A solid team effort for the first qualifying of the season resulted in Kimi and Seb taking second and third slots on the grid for tomorrow's race, just one hundredth of a second apart. The weather stayed dry throughout the three sessions, allowing the two SF71Hs to put the softest Pirelli compounds to good use. Rain is not expected for the race either, although Melbourne is notoriously unpredictable when it comes to weather conditions...
Kimi Raikkonen: Today we did not really know what to expect from this first qualifying, it was a bit of an unknown. But then I was pretty happy with the car, the feeling was ok. The gap to our rivals is probably bigger than we wanted, but it was not a very straightforward day either. This is a very special circuit in many ways, if compared to "normal" tracks, and these are the early stages of the season. I think we have to wait for the next few races to have a clear picture and understand where the teams are exactly. For sure there are things to improve to go faster; I know there are areas where I could improve on my lap times. This is what we have got today, a decent result in quite tricky conditions. Tomorrow we'll put our maximum effort into the race.
Sebastian Vettel: Yesterday it didn't feel like everything was perfect, so today I am pretty happy that we could put both cars right at the front, very close to pole. I guess it's a good shot. The gap to Lewis is significant of course, and we don't want to be so far behind. But the car today was getting better and better: I could feel it was coming alive during qualifying; on my last run I made a small mistake at Turn 13, but it's ok as second and third position are good for the race and, as we have seen in all the past years, we tend to be closer on Sunday than we are in qualifying.
Check out our Saturday gallery from Melbourne, here.