since 2015 in knocking Bottas out of second place.
Hamilton’s pole time was 1.7 seconds quicker than his qualifying time last year.
“Third position is not ideal,” Bottas said. “In general I’m not happy for the result. But I’m proud of what the team have done.
“I only saw a very small part of the preparation and it’s nice to see the work has pulled off and we’re fighting at the front.”
Australia’s big hope Daniel Ricciardo crashed his Red Bull at turn 14 looking to post a good time in Q3 and will start 10th off the grid.
Ricciardo damaged the rear of his RB13 car and was heard over the team radio as saying: “I’m alright... sorry guys.”
The final session of qualifying was suspended while Ricciardo’s car was removed from the gravel alongside the track.
“He’s absolutely fine. It’s a shame. He’s lost the rear of the car at turn 14. He’s come on the radio and apologised. Just pushing a bit too hard in that corner,” team principal Christian Horner said.
Sergio Perez, Nico Hulkenberg, Fernando Alonso, Esteban Ocon and Marcus Ericsson all failed to make it through the top 10 shootout.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen had a lock-up into turn six on ultrasoft tyres before he posted a time to stay alive into Q2.
McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne had a fuel-flow issue which sent the Belgian to the pits and knocked out in Q1.
Vandoorne was joined by Antonio Giovinazzi, Kevin Magnussen, Lance Stroll and Jolyon Palmer to be eliminated in the first session of qualifying. AFP
MercedesAMG Petronas’ Lewis Hamilton rides in a car down the pit lane after qualifying fastest at the Australian Grand Prix yesterday.