Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen will start the first race of the year from the second and third rows of the grid. Dominating today’s qualifying at Melbourne’s Albert Park was the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton (1.26.327,) with the top three completed by the Englishman’s team-mate, Nico Rosberg (1.26.921) and Felipe Massa for Williams (1.27.718.) Vettel was fourth in his SF15-T, posting a 1.27.757, followed by Raikkonen who did a 1.27.790.
Kimi Raikkonen: “On my quick lap, I lost around three tenths at turn 3 and then I made a couple of mistakes in the next two corners. We knew we couldn’t fight the Mercedes, at least not in today’s qualifying, but third place on the grid was possible. In any case, during free practice, we saw that our long runs are pretty good, so we can be confident of having a good race. All we need to do is get a good start and then give it our best, but I think we can fight for a good position. As a team, we are working well together and we have a pretty clear picture of the situation. We know we are quick, but we need to improve in all sectors and, as for myself, I have to drive better.”
Sebastian Vettel: “Let’s keep our feet on the ground. So far this weekend, it’s gone well and we’ve had no problems with the car. It’s a shame that third place escaped us, as that would have made us the first team behind Mercedes, but it wasn’t by much and, after all the race is tomorrow. We lost third place because my first run wasn’t quick enough: I’m not very pleased with myself, because there was still some performance to be found, which would have meant I’d have qualified one place higher. In terms of strategy, maybe we could have done something different, but basically the result is down to me. First and second are a long way in front, but the race is tomorrow and anything can happen during the Grand Prix. A podium? There’s not much of a gap between third and fourth on the grid, so I think the podium is a realistic goal and that’s what we have to aim for.”