Formula 1 Livefeed

Australian GP qualifying as it happened

Minute-by-minute updates on Friday practice for the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park.

By: Stephen Lickorish, Haydn Cobb


  • Leclerc grabs pole for Australian GP beating the Red Bulls, Sainz only ninth
  • A second red flag came when Alonso crashed out at Turn 11 after possible hydraulics problem
  • Out in Q2: Gasly, Bottas, Tsunoda, Zhou, Schumacher
  • Out in Q1: Albon, Magnussen, Vettel, Latifi, Stroll
  • Earlier red flag after a ridiculous crash between Latifi and Stroll
  1. Leclerc, Ferrari, 1m17.868s
  2. Verstappen, Red Bull, 1m18.154s
  3. Perez, Red Bull, 1m18.240s
  4. Norris, McLaren, 1m18.703s
  5. Hamilton, Mercedes, 1m18.825s
  6. Russell, Mercedes, 1m18.933s
  7. Ricciardo, McLaren, 1m19.032s
  8. Ocon, Alpine, 1m19.061s
  9. Sainz, Ferrari, 1m19.408s
  10. Alonso, Alpine, no time
Status: Stopped
Time to wrap up the live coverage of Australian GP qualifying, but be sure to come back tomorrow for the main event. The race starts at 6am BST (3pm local time) and is set up perfectly. Until then, have a wonderful Saturday and go well!
The fight at the front almost included Alonso too as he looked on for a top four start before his crash. It was a busy qualifying in the end, finishing over 30 minutes after it was meant to with all the red flags and delays.
So a split at the front for the race tomorrow, one Ferrari against two Red Bulls. Sainz had a hectic Q3, having missed his first lap due to the red flag, and then he was late out on his final run due to a starter issue. He's got both McLarens, Mercedes and Ocon to pass to join the fight for the podium tomorrow.
Perez remains a provisional third place as he still has to face the FIA stewards for not slowing under yellow flags earlier in qualifying.

Leclerc on his second pole position of the season: “The lap felt good, even more as it has been a track I’ve struggled at in the past. In Q3 I managed to put everything together so it feels great.”

Verstappen on P2: "I haven't felt good in the car all weekend, I don't think there has been one lap I've felt comfortable. We'll try to analyse it. In the race it will stabilise a bit but this weekend it has been all over the place."

Leclerc is on pole for the Australian GP, with Verstappen lining up alongside him on the front row. Perez takes third place ahead of Norris, Hamilton, Russell and Ricciardo.

Disaster for Sainz who can't put a final lap together and will start the Australian GP down in ninth place.

Leclerc can! A 1m17.868s puts him back on pole position!
Leclerc is on a quick one though, can he fight back?
Verstappen goes provisional pole! A 1m18.154s!
Russell is up to fourth with Hamilton sixth after their timed efforts. The Mercedes drivers are still around 0.8s off the pole time so count them out.
How close do you like it! Perez goes 0.001s off provisional pole. Wow.
Perez and Leclerc also out on track now. The rest remain in the pits, targeting a one timed effort all or nothing time attack.

Both Mercedes out on the track immediately and given they've needed two warm-up laps during qualifying they are maximising the time available.

Here we go again - 6m58s to go in Q3.
That Alonso lap looked on it before his crash as he was well on for the top four at least. Cruel on the Spaniard.
Q3 will restart at 17:25 local time - five minutes away. The fans might need to get out the torches to finish qualifying.
Seconds before the red flag Leclerc moved up to provisional pole with a 1m18.239s. Sainz and Russell were the unlucky pair as they didn't cross the finish line in time and duly lost their laps.
Alonso says over team radio he couldn't shift down the gears going into Turn 11, which meant he couldn't slow down sufficiently, so he was sent into the wall at speed. He is OK but his qualifying is over and he'll start 10th.
Alonso is in the wall! Red flag!
A handful of drivers are doing double warm-up laps so the rest of the Q3 times will flood into this session in the closing moments. Ricciardo has gone third with a 1m19.032s.
Verstappen locks up horribly at Turn 13 but still puts in a 1m18.399s - only to be beaten by Perez by just 0.001s!
Nine of the 10 Q3 contenders are on track - just Alonso sticking in the pits for now.
Here we go for Q3 - hopefully no more delays otherwise this will finish in the dark!
Verstappen and Hamilton have also asked for darker visors to deal with the low sun, with the Red Bull driver applying black tape to the top to help.
Q3 will start at 17:07 local time, which means the sun will be right in the drivers' eyeline when they are facing it. Leclerc has asked for his darkest visor to cope with the glare.
Gasly cannot respond with his final lap and drops out in Q2 along with Bottas, Tsunoda, Zhou and Schumacher.
Ocon moves up to eighth place on his final Q2 lap to push Gasly out of the top 10.
Ocon, Bottas, Zhou, Schumacher and Tsunoda are the five drivers fighting to steal a Q3 spot on the final runs in this session.
Leclerc goes second quickest on those fresh softs, 0.266s off Perez, with Sainz slotting into fourth place. Both safely through to Q3, you'd think.
Perez will be investigated after the session for failing to slow under yellow flags at Turn 11. It'll be a busy evening for the stewards with the Stroll vs Latifi crash already on their to do list.
Both Ferraris are out on new soft tyres now. Leclerc was fourth on the first run on used softs and Sainz was eighth.
Hamilton's fastest lap is only good enough for ninth, but he had a close moment with Verstappen who was on an in-lap after backing off.
Perez, on a second push effort, goes fastest with a 1m18.340s which is the fastest lap of the weekend so far.
The stewards have noted Perez failed to slow under those yellow flags created by Russell's Turn 11 off but there is no investigation yet. Elsewhere Alonso pops up to second place with a 1m18.815s.
Verstappen's opening Q2 effort is a 1m18.611s, three-tenths up on Perez. Both Mercedes are going for double warm-ups again, but Russell has been off at Turn 11, so that's hampered the pace of the drivers behind him on the track.