MELBOURNE, Australia – Mercedes’ Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton has set a record-extending eighth pole for Sunday’s F1 GP here – his sixth in succession – with wingman Valtteri Bottas second.
And so laid to rest the views of all the naysayers and the hopes of a blindsided Ferrari for a faster Italian team. Seems to The Corner that Hamilton deliberately held back those vital few fractions of a second – and Ferrari fell for it.
Hamilton and Bottas were swopping fastest times but it was the Englishman’s record 1min20.486sec that showed the truth.
BAD DAY FOR RENAULT
The Brits’ time took him to a match for Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher for the record number of poles on one track.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel will be third on the grid, his new team-mate Charles Leclerc fifth behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen whose new wingman Pierre Gasly was out after Q1 and way down in 17th.
Worse was the result for Renault: neither car made it past Q2 with Nico Hulkenberg 11th, Daniel Ricardo 12th.
McLaren’s Newbie Lando Norris shone in the settings with eighth while partner Carlos Sains didn’t make it past Q1.
Toro Rosso’s Anglo-Thai debutant, Alexander Albon, will start 13th.