17 March 2012

McLaren 1-2 in F1 season opener qualifying

McLaren has steal the thunder by locking out Melbourne front row of the grid. Lewis Hamilton is on pole, followed by his team mate Jenson Button. Third place is surprisingly belong to Lotus of Romain Grosjean, who is ahead of Michael Schumacher in 4th place, his best ever grid position since returning to the sport. Nico Rosberg did look fast, and could even put a fight to McLaren in terms of pace, but he committed a mistake in his run. Mercedes's car also debuted an innovative and controversial DRS-activated front wing F-Duct. It is indeed hard to imagine how powerful is CFD now in developing the manipulation of flow on aerodynamics bodies. In 2002, F1 teams said they neglect the effect of exhaust gas speed and temperature in their CFD modeling of the rear end, but the advancement of blown diffuser (still exist this year I suspect, albeit in different form) surely indicated that the flow regime has been analyzed with the temperature and exhaust velocity profile.

Anyway, back to qualifying story, 3rd row is locked by the reigning champion Red Bull Racing, where Mark Webber is ahead of Sebastian Vettel. Where is Ferrari you ask? Well they are 12th with Fernando and 16th with Massa. Fernando Alonso spunned out in Q2, and Massa, well he was kicked out from Q2. Bizarre days for Ferrari, and miserable too for ex-Ferrari Kimi Raikonen, who managed no better than 18th on his first returning race.

Full qualifying results after the jump.

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