Lewis Hamilton claims 2019 F1 Australian Grand Prix pole position
PUBLISHED: 07:07 16 March 2019 | UPDATED: 09:35 16 March 2019
© Wolfgang Wilhelm for Daimler AG
Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton qualified on pole position for the 2019 Australian Grand Prix.
The 34-year-old Mercedes-AMG F1 driver from Hertfordshire dominated qualifying at the Albert Park circuit to claim his sixth successive pole position in Melbourne.
It is also his eighth pole at the Australian GP – an incredible result and another record for the Stevenage racer.
The five-time world champion clocked an astonishing final flying lap time of 1m 20.486s with a new track record.
Valterri Bottas completed a Mercedes front-row lockout 0.112s behind in second place with 1m 20.598s.
The Silver Arrows duo will line-up in first and second places on the grid with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel qualifying third – seven-tenths behind the Mercedes.
Max Verstappen placed his Red Bull fourth on the starting grid, with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc fifth in the provisional qualifying results.
Romain Grosjean took sixth place for Haas with Kevin Magnussen seventh in qualifying.
Newcomer Lando Norris placed his McLaren on eighth place with Kimi Raikkonen’s Alfa Romeo and Sergio Perez completing the top 10.
The Renaults of Nico Hulkenberg and Aussie Daniel Ricciardo, at his home grand prix, were 11th and 12th respectively in qualifying after failed to make the top 10 shootout.
Bottas posted a track record in the first runs of Q3 with a lap of 1m 20.598s to claim provisional pole, with Hamilton nearly half a second down after running wide at the first corner.
An under pressure Hamilton made up that time with his near-perfect hot lap at the end of the qualifying session.
Then came the Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc, with Vettel 0.652s off Bottas’ time.
Hamilton had earlier topped the Q2 timesheets with a then new track record of 1m 21.014s – a time he later smashed.
Mercedes team-mate Bottas was just a tenth back in P2 with a 1m 21.193s as the Silver Arrows showed their pace.