Max Verstappen does not forgive a single one. The Dutchman took pole position for the Australian race, the Dutchman's second this season, and will be followed by Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin), who will start fourth, right next to Lewis Hamilton on the second row. Carlos Sainz will start fifth, along with Lance Stroll.
The cars started the qualifying session wearing smooth tires, although the track was somewhat slippery due to the rain that was beginning to fall. The first to pay the consequences was Checo Pérez, who blocked the tires on his first lap, went off in turn 3 and got stuck in the gravel.
Red flag at 9 minutes and one less rival for Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz, since an almost certain podium place is released. The Mexican will start the race from the last position on the grid.
After the session resumed, Alonso was the first to drop below 1m18s to put himself provisionally first, but soon Verstappen began to impose his law. He set the best time, lowering the Asturian's time by 363 thousandths, and he would do it again by 448 in his second lap. Hamilton slipped into the middle with the second best time, 3 tenths behind the Dutchman and one ahead of the Spaniard, who was fifth, also surpassed by George Russell and Esteban Ocon. Sainz closed Q1 with the sixth time.
The second qualifying round left a small mock fight for pole position between Verstappen and Alonso. The Dutchman took out the hammer again (1m17s219) and the Spaniard was on his neck, only 64 thousandths of a second away, in the same tenth. A big step forward, half a second faster than in Q1.
Max gave another better lap to lower his time and take off to 227 thousandths of the Asturian. Fernando did not go out on the track again, he saved himself a set of soft tires, and remained second in this round, with Sainz third, 3 tenths behind.
In the final Q3, Alonso took provisional pole position in the first attempt, but it lasted a few seconds because Hamilton separated him by only 32 thousandths, and Verstappen by 41. The first three in 41 thousandths of a second. Sainz was fifth.
At the second attempt, with rain threatening around the corner, Verstappen put in a superb lap, the first to drop under 1m17s, to take his second pole position of the season, the 22nd of his career. Alonso managed to get second, but the two Mercedes overtook him, so the Spaniard will start fourth, next to Hamilton on the second row. Sainz will do it from fifth position.
1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
2. George Russell (Mercedes)
3. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
4. Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin)
5. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)
6. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)
7. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
8. Alex Albon (Williams)
9. Pierre Gasly (Alpine)
10. Nico Hulkenberg (Haas)
11. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)
12. Yuki Tsunoda (Alpha Tauri)
13. Lando Norris (McLaren)
14. Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
15. Nyck de Vries (Alpha Tauri)
16. Oscar Piastri (McLaren)
17. Guanyu Zhou (Alfa Romeo)
18. Logan Sargeant (Willliams)
19. Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo)
20. Checo Perez (Red Bull)