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Hamilton leads Mercedes front-row lockout – Qualifying Report

Australian Grand Prix – Lewis Hamilton vanquished in a qualifying duel over team-mate Valtteri Bottas, with Mercedes dominating the qualifying hour.

Almost replicating the same qualifying session that happened in 2018, Mercedes once again rose to the top of the time sheets, with Hamilton taking pole position with a last-gasp effort of 1:20.486.

The reigning champion finished just 0.112 of a second ahead of Bottas, whilst Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was unable to compete with the Silver Arrows, finishing seven tenths off the pace.

In a session where Red Bull lost Pierre Gasly in the first part of qualifying, the team reclaimed some honour by out-qualifying the second Ferrari of Charles Leclerc, and placing Max Verstappen in fourth.

Romain Grosjean led an impressive qualifying hour for Haas by finishing sixth and three tenths ahead of team-mate Kevin Magnussen. The American team will be looking to make up for their double-DNF in 2018 when both cars retired from high points positions.

Lando Norris was one of the stars of qualifying; the McLaren driver finished in eighth place in his debut race weekend in Formula One, out-qualifying Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen and Racing Point’s Sergio Perez.

The two Renaults of Nico Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo narrowly missed out on Q3 appearances, whilst Toro Rosso’s Alex Albon impressed by finishing ahead of Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi and team-mate Daniil Kvyat.

Lance Stroll half-a-tenth shy of progressing into Q2 in 16th, finishing ahead of Red Bull’s Pierre Gasly, who was caught out by the pace improvements and was a shock elimination.

Carlos Sainz finished 18th after his final run was hampered by the wounded car of Robert Kubica, who hit the wall and sustained a puncture on his final lap. The Pole finished at the back of the grid, out-qualified by rookie team-mate George Russell.

To view the full results of the qualifying hour, click here.

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Luke Murphy

As an FIA-accredited motor sport journalist, degree-level Motorsport Engineer and amateur karter, Luke's passion for motor sport is evident. He is one of the editors at FormulaSpy and one of the longest-standing members of the team.

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