Hamilton claims pole for Australian Grand Prix


Lewis Hamilton will start the season-opening Australian Grand Prix from pole position after edging out Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg on Saturday.

After topping all three practice sessions, Hamilton posted an Albert Park circuit record of one minute, 23.837 seconds for a fifth pole position in Melbourne and the 50th of his stellar career.

The defending world Formula One champion will start ahead of Rosberg (+0.360secs) in a Mercedes one-two on the grid. 

Ferrari looked like they would challenge the pace set by the German manufacturer but Sebastian Vettel (+0.838secs) and Kimi Raikkonen (+1.196secs) could only managed third and fourth respectively.

However, the new qualifying format did not have the desired effect the FIA were hoping for, with the grid positions already decided with over two minutes remaining in the third and final qualifying session.

A number of teams also appeared to get caught out with their timing, with several drivers in the pits or only halfway through flying laps when they were eliminated. 

Max Verstappen (+1.597secs) and Carlos Sainz (+1.745secs) will start from fifth and seventh on the grid, with Williams' Felipe Massa (+1.621secs) sitting in between the Toro Rosso duo.

Australian Daniel Ricciardo (+1.752secs) will begin his home Grand Prix from eighth, while his Red Bull team-mate Daniil Kvyat was eliminated in Q1 and will start from 18th. 


1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:23.837
2. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) 1:24.197
3. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 1:24.675
4. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) 1:25.033
5. Max Verstappen (Toro Rosso) 1:25.434
6. Felipe Massa (Williams) 1:25.458
7. Carlos Sainz (Toro Rosso) 1:25.582
8. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) 1:25.589
9. Sergio Perez (Force India) 1:25.753
10. Nico Hulkenberg (Force India) 1:25.865