Lewis Hamilton set a new track record in Q3 of Formula One qualifying to take the pole for Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne’s Albert Park circuit.
The defending world champion beat teammate Valtteri Bottas by 0.112 seconds to claim his sixth consecutive Melbourne pole with a record lap time of 1:20:486. With his eighth pole at Albert Park, Hamilton also tied the record held by Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna for most poles at a track.
“I’m shaking, it was so close out there,” Hamilton said following his pole run. “We’ve got an incredible crowd here.”
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finished third, 0.834 seconds behind, with Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen and Vettel’s teammate, Charles Leclerc, qualifying fourth and fifth, respectfully.
Haas teammates Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen will start in P6 and P7, and McLaren’s Landon Norris will start eighth in his first grand prix after a very impressive Q2 and Q3 for the 19-year-old Briton. Kimi Raikkonen and Sergio Perez rounded out the top ten.
To the disappointment of local fans, Aussie Daniel Ricciardo didn’t make it into Q3, finishing twelfth behind Renault teammate Nico Hulkenburg.
Toro Rosso rookie Alexander Albon will start 13th in his first grand prix, alongside Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi, who will start 14th in his first grand prix since 2017. Daniil Kvyat was the last driver to make it into Q2 and will start 15th.
Racing Point’s Lance Stroll will start 16th, alongside Frenchman Pierre Gasly, who will start a disappointing 17th after not making a second run in Q1 due to a failed strategy mishap by his Red Bull team.
McLaren’s Carlos Sainz starts 18th with both Williams cars rounding out the field.
Robert Kubica, making his first start since 2017, suffered a tire puncture at the end of Q1, which hampered his final laps. He will start last next to teammate George Russell.
Full qualifying results and times are listed below: