Lewis Hamilton 4/9 to win Australian Grand Prix after claiming pole

Lewis Hamilton celebrates another pole position
Lewis Hamilton celebrates another pole position

Lewis Hamilton is 4/9 with Sky Bet to win the season-opening Australian Grand Prix after qualifying in pole position.

The grid

  1. Lewis Hamilton
  2. Kimi Raikkonen
  3. Sebastan Vettel
  4. Max Verstappen

Scroll down for full qualifying times and starting grid

In brief

Lewis Hamilton is 4/9 with Sky Bet to win the season-opening Australian Grand Prix after qualifying in pole position.

Hamilton was in a class of one as he steered his Mercedes to the front slot of the grid with an utterly emphatic display which will send out an all-to-familiar warning to his rivals.

The 33-year-old British driver's best lap was more than an eye-watering six tenths of a second faster than the rest of the field with Kimi Raikkonen (7/1) edging out his Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel (5/1) for second.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen qualified fourth ahead of his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, who is due to serve a three-place grid drop following an infringement in practice on Friday.

But it was not a perfect session for Hamilton's Mercedes team after Valtteri Bottas crashed into the wall and out of qualifying at the exit of turn two.

Bottas emerged unscathed from the 110mph smash, which happened on his very first lap in the battle for pole, but the same could not be said of his car.

Full classification

1 Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes GP 1min 21.164secs
2 Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Ferrari 1:21.828
3 Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Ferrari 1:21.838
4 Max Verstappen (Ned) Red Bull 1:21.879
5 Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Red Bull 1:22.152
6 Kevin Magnussen (Den) Haas F1 1:23.187
7 Romain Grosjean (Fra) Haas F1 1:23.339
8 Nico Hulkenberg (Ger) Renault 1:23.532
9 Carlos Sainz (Spa) Renault 1:23.577
10 Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Mercedes GP No Time
11 Fernando Alonso (Spa) McLaren 1:23.692
12 Stoffel Vandoorne (Bel) McLaren 1:23.853
13 Sergio Perez (Mex) Force India 1:24.005
14 Lance Stroll (Can) Williams 1:24.230
15 Esteban Ocon (Fra) Force India 1:24.786
16 Brendon Hartley (Nzl) Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:24.532
17 Marcus Ericsson (Swe) Sauber-Ferrari 1:24.556
18 Charles Leclerc (Mon) Sauber-Ferrari 1:24.636
19 Sergey Sirotkin (Rus) Williams 1:24.92
20 Pierre Gasly (Fra) Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:25.295

Qualifying report

Lewis Hamilton lit the blue touch paper on his rivalry with Sebastian Vettel by storming to pole position before goading the Ferrari driver by declaring he had wiped the smile off his face.

Hamilton was in a class of one here at Albert Park in Melbourne as he produced yet another one-lap masterclass to fire an all-too familiar warning to his rivals in the very first qualifying session of the year.

The defending champion, 33, roared to the top of the time sheets to finish an eye-watering six tenths of a second ahead of the rest to seal his 73rd career pole and a record seventh here in Australia.

Vettel qualified only third after he was beaten to the front row by his Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen - and Hamilton could not resist a playful jibe against his chief championship protagonist on the eve of their battle for a fifth Formula One world title.

Hamilton was asked to explain a "party mode" radio call from his Mercedes team which was relayed to the British driver in the moments before his super-quick lap.

The message appeared to imply that Hamilton could use a legal power boost in the shoot-out for pole.

Hamilton and Vettel posted similar times on their penultimate runs, but the Englishman was well clear of his rival following their respective final timed laps.

"I can assure you we don't have a 'party mode'," Hamilton said. "There was no extra button."

"What were you doing before then?" asked Vettel, sitting to the right of the Mercedes driver.

Hamilton hit back: "I was waiting to put a good lap in to wipe the smile off your face."

Vettel did not reply to Hamilton's initial jibe, before the incident was re-visited.

"He said it so quick the first time I didn't get it," Vettel said. "But now I do. What goes around comes around."

Vettel continued: "If that is what he enjoys, doing well on a Saturday...". Hamilton interrupted: "It really was a joke, man."

Vettel replied: "I know. He [Hamilton] is free to have a party tonight and hopefully Kimi and I will have a party tomorrow."

On the evidence of Hamilton's emphatic qualifying display here, however, it is the Briton who will be celebrating on Sunday evening.

The threat of rain could play a part, while it is worth noting that only two of the last eight pole-sitters have won in Melbourne.

Indeed Hamilton has failed to convert four of his six poles at Albert Park to victory.

It was not a perfect session for Hamilton's Mercedes team however, after Valtteri Bottas crashed into the wall and out of qualifying at the exit of turn two.

Bottas emerged unscathed from the 110mph smash, but the same could not be said of his car.

The rear of his Mercedes, which bore the brunt of the high-speed impact, was destroyed with bits of Silver Arrows littering the asphalt.

Bottas was taken to the medical centre for a precautionary check-up before he was given the all-clear.

Max Verstappen qualified fourth, while his Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo was fifth.

The Australian will drop to eighth following a grid penalty for a red flag infringement during practice on Friday.

Fernando Alonso was more than one second adrift of the Red Bull cars as he failed to make it into the final phase of qualifying despite the ushering in of a supposed new dawn at the British team following their switch from Honda to Renault power.

Alonso will line up in 11th, one place ahead of his team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne.

Reaction

Lewis Hamiltom: "You would think that with these results we have had it would start to feel like the norm, but it doesn't. My heart is racing. I am so happy with that lap. It was such a nice lap. I am always striving for perfection and that was as close as I could get."

Related F1 links

Like what you've read?
Help your friends Know It All by sharing this article to your social media.

Most Read

Our best bets for the latest round of Europa League games1

Europa League betting preview

The Europa League group stages reach their conclusion on Thursday night. Tom Carnduff has three best bets at 4/1, 9/1 and 16/1.

Check out our daily preview with tips for every race2

Thursday's racing preview

Nick Robson makes Mythical Madness one of his best bets and he has a tip for every race in the UK and Ireland.

Check out the latest Nap selection
3

Daily Nap: Moore profits

David Ord heads to Chelmsford's evening meeting for Thursday's nap and he's backing a Gary Moore-trained horse over a course and distance she's won over before.

Alexandra Palace hosts the PDC World Darts Championship4

PDC World Darts Championship draw

The draw, schedule, results & odds from the 2019 PDC World Darts Championship, which will take place at the Alexandrea Palace from December 13 to January 1.

Lil Rockerfeller knows his way around Cheltenham5

Friday's racing preview

Anita Chambers is backing Lil Rockerfeller to continue his progress over fences at Cheltenham - she has a tip for every race on every card.

Most Read

Our best bets for the latest round of Europa League games1

Europa League betting preview

The Europa League group stages reach their conclusion on Thursday night. Tom Carnduff has three best bets at 4/1, 9/1 and 16/1.

Check out our daily preview with tips for every race2

Thursday's racing preview

Nick Robson makes Mythical Madness one of his best bets and he has a tip for every race in the UK and Ireland.

Check out the latest Nap selection
3

Daily Nap: Moore profits

David Ord heads to Chelmsford's evening meeting for Thursday's nap and he's backing a Gary Moore-trained horse over a course and distance she's won over before.

Alexandra Palace hosts the PDC World Darts Championship4

PDC World Darts Championship draw

The draw, schedule, results & odds from the 2019 PDC World Darts Championship, which will take place at the Alexandrea Palace from December 13 to January 1.

Lil Rockerfeller knows his way around Cheltenham5

Friday's racing preview

Anita Chambers is backing Lil Rockerfeller to continue his progress over fences at Cheltenham - she has a tip for every race on every card.

Racing Tips

Check out the latest Nap selection

Daily Nap: Moore profits

David Ord heads to Chelmsford's evening meeting for Thursday's nap and he's backing a Gary Moore-trained horse over a course and distance she's won over before.

Check out our daily preview with tips for every race

Thursday's racing preview

Nick Robson makes Mythical Madness one of his best bets and he has a tip for every race in the UK and Ireland.

Don't miss Simon Holt's latest preview

Simon Holt: Centre stage

Theatre Territory is backed to finally come good over fences by Simon Holt, who has two tips for day one of the International meeting at Cheltenham.

Next Race Off

17:45 Chelmsford City
3
(6)
Divine Image
J: James Doyle
5
(2)
Jadeerah
J: Jim Crowley
14
(3)
Stratification
J: R Havlin

Football Tips

Our best bets for the latest round of Europa League games

Europa League betting preview

The Europa League group stages reach their conclusion on Thursday night. Tom Carnduff has three best bets at 4/1, 9/1 and 16/1.

Our best bets for Sheffield United v West Brom

Goals expected at Bramall Lane

Friday night football is set to be an entertaining one as Sheffield United welcome West Brom. Tom Carnduff has two best bets.

Sporting Life's Premier League preview

Entertainer at the Etihad

Man City host Everton in Saturday's early kick-off and George Pitts has two best bets for you to consider.