Australian GP: McLaren Saturday qualifying notes

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes drivers Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton will start tomorrow's Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne from second and fourth positions respectively after setting times of 1m26.493 and 1m26.755. FAST FACTS Why does ...

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes drivers Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton will start tomorrow's Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne from second and fourth positions respectively after setting times of 1m26.493 and 1m26.755.

FAST FACTS

Why does Saturday morning practice remain useful for the team when Friday's two sessions have been extended?

The track conditions are continuously evolving and consequently the team always want as much running as possible. Also overnight the engineers have had a chance to reflect on the information obtained during Friday's practice - for an example today significant set-up changes were made to Fernando's car which were evaluated during practice.

Did the wet track conditions in practice affect the programme?

The wet track conditions yesterday and this morning have affected our planned programme. In addition there was a significant red flag interruption during the second session yesterday but these things happen and you work around them.

What will happen to the cars before the race?

Immediately after qualifying both cars go into Parc Ferme conditions. However the team are allowed to conduct a number of safety checks. The cars go into Parc Ferme overnight and are returned to the teams at 07.30 Sunday morning.

Fernando Alonso:

"A great way to start the season for the team and I. We have worked so hard over the winter to get to where we are today and I would like to thank everybody for their efforts. There is still a slight gap to Ferrari but the improvements that have been made since the Bahrain test are fantastic."

"The car feels good. We made some changes this morning and worked on the set-up to prepare for qualifying and it seems to have worked out well. I'm also pleased that Lewis is right up there with me which put us both in the best position to score points for ourselves and the team. I can't wait for the race."

Lewis Hamilton:

"I'm overwhelmed to be on the second row for my first Grand Prix. A huge thank you to the team who have worked so hard both here at the track and back at base. This weekend is what I have been preparing myself for during the past 13 years and I'm enjoying every moment."

"I think we are in with a good chance in the race. Basically I want to get a good start and then work hard to score as many points for the team and myself. I'm not going to make any predictions because anything can happen but so far so good."

Ron Dennis:

"Both drivers have continued their great work with the team throughout this weekend. Fernando clearly is an invaluable asset to the team and nobody within the organisation has anything but praise for Lewis' efforts so far in his first Grand Prix weekend. We are all looking forward to the race tomorrow."

Norbert Haug:

"Of course it was very important to start in the top five in this year's first Grand Prix, so I'm very happy with Fernando's and Lewis' grid positions. The team did a very good job today and both drivers were first class -- my compliments to both of them. The race tomorrow will be very challenging as I think more than three teams will be fighting for podium finishes."

Chassis allocation
Fernando Alonso: MP4-22 03
Lewis Hamilton: MP4-22 04
T-car (Fernando): MP4-22 01

-credit: mclaren

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Fernando Alonso , Norbert Haug , Lewis Hamilton
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes , McLaren