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Formula One - Hamilton on pole for Australian Grand Prix

AFP logoAFP 19-03-2016
Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team's British driver Lewis Hamilton powers through a corner during the third practice session for the Formula One Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 19, 2016. © Provided by AFP Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team's British driver Lewis Hamilton powers through a corner during the third practice session for the Formula One Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 19, 2016.

Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton snatched the season's opening pole position and the 50th of his career as Formula One's new-look qualifying format made an uncertain start on Saturday.

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Hamilton clocked 1min 23.837 to lock out the front row with Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg, in an anti-climactic session which was effectively over with four minutes still to run.

Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel was third fastest and his Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen fourth.

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Qualifying Q3: 1. Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes) 1:23.837

2. Nico Rosberg (GER/Mercedes) 1:24.197

3. Sebastian Vettel (GER/Ferrari) 1:24.675

4. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN/Ferrari) 1:25.033

5. Max Verstappen (NED/Toro Rosso-Ferrari) 1:25.434

6. Felipe Massa (BRA/Williams-Mercedes) 1:25.458

7. Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP/Toro Rosso-Ferrari) 1:25.582

8. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/Red Bull-TAG Heuer) 1:25.589

9. Sergio Perez (MEX/Force India-Mercedes) 1:25.753

10. Nico Hulkenberg (GER/Force India-Mercedes) 1:25.865

11. Valtteri Bottas (FIN/Williams-Mercedes)

12. Fernando Alonso (ESP/McLaren-Honda) 13. Jenson Button (GBR/McLaren-Honda)

14. Jolyon Palmer (GBR/Renault)

15. Kevin Magnussen (DEN/Renault)

Eliminated in Q1: 16. Marcus Ericsson (SWE/Sauber-Ferrari)

17. Felipe Nasr (BRA/Sauber-Ferrari)

18. Daniil Kvyat (RUS/Red Bull-TAG Heuer)

19. Romain Grosjean (FRA/Haas)

20. Esteban Gutierrez (MEX/Haas)

21. Rio Haryanto (INA/Manor-Mercedes)

22. Pascal Wehrlein (GER/Manor-Mercedes)

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