Three-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton beat Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel to take the pole position for the Australian Grand Prix on Saturday. The Mercedes driver was 0.268 seconds faster that Vettel, who will join him in the front row on Sunday at Melbourne.
“It’s been a fantastic weekend so far,” said Hamilton. “I’m incredibly proud of my team - this rule change has been huge and such a massive challenge for everyone and the guys have worked so hard to make the car what it is today. Valtteri did a great job in his first qualifying session for the team. It’s quite close - I think it’s going to be close this year.”
Vettel, however, pipped Hamilton’s new teammate Valtteri Bottas by 0.025secs as he came in third. Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen took the fourth spot ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
Local boy Daniel Ricciardo crashed out of the top-ten shootout and will start tenth at his home race. The Red Bull driver said, “I lost in going into Turn 14. It happened quickly, I could feel rear was starting to come around. I tried to catch it but it came around, and as the result of more downforce and more grip, when you lose it it’s a lot more violent and aggressive, so it caught me out. I would have loved to be [in the] top five rather than 10th.”