F1 champ Hamilton at the back of the grid as Button claims Australian GP pole

REIGNING world champion Lewis Hamilton will start the opening race of the 2009 Formula 1 season from last place. Hamilton was 15th fastest in the first qualifying phase for tomorrow s Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne. However, a five-place grid penalty

REIGNING world champion Lewis Hamilton will start the opening race of the 2009 Formula 1 season from last place.

Hamilton was 15th fastest in the first qualifying phase for tomorrow's Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.

However, a five-place grid penalty for then changing his gearbox means the 24-year-old Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver from Tewin will start from 20th position.

It's a far cry from last season when Herts hero Hamilton bagged pole position around the Albert Park circuit and went on to win the race.

Fellow Brit Jenson Button will line up on pole this year in an all-Brawn GP front row alongside Rubens Barrichello.