in FP2 we were over half a second quicker than in qualifying. Obviously it is a long race and, played intelligently, we can do something but we will work that out tonight and see about tomorrow. I now want to put the day behind me and move on to the race, which will be interesting starting from the back.
Track Albert Park, Melbourne Weather Warm and humid
Lap Length 5.303kms / 3.295 miles Temperature Air: 28-30°C Track: 32-35°C
Pos Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3
1. L. Hamilton Mercedes 1:24.191 (1st) 1:23.251 (2nd) 1:22.188
2. S. Vettel Ferrari 1:25.2120 (8th) 1:23.401 (4th) 1:22.456
3. V. Bottas Mercedes 1:24.514 (4th) 1:23.215 (1st) 1:22.481
7. F. Massa WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING 1:25.099 (7th) 1:24.597 (7th) 1:24.443
19. L. Stroll WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING 1:27.143 - -