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WATCH LIVE: Mercedes gunning for pole in Australian GP qualifying

Mar 15, 2014, 1:45 AM EDT

Australian F1 Grand Prix - Qualifying Getty Images

Qualifying for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix is set to get underway at 2am ET LIVE on NBCSN and Live Extra. CLICK HERE to tune in via live stream.

Having dominated much of winter testing, it came as little surprise that Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg both set the pace during practice. The German driver closed out the final session fastest on Saturday afternoon, putting him in good stead to take the fight for pole to his teammate later on today.

However, the Silver Arrows have not had it all their own way. On Friday, Hamilton’s W05 stopped out on track after just five minutes of the session due to an oil pressure sensor issue. Although the team is confident that the problem won’t recur during qualifying or the race, the reliability of the car could stunt any hopes of a front-row lock-out on Saturday.

Should Mercedes falter, the likes of Williams, McLaren, Ferrari and the resurgent Red Bull could be waiting in the wings to capitalize and claim pole position at Albert Park.

Remember, qualifying begins at 2am ET on NBCSN and Live Extra. CLICK HERE to watch the live stream.

  1. worknman24hours - Mar 15, 2014 at 8:50 AM

    Apparently,Mercedes has a great clutch style setup that engages that regen motor at the rear of the car to really help in braking.

    Rosberg’s cars clearly sounded that out late in qualifying .

    I know the turbo wastegates on these cars make noise but what I heard in one medium speed corner sounded like a massive amount of engagement of the regen motor at the back of the car as Rosberg slowed down.

    I think that, looking at Lotus’s issues and the way the drivers are so tentative with the cars they are driving the major issue with the Lotus race cars is that the regen braking in their cars is simply not engaging in a reliable way so they cannot judge each corner when the car is going to slow down.

    It’s funny to see this kind of problem again in Formula One because back in the days of computer aided everything, Nigel Mansell drove the guts out of the computer assisted car he drove because he manifestly trusted the systems to work for him in that car.

    Now, we again have technical systems in the cars that can and do effect the basic driving functions in the cars in primary ways so if they do not work, you simply cannot drive the cars on track at race speeds.

    I hope Lotus reworks the engagement systems on those regen motors ( as well as fixes whatever else is wrong with those cars) so Maldonado and Grosjean can get out there and raise some hell on track.

  2. worknman24hours - Mar 15, 2014 at 8:51 AM

    One more thing ,if you set up a regen motor just right so the engagement system has a fade in variable engagement scale, you get antilock brakes.

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