F1: Mercedes opens 2015 season in front row at Australian GP

Ryan Joseph Ramos March 14, 2015

Mercedes F1 takes front row in 2015 Australian GP qualifying

Lewis Hamilton will be opening his title defense in pole position as the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team claimed its first front-row lockout after Saturday’s qualifying session for the Australian Grand Prix. The 2014 drivers champion relatively easily beat out teammate Nico Rosberg, 1:26.327 to 1:26.921, in action reminiscent of the majority of last season’s give and take between the two in-team rivals.

Behind the Mercedes cars, other teams were close in Q3. Felipe Massa (1:27.718) continued where he left off in 2014 with a great qualifying to start the new season. His Williams will start in P3, followed by the Ferrari cars. New Scuderia driver Sebastian Vettel looks like he’s back in form after a change of scenery, claiming P4 with 1:27.757. His teammate Kimi Raikkonen is in P5 with 1:27.790, followed by the other Williams of Valtteri Bottas (1:28.087).

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo took P7, Carlos Sainz Jr. is in P8 for Toro Rosso, and the Lotus cars of Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado are in P9 and P10, respectively.

Honda returned to the F1 scene as an engine supplier, contracted to former Mercedes partners McLaren. McLaren had a disastrous start to 2015, with the cars looking not the least bit ready for competition. The cars will start at the back of the grid after Jenson Button (1:31.422) and Kevin Magnussen (1:32.037) were at least 3 seconds of the lead qualifying pace. Magnussen is a replacement for the injured Fernando Alonso, who sustained a concussion during the pre-season tests.

Lewis Hamilton Mercedes F1 2015 Australian Grand PRixIt doesn’t look like Mercedes power missed a beat at all despite making considerable changes in the offseason. Four of the top six places on the grid were claimed by Mercedes power. If the defending champs hold true and maintain this kind of performance with their race pace, they have a great chance at securing a win to start the 2015 season. They’re certain to receive a challenge from the other teams this time around, though.

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