Melbourne: Reigning World Champion Lewis Hamilton led a Mercedes one-two as the Silver Arrows unleashed their formidable pace in qualifying to secure a front-row lock out for today’s season-opening Australian GP.
Hamilton lapped Melbourne’s Albert Park circuit in one minute 26.327 seconds to take pole by nearly six-tenths of second from teammate Nico Rosberg, who managed only one run in the final top-ten shootout after a mistake on his initial outing.
But despite Hamilton’s sizeable advantage over Rosberg, such was Mercedes’ pace that none of their rivals were able to slot in between the two silver cars. Felipe Massa was third in the Williams, a mammoth 1.4 seconds adrift of Hamilton’s time.
“A big rush and a huge effort from all the guys back at the factory to enable us to come here and have this performance, so I feel incredibly blessed to have this car,” Hamilton said shortly after scoring his 39th career pole position. Meanwhile, Sebastian Vettel will line up on the second row of the grid alongside Massa for his first race as a Ferrari driver after setting the fourth-fastest time. His teammate Kimi Raikkonen will start fifth. Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg will line up in the 14th while teammate Sergio Perez will be in 15th position.