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F1: Lewis Hamilton nabs Australian GP pole in Mercedes 1-2

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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:

 

Keating stripped of Le Mans GTE-Am win; No. 68 Ganassi entry also disqualified

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FIA stewards announced Monday that two Ford GT entries have been disqualified from this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, including the GTE-Am class-winning No. 85 entry from privateer Keating Motorsports.

Also DQ’d was the factory No. 68 Chip Ganassi Racing entry of Joey Hand, Dirk Mueller and Sebastien Bourdais, which initially finished fourth in the GTE-Pro class.

Both entries were found in violation of fuel capacity regulations, with the No. 85 entry also failing to meet the minimum refueling time during pit stops.

The refueling system on the No. 85 entry, driven by Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Felipe Fraga, measured a time of 44.4 seconds during a stop, just shy of the minimum required time of 45 seconds.

As a result, the team was initially issued a 55.2-second post-race penalty by officials, which elevated the No. 56 Team Project 1 Porsche 911 RSR of Joerg Bergmeister, Patrick Lindsey, and Egidio Perfetti to the class win.

The time penalty was calculated by the difference in the refueling time (0.6 seconds) multiplied by the amount of pit stops made by the team (23), then multiplied by four.

The No. 85 entry was set to finish second in class, but then received an outright DQ after its fuel capacity was also revealed to be 0.1 liters above the maximum permitted capacity of 96 liters.

As for Ganassi’s No. 68 entry, it was found to have a fuel capacity of 97.83 liters, which is above the maximum allowed capacity of 97 liters for the GTE-Pro Fords.

The No. 67 Ford of Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell, and Jonathan Bomarito subsequently moves up to fourth, and the No. 69 Ford of Scott Dixon, Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook moves up to fifth.

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