F1: Lewis Hamilton starts 2019 on pole position

The Mercedes driver has returned to Formula 1 on top form after just edging his teammate Valtteri Bottas to P1 at Albert Park. 

It’s his sixth consecutive pole in Melbourne, his eighth in total. That equals Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher’s records for most poles at a single track.

With Valtteri Bottas taking P2, the Mercedes’ have claimed a front row lockout ahead of the inaugural race of F1 2019.

Bottas looked set to come out on top, but was edged out by a tenth of a second in Q3 as Hamilton soared to victory.

Vettel was behind the pair for Ferrari, joined by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen on the second row.

The two Renault’s faced a shock elimination in Q2, both failing to make the final round of qualifying. Nico Hulkenberg came in just ahead of his new teammate Daniel Ricciardo.

Pierre Gasly, who was promoted to Red Bull from Toro Rosso to fill Ricciardo’s seat, was the shock elimination of Q1, saying “we are clearly not where want to be.”

Newcomer for McLaren, Lando Norris was there to impress, taking P8 at his debut qualifying session in Formula 1.

The other Brit making his F1 debut, George Russell came in 19th – ahead of his Williams teammate Robert Kubica who is making his return to the grid eight years after an accident almost ended his career.

Kubica suffered a puncture in Q1 which dashed his hopes of progressing.

The lights are set to go out at Albert Park at 05:10 GMT on Sunday morning.

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