Thai driver qualifies for Australian F1 Grand Prix in Melbourne

PHOTO: Fox Sports

Thai driver Alex Albon is brushing aside a crash during Friday’s practice to outpace his teammate in qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix today, earning him a place on the starting grid tomorrow.

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 1 minute 22.636 seconds to qualify in 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 for Sunday’s Melbourne Grand Prix

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

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