Hamilton fastest at Pole | Sunday Observer

Hamilton fastest at Pole

Mercedes’ world champion Lewis Hamilton picked up where he left off last year to reassert his authority and snatch a record-extending eighth pole position at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix on Saturday.

The Briton clocked a fastest lap of one minute 20.486 to narrowly pip team-mate Valtteri Bottas, with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel third, but a massive 0.704 seconds behind his arch-rival. The German will start on the second row with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen while Ferrari newcomer Charles Leclerc and Haas’ Romain Grosjean make up row three.

Fellow Haas driver Kevin Magnussen is behind them alongside British young gun Lando Norris, who steered his McLaren to an admirable eighth in his debut qualifying session.

Hamilton, 34, is the pole master in Melbourne, claiming it eight times and every year since 2014, although he has only twice won a race at Albert Park, in 2008 and 2015.