One could have easily guessed from the very Q1 that the cars benefiting from the controversial rear diffuser designs would not be challenged for pole position. Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber were the only drivers to briefly lead the first qualifying session on Saturday, before the Brawn GP duo took over.
Furthermore, the cars of Williams and Toyota did not have any problem getting into the Top10. On the other hand, Toro Rosso joined Force India on the back of the grid, as neither of the two teams managed to get at least one of their drivers into Q2. Renault’s Nelson Piquet also failed to make it pass the Q3.
The shock of the day came in Q2, however, as neither of the two McLaren drivers managed to score the necessary lap times to get into the super pole fight. Mechanical problems prevented reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton from spending any time on the track (he'll start from 15th), while teammate Heikki Kovalainen simply couldn’t deliver. Also, Renault’s leader Fernando Alonso paid tribute to a late error during his closing lap to also settle for a disappointing 12th place.
As expected, the Brawn GP drivers dominated the Q2 also, with Barrichello and Button swapping places on top of the timing sheets. Williams and Toyota, of course, made the Top 10, with Kazuki Nakajima the only driver not fitting into the perfect picture.
Finally, the three teams were joined by the Ferrari duo in Q1, as well as both of Red Bull Racing drivers and BMW’s Robert Kubica.
Button clinched an early lead in the super pole, while (again) joined by teammate Barrichello on the first row. Ferrari were clearly out of the pole fight, as they watched most of the Q1 from the back of the pack. Seconds before the end of the qualifying session, Barrichello went into 1st place, but was again passed by the British driver in the dying seconds of Q1.
Sebastian Vettel finished the qualifying session on an encouraging 3rd place (considering the lack of "illegal" rear diffuser on the RB5), while followed by Kubica. Nico Rosberg had to settle for 5th place, a disappointing result considering his dominating form in the 3 practice sessions on Friday & Saturday. Felipe Massa will start the Aussie GP from 7th place, behind Toyota's Timo Glock. Jarno Trulli, Kimi Raikkonen and Mark Webber finished on 8th, 9th and 10th respectively.
For the full qualifying results of the Aussie GP, click here.