Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position for the Australian Grand Prix, with a dominant performance in Melbourne that left his rivals reeling as he and Mercedes proved their car is once again ominously strong over the single-lap discipline. Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen was in second place but a full six-tenths back and followed in third by the Finn’s team-mate Sebastian Vettel.
The two Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo were fourth and fifth fastest but very close to the Ferraris. Ricciardo will start from eighth, however, because he has been given a three-place grid penalty after not slowing sufficiently behind red flags during second practice on Friday. Hamilton’s team-mate, Valtteri Bottas, fared even worse, after an accident that left him unhurt but failing to record a time in Q3.