Australian GP Qualifying: Lewis Hamilton leads Mercedes one-two

Hamilton edges out Bottas on final lap, Vettel and Ferrari seven tenths behind; Norris eighth for McLaren; Red Bull’s Gasly knocked out in Q1; Watch Australian GP on Sky F1 on Sunday at 5.10am

Last Updated: 16/03/19 7:15am

Lewis Hamilton will be on pole position for the first race of the F1 2019 season as Mercedes dominated qualifying at the Australian GP.

Hamilton pipped team-mate Valtteri Bottas by a tenth of a second on his final flying lap in Q3, posting a new track record and securing his sixth consecutive pole in Melbourne.

Sebastian Vettel was third for Ferrari but 0.704s off the pace, and Max Verstappen will join him on the second row after edging out Charles Leclerc in the Red Bull.

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But Verstappen’s team-mate Pierre Gasly was the shock omission from the leading battle – the Frenchman was knocked out in Q1 after a strategy mishap from his team.

That allowed Romain Grosjean to qualify sixth as Haas led the chasing midfield pack, while British rookie Lando Norris shone on his qualifying debut to finish eighth for McLaren and ahead of Kimi Raikkonen.

In the first qualifying session of the F1 2019 season:

  • Hamilton delivered when it mattered – he was half a second off team-mate Bottas, who had provisional pole, after the first flying laps
  • Gasly was knocked out in Q1 after a strategy error from Red Bull, only running once on the soft tyres
  • But Verstappen pulled out a fine last lap to qualify fourth and split the Ferraris
  • McLaren out-qualified engine suppliers Renault, while Nico Hulkenberg beat new team-mate Daniel Ricciardo
  • All three rookies – Norris, Albon and Russell – outpaced their team-mates
  • Robert Kubica suffered a puncture at end of Q1 which hampered many drivers’ final laps – including Carlos Sainz – with Williams still distant backmarkers

More to follow…

Australian GP Qualifying Timesheet

Driver Team Time
1) Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:20.486
2) Valtteri Bottas Mercedes +0.112
3) Sebastian Vettel Ferrari +0.704
4) Max Verstappen Red Bull +0.834
5) Charles Leclerc Ferrari +0.956
6) Romain Grosjean Haas +1.340
7) Kevin Magnussen Haas +1,613
8) Lando Norris McLaren +1,818
9) Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo +1,828
10) Sergio Perez Racing Point +2.295
Out in Q2
11) Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:22.562
12) Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1:22.570
13) Alex Albon Toro Rosso 1:22.636
14) Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 1:22.714
15) Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:22.774
Out in Q1
16) Lance Stroll Racing Point 1:23.017
17) Pierre Gasly Red Bull 1:23.020
18) Carlos Sainz McLaren 1:23.084
19) George Russell Williams 1:24.360
20) Robert Kubica Williams 1:26.067

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