Hamilton romps to pole in Australia

By on Saturday, March 14, 2015
Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Lewis Hamilton began the defence of his title in imperious fashion as he claimed pole position for the Australian Grand Prix.

Hamilton’s lap of 1:26.327 was over half a second clear of Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg, with the pair comfortably clear of its rivals.

Hamilton set a provisional time of 1:26.419 while Rosberg aborted his lap after running onto the grass at the penultimate corner.

Rosberg then posted his only lap of the session while Hamilton improved further, enabling the Briton to end 0.594s clear up front.

Felipe Massa finished in third position for Williams, ahead of Ferrari duo Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen.

Valtteri Bottas had a scruffy Q3 as he aborted his first lap and ran wide at the end of his second to end up in sixth, ahead of home favourite Daniel Ricciardo and Toro Rosso rookie Carlos Sainz.

Lotus made it through to Q3 with both drivers and Romain Grosjean ended up ahead of Pastor Maldonado.

Felipe Nasr narrowly missed out on a slot in Q3 by less than a tenth of a second and will line up ahead of Max Verstappen, who impressed in Q1 but had a moment at Turn 4 in the second session.

Daniil Kvyat was plagued by reliability problems in third practice and could post only the 13th fastest time, ahead of Force India pair Nico Hülkenberg and Sergio Pérez, who were separated by just one thousandth of a second.

Marcus Ericsson failed to make it through to Q2 as he was almost a second slower than team-mate Nasr in the session.

McLaren endured a torrid time and will face the ignominy of lining up on the back row of the grid, with the MP4-30 lacking pace.

Jenson Button eclipsed Kevin Magnussen by six-tenths of a second to take 17th position.

Manor Marussia will not be permitted to participate in the race after failing to make it out on track so far this weekend.

Sporting regulations state that, while there is dispensation if the 107% rule is not met, no driver is allowed to start the race without taking part in one practice session, leaving Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi to focus on the next race in Malaysia.

1Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:26.327
2Nico RosbergMercedes1:26.921
3Felipe MassaWilliams1:27.718
4Sebastian VettelFerrari1:27.757
5Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1:27.790
6Valtteri BottasWilliams1:28.087
7Daniel RicciardoRed Bull1:28.329
8Carlos SainzToro Rosso1:28.510
9Romain GrosjeanLotus1:28.560
10Pastor MaldonadoLotus1:29.480
11Felipe NasrSauber1:28.800
12Max VerstappenToro Rosso1:28.868
13Daniil KvyatRed Bull1:29.070
14Nico HulkenbergForce India1:29.208
15Sergio PerezForce India1:29.209
16Marcus EricssonSauber1:31.376
17Jenson ButtonMcLaren1:31.422
18Kevin MagnussenMcLaren1:32.037
DNQWill StevensMarussiaNo time
DNQRoberto MerhiMarussiaNo time

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