WATCH LIVE: Mercedes gunning for pole in Australian GP qualifying

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Qualifying for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix is set to get underway at 2am ET LIVE on NBCSN and Live Extra. CLICK HERE to tune in via live stream.

Having dominated much of winter testing, it came as little surprise that Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg both set the pace during practice. The German driver closed out the final session fastest on Saturday afternoon, putting him in good stead to take the fight for pole to his teammate later on today.

However, the Silver Arrows have not had it all their own way. On Friday, Hamilton’s W05 stopped out on track after just five minutes of the session due to an oil pressure sensor issue. Although the team is confident that the problem won’t recur during qualifying or the race, the reliability of the car could stunt any hopes of a front-row lock-out on Saturday.

Should Mercedes falter, the likes of Williams, McLaren, Ferrari and the resurgent Red Bull could be waiting in the wings to capitalize and claim pole position at Albert Park.

Remember, qualifying begins at 2am ET on NBCSN and Live Extra. CLICK HERE to watch the live stream.

Daniel Ricciardo would relish being Lewis Hamilton’s teammate

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BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Daniel Ricciardo says he would relish the challenge of having Lewis Hamilton as his teammate if he joins Mercedes next year.

Ricciardo is out of contract at Red Bull at the end of the season and expressed interest in joining teams like Mercedes or Ferrari to help him challenge for the championship.

The Australian says he would “love to obviously be challenged against the best and Lewis is obviously up there.”

He adds: “I don’t want to say it’s just Lewis I’m looking for but that would be a good challenge.”

Ricciardo says he won’t accept a faster car if it means playing second fiddle to an established star.

He says “there’s always been really good clarity and fairness (at Red Bull) … and I would expect that environment everywhere.”