While the grid is sorted out for the 2009 Australian Grand Prix, with times being set all over the place, Lewis Hamilton was forced to exit qualifying early. After just squeezing his McLaren through to the second session, the Briton reported problems with the MP4-24, exclaiming it lost all drive. The drivetrain could be be the problem, although Hamilton is currently unsure.
Should there be a problem with the gear box and need replacing, Lewis Hamilton will be docked further positions on the grid as per the regulations. However, if the team can fix the problem on the McLaren, then Hamilton will start tomorrow’s Australian Grand Prix in fifteenth.
As the team started qualifying, it was noted that they went out on the softer of the tyre compounds while other squads went out on the harder less-grippy tyres. This implies that those on the harder tyre are confident of pace and don’t feel the need to waste a soft set, but McLaren’s Martin Whitmarsh was quoted as saying by the BBC that the team were on a “damage limitation” exercise.