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Rediff.com  » Sports » Hulkenberg qualifies ninth, Resta 15th on grid for Aus GP

Hulkenberg qualifies ninth, Resta 15th on grid for Aus GP

Last updated on: March 17, 2012 14:52 IST

Sahara Force India's Nico Hulkenberg will start Sunday's Australian Grand Prix in the ninth position on the grid while Paul di Resta will begin the season-opening race in 15th position.

The rookie German clocked 1:26.451 in Q3, ahead of Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo, who did not set a time.

McLaren's had one-two on the grid, led by Lewis Hamilton (1:24.922). Jenson Button followed him by clocking 1:25.074.

Romain Grosjean of Lotus-Renault was third, ahead of Mercedes' Michael Schumacher.

Defending champion Sebastian Vettel was way behind in sixth position, following teammate Mark Webber.

"I'm very happy with today's result because I was not sure we would be able to make Q3. We did a good job after FP3 to improve the set-up and I'm feeling much more comfortable with the car now," Hulkenberg said.

The youngster though was apprehensive about the result.

"Obviously going into the race there is some uncertainty because we haven't really done many runs on high fuel here because of the wet sessions yesterday, but all the teams are in the same situation. It's the same case with the tyres because we will still be learning about them tomorrow and discovering how long they last. It should be an exciting race and I'm looking forward to it," he said.

Resta, who could not make the Q3, said it was a tough day in office for him. His best lap time in Q2 was 1:27.086.

"It was quite a difficult session and I never quite got it together. I think my out lap was compromised by traffic and, as a result, I didn't get the tyres in their working range, which hurt my quick lap," he said.

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