Australian Grand Prix 2014: Lewis Hamilton takes pole position
Australian Grand Prix 2014: Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton takes pole position ahead of Daniel Ricciardo on his Red Bull debut
Lewis Hamilton grabbed a late pole position in a thrilling wet qualifying session at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
The Mercedes driver beat Daniel Ricciardo on his Red Bull debut by 0.317 seconds with the very last lap of the session.
Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg was third ahead of McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen in fourth and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso in fifth.
Defending world champion Sebastian Vettel had a scrappy qualifying session and ended up 13th.
I’m really happy for the job the team did
“It’s been an interesting weekend and today has made it so much harder for everyone with the conditions, but I’m really happy for the job the team did,” Hamilton said.
“These new cars are a lot harder to drive in the wet and it was the first time for me in the wet, as I’m sure it was for a lot of people. It’s great to be up here with Nico.”
Meanwhile, Vettel insisted that there were plenty of positives to take despite not making the top 10 shoot-out since the 2012 Belgian Grand Prix.
“I think we have made a big step forward with the car, but of course I’m not happy that we didn’t make it to Q3,” said Vettel.
“I think the car is quick, but we struggled this afternoon with drivability which, in these conditions, made it even worse.
“The car seems good and Daniel did a very good job to be on the front row, so congratulations to him.
“It’s going to be a long race tomorrow and reliability will be the most important thing to make it to the flag, but I think there will be lots of opportunities for us.”
Australian Grand Prix 2014: Qualifying times
1. Lewis Hamilton Britain Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 44.231s
2. Daniel Ricciardo Australia Red Bull-Renault 1m 44.548s
3. Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 44.595s
4. Kevin Magnussen Denmark McLaren-Mercedes 1m 45.745s
5. Fernando Alonso Spain Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 45.819s
6. Jean-Eric Vergne France Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m 45.864s
7. Nico Hulkenberg Germany Force India-Mercedes 1m 46.030s
8. Daniil Kvyat Russia Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m 47.368s
9. Felipe Massa Brazil Williams-Mercedes 1m 48.079s
10. Valtteri Bottas Finland Williams-Mercedes 1m 48.147s*
11. Jenson Button Britain McLaren-Mercedes 1m 44.437s
12. Kimi Raikkonen Finland Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 44.494s
13. Sebastian Vettel Germany Red Bull-Renault 1m 44.668s
14. Adrian Sutil Germany Sauber-Ferrari 1m 45.655s
15. Kamui Kobayashi Japan Caterham-Renault 1m 45.867s
16. Sergio Perez Mexico Force India-Mercedes 1m 47.293s
17. Max Chilton Briton Marussia-Ferrari 1m 34.293s
18. Jules Bianchi France Marussia-Ferrari 1m 34.794s
19. Esteban Gutierrez Mexico Sauber-Ferrari 1m 35.117s*
20. Marcus Ericsson Sweden Caterham-Renault 1m 35.157s
21. Romain Grosjean France Lotus-Renault 1m 36.993s
22. Pastor Maldonado Venezuela Lotus-Renault no time