Thai driver Alex Albon brushed aside his crash in Friday’s practice to outpace his teammate in qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix on Saturday and earn a place on the starting grid.
Sunday’s race will see a Thai flag flying over the grid for the first time in the modern F1 era. Albon, born to a Thai mother and an English father, posted an impressive time of 1m22.636s in qualifying for 13th place on the grid. More impressive still was that the Thai rookie out-qualified his Toro Rosso teammate, Daniil Kvyat, who already has a season in F1 under his belt. Kvyat will start two places behind Albon on the grid in 15th.
Reigning champion Lewis Hamilton took pole position with a time of 1m20.486s, just ahead of his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas. Third on the grid is Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel while Red Bull driver Max Verstappen rounds off the top four.
The race begins on Sunday at 12.10pm Thai time.
Provisional starting grid
POS DRIVER CAR TIME GAP
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m20.486s –
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m20.598s 0.112s
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m21.190s 0.704s
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda 1m21.320s 0.834s
5 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1m21.442s 0.956s
6 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m21.826s 1.340s
7 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1m22.099s 1.613s
8 Lando Norris McLaren/Renault 1m22.304s 1.818s
9 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1m22.314s 1.828s
10 Sergio Perez Racing Point/Mercedes 1m22.781s 2.295s
11 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m22.562s –
12 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1m22.570s –
13 Alexander Albon Toro Rosso/Honda 1m22.636s –
14 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1m22.714s –
15 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Honda 1m22.774s –
16 Lance Stroll Racing Point/Mercedes 1m23.017s –
17 Pierre Gasly Red Bull/Honda 1m23.020s –
18 Carlos Sainz McLaren/Renault 1m23.084s –
19 George Russell Williams/Mercedes 1m24.360s –
20 Robert Kubica Williams/Mercedes 1m26.067s –