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Brilliant Lewis Hamilton takes pole in Melbourne

24 March, 2018, 16:51 | Author: Hannah Francis
  • Ahead of today's second session the air temperature is 29 degrees C while the track temperature is 44 degrees

Hamilton's best time of 1:21.164 on Saturday was nearly a full second faster than Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen who qualified in second place with a time of 1:21.828.

Lewis Hamilton bagged the pole position for Australian Grand Prix.

"It's frustrating because I think everyone else wants to see them get challenged a bit more, so that was a little bit of a punch in the stomach to everyone".

LEWIS HAMILTON taunted bitter rival Sebastian Vettel as the two started the season with a bang.

Hamilton's team mate Valtteri Bottas had a frustrating session, crashing in the final part of qualifying and failing to set a time, but Hamilton was unconcerned he won't have any back up against the Ferraris.

"I'm always in party mode", he added, referring to Mercedes' self-named engine mode.

"It wasn't a straight-forward session with the rain this morning".

"I can assure you we don't have a party mode", he said. The team have a lot of work to do on the vehicle and he will start from 10th.

More McLaren misery? McLaren wasn't overly optimistic about its prospects in Australia but even they would be bitterly disappointed not to have at least one vehicle in the top 10 after qualifying.

"We were still very close to Ferrari, which is positive". It's not the easiest place to overtake but who knows.

Bottas crashed at turn two early in Q3, bringing out the red flag and ending his session early.

The Englishman was elated as he admitted there was "no better feeling" than beating his rivals in the first shootout of the year after a winter of hard work for him and his Mercedes team.

It took ages for any cars to get out for Q2, with Max Verstappen eventually venturing out on super-softs to enjoy an empty track.

The Finn will face a race against time for his auto to be in working order by Sunday's race. "A penalty sure, there are reprimands, fines, other things but to shoot me in the ankle before the season has started -- I thought they could have done better", Ricciardo said. "He [Hamilton] is free to have a party tonight and hopefully Kimi and I will have a party tomorrow".

Bottas will not start from any closer than 15th on the grid after needing a gearbox change and it will be a long night in the garage for the team's mechanics.

Haas confirmed themselves as the big improvers after positive winter testing, with drivers Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean locking down the third row.

Force India's disappointing winter testing continued on into qualifying in Melbourne so much so that had the Toro Rosso pair of Brendan Hartley and Pierre Gasly not made mistakes on their Q1 runs, both Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon would have finished the session in the bottom five.



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