Hamilton wins Australian Grand Prix pole

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 17, 2012

VALENCIA, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 02: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and McLaren Mercedes faces questions from the media in the paddock during winter testing at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit on February 2, 2010 in Valencia, Spain. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Lewis Hamilton led a 1-2 McLaren finish Saturday by winning the pole position for Formula One's season-opening Australian Grand Prix. Hamilton qualified in 1 minute, 24.922 seconds on the Albert Park circuit, one-tenth of a second ahead of teammate Jenson Button. This is the first all-McLaren front row since 2009. Hamilton has won 20 poles during his career, the 13th driver in F1 history to do so. He is tied with Fernando Alonso and Damon Hill. ''It's a fantastic feeling to be back here, and it's an incredible start to the season,'' Hamilton said. ''It was a tremendous job from the team to get us to this point. We've had a couple of tough years, but we never seem to give up.'' Four of the past five winners in Melbourne have started from the pole, boosting Hamilton's hopes for Sunday's race. Lotus' Romain Grosjean was a surprise third. Mercedes' Michael Schumacher qualified fourth, ahead of the Red Bull pair of Mark Webber and world champion Sebastian Vettel. It was a dismal day for Ferrari, with Alonso spinning into a gravel trap early in the second session and qualifying in 12th place, while Felipe Massa fared even worse, qualifying 16th. Kimi Raikkonen, making a comeback, was 18th for Lotus. Mercedes' Nico Rosberg qualified seventh, and Williams' Pastor Maldonado was an impressive eighth. Nico Hulkenberg was ninth for Force India. and Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the top 10. Button said he was ''quite surprised'' by the gap of about two-thirds of a second to the Red Bulls after Vettel dominated last season. ''Red Bull are always competitive, we should never forget that,'' Button said. ''But we are going to enjoy this and hope we have a great race.'' Grosjean was competing for the first time at the Albert Park circuit. The Frenchman was expected to spend the season in the shadow of Raikkonen, but the 2011 GP2 champion showed he had put behind him his troubled time in F1 in 2009. ''A few people believed in me in the toughest times and today I am back almost at the top,'' Grosjean said. The HRTs failed to qualify for Sunday, with neither car coming within the required 7 percent of the best time in the first qualifying session. Off the track, Mercedes' wing system was questioned. Lotus wants a definitive ruling from the sport's governing body. The Mercedes system channels air from the rear wing to the front wing to increase downforce.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Cult of Sport: Before there was Ezekiel Elliott, there was Eric Dickerson
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Pablo Sandoval appears to have lost a lot of weight

Syracuse fan drains $5K shot, high-fives Dino Babers

LeBron not interested in hashing things out with Phil Jackson

Report: Matt Rhule to be new head football coach at Baylor

Report: Pierre-Paul visiting surgeon to discuss groin injury

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Julius Peppers talks future, potential retirement

Joe McKnight shooter charged with manslaughter

Thompson wishes he played in 4th, could have scored 80

LISTEN: Kevin Harlan saves MNF again by doing play-by-play of two idiots on the field

Jets security guards make best tackles of the night on fan rushing field

NFL changes stance, Titans and Browns can participate in ‘My Cause My Cleats’ campaign

MLB Winter Meetings report, Day 1: News, notes and rumors

The five 2016 Heisman finalists: How do they measure up?

Box Score 12/6: Klay Thompson and the ball of fire

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Sporting life: Gifts for real fans (that aren't ugly NFL sweaters)

The good, bad, and ugly from NFL Week 13

Championship Week as explained by Diana Ross

Cult of Sport: Before there was Ezekiel Elliott, there was Eric Dickerson

MLB Winter Meetings primer: Every team's trade temperature on the hot stove

James Franklin, Penn State come up roses

Six NFL quarterbacks who will start for other teams in 2017

Best of Yardbarker: CFB Championship Week chaos

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Winter Meetings report, Day 1: News, notes and rumors

The five 2016 Heisman finalists: How do they measure up?

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Sporting life: Gifts for real fans (that aren't ugly NFL Christmas sweaters)

The good, bad, and ugly from NFL Week 13

Championship Week as explained by Diana Ross

Cult of Sport: Before there was Ezekiel Elliott, there was Eric Dickerson

Winter Meetings primer: Every team's trade temperature on the hot stove

James Franklin, Penn State come up roses

Final College Football Playoff rankings: Alabama reigns

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker