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Summary

  1. Hamilton on pole, Rosberg 2nd, Massa 3rd
  2. Vettel 4th, Raikkonen 5th, Bottas 6th
  3. Ricciardo 7th, Sainz 8th, Grosjean 9th, Maldonado 10th
  4. Kvyat out for Red Bull, McLarens out in Q1
  5. Manor will not race on Sunday
  6. Van der Garde drops Sauber dispute
  7. McLaren do not know when Alonso will return

Live Reporting

By Gary Rose

All times stated are UK

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Lewis Hamilton
AP

The last driver to win the season opener after ending the previous year with a victory was Sebastian Vettel in 2010-2011. He, of course, went on to smash aside all before him, winning 11 races on his way to the title. Can reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton replicate that feat and start the season as he no doubt means to go on?

Catch highlights of qualifying on BBC One at 12:50 GMT and join us tomorrow for build-up and coverage of the Australian Grand Prix from 03:30 GMT. See you then!

Lewis Hamilton
Getty Images

More from Felipe Massa, who will start third: "It is very good to be back in the game and I am happy to start in the best position our car could start in.

"Ferrari is very strong, much stronger than the last race of the season, and tomorrow we will expect to have a big fight with them."

More from Nico Rosberg, who will start second: "Not a good day, I didn't get my sectors together. The pace was there, so that bothers me a lot. Lewis drover like a champion today. But I'm thankful for such an awesome car - I was still safely second, even on a bad day. On Friday I was quicker - but maybe that is irrelevant now…

"If the opportunity comes tomorrow I'll take it. If it is colder tomorrow then the softer tyre will disintegrate - maybe that will help."

Rookies ready to rumble?

Max Verstappen
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Sixty one drivers have scored on their debuts, the most recent being Kevin Magnussen and Daniil Kvyat last year. Can Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen take that number to 64? They start from eighth and 12th on the grid respectively.

McLaren will start from the back of the grid tomorrow and Jenson Button said: "You have to look at winter testing where we ran low fuel and we were slow there so it's no real shock that we are that far back.

"But when you drive the car you are surprised at how far back you are because the car feels reasonable. For me its a very good base with which to build McLaren Honda on.

"I like where we are in terms of philosophy of the downforce and how the car responds to my input."

More from Lewis Hamilton: "All year you never know what to expect when it comes to the race weekend. I feel very, very happy with the job I was able to do but also the job the team has done. I got everything and more.

"To be able to have this performance today has given me a lot of confidence. I feel really excited for tomorrow and energised."

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff: "It was the perfect Saturday but we must be careful about talking about winning a Formula 1 race. It is about letting those two battle it out in a positive way. Sebastian Vettel was very strong, as were the Williams. As much we cab be confident with sheer pace, this is still motorsport."

Formula 1
Formula 1

Mercedes: An audience with David Coulthard & Suzi Perry for Lewis Hamilton now, talking through his pole lap. What a lap it was...

Sebastian Vettel
Getty Images

Sebastian Vettel equalled Ferrari's best qualifying result from all of 2014 with fourth place.

Pirelli: Great qualifying performance from Lewis Hamilton: more than a second faster than 2013, when the cars were still using V8 engines.

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Clayton Cook: So if the cars are 3 seconds faster this year, Honda not too bad considering first competitive run. Still learning, long road ahead

Lee Smith: Stunning performance. @MercedesAMGF1 seem to be further ahead than last season, could they win them all?

Chloe Osterloff: Sure sign that winter is over: #bbcf1 is backing starting with #AusGP tomorrow!

FIA
FIA

We might be staring at another Mercedes-dominated title battle, but the inter-team relations will no doubt prove fascinating once again.

It might just be me, but this looks like a textbook 'awkward arm around the shoulder' moment between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.

massa
AP

A great result for Felipe Massa as he qualified third, but he will likely breathe a little easier if negotiations the first corner without any drama. He has crashed or spun at that point on four occasions (2002, 2006, 2008, 2014).

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Daniel Day: YES @LewisHamilton in pole position tomorrow, the race is going to be good

Alex Smith: Lewis Hamilton well and truly smashed it, are we back in 2014?

Lewis Walsham: Excellent stuff from Hamilton to take pole! It's a fight for the podium between Ferrari and Williams tomorrow

Lewis Hamilton
Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton has not won the Australian Grand Prix since the year of his first world championship win in 2008, but you have to fancy him to add win number two tomorrow.

Lotus
Getty Images

Almost 1.4 seconds separates Lewis Hamilton from third-place Felipe Massa. Quite the gap as Hamilton immediately lays down a marker in the title race.

reuters
Reuters

Jenson Button has sadly got exactly what he did not want, McLaren starting at the back of the grid. Having failed to take to the track at any point this weekend - including qualifying - Manor will not be racing tomorrow. On to Malaysia...

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Reece Young: @LewisHamilton laying down a huge marker in the early stages of the title race

Justin Turner: The great news is that the Brits are dominating #F1 again. One at the front of the grid, one at the back!

Emma Price: Not looking good for McLaren this season, as expected. One horse Mercedes race? Let's hope not

Felipe Massa, who qualified third: "It was a very tricky qualifying, especially when four cars are fighting for similar times. The difference in lap times between me, Seb, Kimi, and Valtteri, is pretty small.

Williams
Williams

"I'm happy, I did a good lap, the best lap of the day. It wasn't so easy with the wind changing. I prepared everything for the last try and it worked. There will be a fight tomorrow with Ferrari especially and I hope we do a good job."

Nico Rosberg, who qualified second: "Lewis was on impressive form today. He absolutely nailed it so well done to him. For me, it wasn't a great day today but I am thankful to the team for the car they have given me. It really is a pleasure to drive.

"I have to live with the performance in P2 but tomorrow is a long day."

More from Lewis Hamilton: "We had a difficult start to the season last time we were here so we are definitely hoping for a better start and for both cars to succeed tomorrow. There is a lot of work still to be done and hopefully a good fight with Nico."

Lewis Hamilton, who will start on pole in the Australian Grand Prix: "It has been a great start to the weekend. It doesn't feel like a long time since the last race. We found a good balance today and it was just about pushing those laps. It is so much fun in qualifying pushing those single laps."

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Ethan Robinson: Williams have gone under the radar a little - fantastic qualifying session.

Wasiyullah Budye: Hamilton on Pole for #AusGP. The champ was absolutely flying out there. Good news for #TeamLH

Fast facts

Mercedes have locked out the front row at the last nine consecutive races.

Felipe Massa qualifies in the top three for the first time at Melbourne in his career.

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Byron FOXX Mubaiwa: Lap time by @LewisHamilton MIGHTY!

Henry Bayne: Go HAM

Rian Hoskins: Vettel to Ferrari could be compared to Hamilton to Mercedes. Seems wrong when announced but turns out to be the right move.

Qualifying result

1) Lewis Hamilton 2) Nico Rosberg 3) Felipe Massa 4) Sebastian Vettel 5) Kimi Raikkonen 6) Valtteri Bottas 7) Daniel Ricciardo 8) Carlos Sainz 9) Romain Grosjean 10) Pastor Maldonado

11) Felipe Nasr 12) Max Verstappen 13) Daniil Kvyat 14) Nico Hulkenberg 15) Sergio Perez 16) Marcus Ericsson 17) Jenson Button 18) Kevin Magnussen

James Allen

BBC Radio 5 live commentator

"Hamilton is on a different planet."

Chequered flag

hamilton
AP

LEWIS HAMILTON SECURES POLE POSITION FOR THE AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX

Nico Rosberg is round with a 1:26.921 but it is not going to be good enough, over a half a second off Lewis Hamilton's benchmark.

Hope for Nico Rosberg as Lewis Hamilton reports vibration on his tyres again.

Allan McNish

BBC Radio 5 live analyst

"If Nico Rosberg can tidy up the first sector then there is a chance. If he does not do that, then there is no chance."

The tyre covers come off and out roll the cars for the final two minutes. Here we go...

Mercedes: Not how Nico Rosberg would have wanted to kick off Q3 we're sure - but there's still time..

Allan McNish

BBC Radio 5 live analyst

"Lewis Hamilton is in the sweet seat. What a lap that was."

Sebastian Vettel is second fastest after the first runs with a 1:27.757, followed by Felipe Massa, Kimi Raikkonen, Pastor Maldonado, Daniel Ricciardo, Romain Grosjean and Carlos Sainz.

Lewis Hamilton is up and running with a 1:26.419 and lays down the marker to the rest of the top 10.

Nico Rosberg's hopes of bettering that are hit as he goes off at the penultimate corner. He now has one chance to try and snatch pole.

Valtteri Bottas has to abort his lap as he locks up into turn one. "The bite of the brakes is not good" he says over team radio.

Allan McNish

BBC Radio 5 live analyst

"Now the cars are all streaming out. Bottas, Grosjean, Maldonado are all out on the circuit, Hamilton is just taking the tyre covers off and will enter the circuit soon."

Final qualifying starts

Here we go then. The top-10 shoot-out is under way and in 12 minutes we will know who will start the Australian Grand Prix on pole.

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Robert Skuriat: Really nice of @McLarenF1 taking some pressure off @Manor_F1team by taking their place at the back of the grid.

James Humberstone: Come on Bottas. Big push for the second row now.

Andrew Griffiths: Lotus quietly getting on with it.