Lewis Hamilton pipped Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas to pole place on the season-opening Australian GP.
Hamilton was once at the back of the Finn going into the overall runs in qualifying however edged forward by means of zero.112 seconds to take his 6th consecutive pole at Albert Park.
Hamilton was once an enormous zero.704secs faster than Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in 3rd, simply forward of recent Crimson Bull’s Max Verstappen.
British rookie Lando Norris took a excellent 8th on his debut for McLaren.
And George Russell, the opposite British rookie, was once 19th, smartly forward of his Williams team-mate Robert Kubica.
Are we stunned?
Hamilton has ruled the weekend, quickest in all follow periods and in two of the 3 qualifying periods – lacking out handiest within the first a part of qualifying when he didn’t do a 2nd run and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who did, ended up quickest.
“I am shaking it was once so shut in the market,” Hamilton mentioned. “From trying out we had no thought the place we’d be. We had been hoping to be the place we’re. Valtteri did a phenomenal process. It was once very shut.”
Bottas mentioned: “The primary lap was once really nice, I in reality loved that. Now not fairly sufficient for pole sadly, however look ahead to the next day.”
Vettel, whose Ferrari staff had regarded faster than Mercedes in pre-season trying out, mentioned: “The automobile feels all proper. There isn’t the rest flawed.”
“Surely stunned (by means of the distance). I feel everyone is, most certainly themselves. The day gone by we didn’t have a just right day, lately felt higher however the hole was once identical. There’s some homework we want to do to know. I nonetheless assume we’ve got a super automotive.”
Vettel sounded non-plussed however in truth the margin between him and Hamilton is similar to what it was once remaining 12 months in Australia – and Ferrari went directly to win the race after a Mercedes technique error, and once more in Bahrain two weeks later and spent a lot of the 12 months with a automotive a minimum of as speedy because the Mercedes.
Hamilton regarded stupendously fast via Flip One on his first lap within the ultimate consultation however a wobble misplaced him time and Bottas was once faster by means of part a 2nd.
However Hamilton produced a miles tidier lap on his 2nd run and with Bottas no longer making improvements to it was once sufficient to show the tables.
Ferrari must have locked out the second one row, however Leclerc, making his debut for Ferrari, made an error on his ultimate lap and that allowed Verstappen to edge forward into fourth.
Leclerc mentioned: “I am not proud of myself. I did not do the process once I needed to in Q3. The possible to be best there was once there. Now not best two. I did a mistake in my remaining lap and it is existence. It occurs and I will be able to paintings from there.”
Brit Norris excels on debut
Haas driving force Romain Grosjean received the glory of easiest of the remainder in 6th position forward of team-mate Kevin Magnussen, however the big name on the head of the midfield was once Norris.
The 19-year-old were given via Q1 in 8th position, with team-mate Carlos Sainz down in 18th after being held up when Robert Kubica’s Williams hit the wall, and it was once no longer a flash within the pan.
Norris regarded just right right through qualifying and his shape no longer handiest demonstrated his attainable but in addition confirmed that McLaren have made a step ahead after a troublesome 2018 that ended in main restructuring within the staff.
Alexander Albon, a Thai who was once born in London, additionally did smartly on his debut, taking 13th position for Toro Rosso, forward of skilled team-mate Daniil Kvyat in 15th.
Russell, after taking his time at the first follow day, had regarded just right right through Saturday and produced an completed efficiency within the tricky Williams, which is by means of a long way the slowest automotive.
Kubica, against this, was once suffering with a loss of grip. He mentioned he discovered it on his ultimate lap, however over-cooked it in a single nook, hit the wall and were given a puncture.
Russell mentioned: “I feel I will be able to be lovely pleased with myself. everyone knows the place the auto is and my handiest comparability is Robert. I used to be lovely proud of myself when the auto crossed the road and I will be able to depart lately with my head held prime.”
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