Not only is McLaren’s new MP4-27 racer one of the best looking in the 2012 Formula 1 field, but after today’s qualifying session at the Australian Grand Prix it also appears to be the fastest.

Both McLaren drivers will be starting at the front of the grid in tomorrow’s race after Lewis Hamilton posted a fastest time of 1:24.922 and his teammate Jenson Button just a whisker off with a fastest time of 1:25.074.

There were some major surprises in Melbourne today, with Lotus-Renault’s relative newcomer Romain Grosjean posting a fastest lap time of 1:25.302 to take third spot on the grid.

Sadly, his teammate Kimi Raikkonen ran off the track on his first round of qualifying following a two year hiatus from Formula 1 racing. His detour on the grass cost him dearly, seeing him relegated to 18th on the grid.

Michael Schumacher showed a stunning return to form by being the fourth fastest in his Mercedes AMG, while Aussie hero Mark Webber rounded out the top five.

Webber’s Red Bull Racing teammate and reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel could only manage the sixth fastest time, while Ferrari’s best driver was Fernando Alonso who was 12th fastest during qualifying.

McLaren MP4-27 2012 Formula 1 race car

McLaren MP4-27 2012 Formula 1 race car

Below is the full results from qualifying today at the 2012 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix. Stay tuned for our weather forecast and look out for our full race results on Monday.

1) Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:24.922
2) Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:25.074
3) Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:25.302
4) Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:25.336
5) Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:25.651
6) Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:25.668
7) Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:25.686
8) Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1:25.908
9) Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1:26.451
10) Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:26.319
11) Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:26.429
12) Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:26.494
13) Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:26.590
14) Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1:26.663
15) Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:27.086
16) Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:27.497
17) Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1:26.596
18) Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1:27.758
19) Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1:28.679
20) Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1:29.018
21) Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1:30.923
22) Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1:31.670
23) Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1:33.495
24) Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1:33.643