Hamilton on pole for season-opening GP

Formula One world champion edges out Mercedes teammate Rosberg for his record fourth pole in Australia.

    Hamilton has more pole positions in Melbourne than any other driver [AP]
    Hamilton has more pole positions in Melbourne than any other driver [AP]

    Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton took pole position for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix ahead of Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg as the Silver Arrows continued to underline their dominance.

    The Briton recorded a fastest lap of one minute 26.327 seconds, nearly six-tenths quicker than Rosberg to capture his 39th pole on a warm and windy afternoon at Albert Park.

    "I feel incredibly blessed to have this car. It's so much fun in qualifying," Hamilton told reporters.

    Williams driver Felipe Massa qualified third ahead of Sebastian Vettel on debut for Ferrari.

    McLaren's dismal winter testing has followed them Down Under and Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen will line up from the back of the grid after failing to be in the top 15 cars that advanced to the second qualifying session.

    Only 18 cars will compete in Sunday's race after Manor Marussia were unable to put Spaniard Roberto Merhi and Briton Will Stevens on the track for either qualifying or any of the three practice sessions.

    Qualifying top-10:

    1. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 
    2. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 
    3. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams-Mercedes 
    4. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Ferrari 
    5. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 
    6. Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams-Mercedes 
    7. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) RedBull - Renault 
    8. Carlos Sainz Jr (Spain) Toro Rosso - Renault 
    9. Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus - Mercedes 
    10. Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus - Mercedes

    SOURCE: Reuters


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