MODE

Hamil­ton takes pole in style

New Straits Times - - Sport -

MEL­BOURNE

TRIPLE world cham­pion Lewis Hamil­ton will start off on pole in the sea­son-open­ing Aus­tralian Grand Prix af­ter win­ning qual­i­fy­ing yes­ter­day.

Hamil­ton in a MercedesAMG Petronas clocked a record lap of one minute 22.188 sec­onds to take his 62nd ca­reer pole and sixth in Aus­tralia into to­day’s race in Mel­bourne.

Fer­rari’s Se­bas­tian Vet­tel was sec­ond with Hamil­ton’s Mercedes team­mate Valt­teri Bot­tas third.

Hamil­ton has been on pole in Mel­bourne in each of the last four sea­sons, and in five out the last six Aus­tralian GPs.

“It’s been a fan­tas­tic week­end so far. I’m in­cred­i­bly proud of my team,” Hamil­ton said.

“Valt­teri did a great job and it’s great for us as Mercedes. It’s go­ing to be a tight race. The race is about putting all the work to­gether and mak­ing sure I come back stronger than ever.”

He was pushed in the fi­nal Q3 stage first by Bot­tas and then by Vet­tel be­fore clinch­ing the fastest lap.

“I lost a bit in turn one and in turn nine I tried a bit too much, but I don’t think it would have been enough,” said Vet­tel, who claimed Fer­rari’s first front row

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