Hamilton takes pole position in Melbourne
Lewis Hamilton won the pole position for Australian Grand Prix, the 2017 Formula 1 World Championship season-opening race. Mercedes again was ahead to the rest of the grid but the gaps from the previous year are somewhat shortened.
During the first round, Lewis Hamilton set the fastest lap time – 1:24.191 – what was just 0.161s better than the result set by Kimi Raikkonen. Out of the second qualifying round stayed Jolyon Palmer, Lance Stroll, Stoffel Vandoorne, Kevin Magnussen, and Antonio Giovinazzi who debuted in F1 with Sauber, replacing Pascal Wehrlein who was declared unfit.
In the second qualifying round, Mercedes drivers confirmed they still have the best cars. Ferrari reduced the gap to reigning champions but that wasn’t enough for the serious challenge. Valtteri Bottas set the best lap time – 1:23.215 – only 0.036s faster than his teammate.
At the beginning of the final round, Daniel Ricciardo slid out of the track, went into the gravel and barriers, damaging his Red Bull RB13 pretty badly. Qualifying was red flagged for a while and in the final eight minutes, Mercedes proved its supremacy. Lewis Hamilton won his career 62nd pole position, this time beating Sebastian Vettel by 0.268s.
Valtteri Bottas was 3rd on his debut with Mercedes and will start from the second row together with Kimi Raikkonen. Max Verstappen and Romain Grosjean will start from the third row, Felipe Massa and Carlos Sainz Jr will start from row 4, while Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo will be in the positions 9 and 10 respectively.