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Summary

  1. Hamilton on pole, Bottas crashes heavily
  2. Raikkonen 2nd, Vettel 3rd, Verstappen 4th
  3. Both McLarens out in Q2, Sirotkin, Toro Rossos out in Q1

Live Reporting

By Gary Rose

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Post update

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    Lewis Hamilton will take a familiar position at the front of the pack in tomorrow's race, so are we in for more of the same?

    Until that stunning lap Ferrari and Red Bull had looked very close and both were close in the long runs during practice. And Hamilton has only once before turned pole into victory in Australia.

    It's far from a foregone conclusion so join us to see how the first race of 2018 unfolds tomorrow morning at 04:30 BST.

    Don't forget the clocks go forward!!

  2. What happened in qualifying?

    Andrew Benson

    BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer in Melbourne

    Lewis Hamilton pulled out a spectacular last-ditch lap to take a stunning pole position for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

    The world champion was nip and tuck with the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull's Max Verstappen until the final runs of the session only for Hamilton re-set perceptions of the possible to take pole by a massive 0.664 seconds.

    Vettel was pipped to second by Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen by just 0.01secs, with the Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo fourth and fifth.

    Hamilton's team-mate Valtteri Bottas crashed at the start of final qualifying and will start 10th at best.

  3. Post update

    You can check out more statistics and read Andrew Benson's take on the first qualifying session of the year here.

  4. Still work to do

    Lewis Hamilton's pole-to-win conversion rate isn't great in Australia, he has only turned one of his previous six pole positions into victory.

    Only two other drivers have taken pole at the circuit in the last decade - Sebastian Vettel (three) and Jenson Button (one).

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  5. Alonso happy

    Fernando Alonso may not have got involved in the top 10 shootout, but he is feeling positive about doing good things tomorrow from 11th.

    "I am happy," he said.

    "There is still a lot of performance in the car to unlock and I think McLaren will be quite strong in the coming races."

  6. Hamilton in party mode?

    Bit of needle in the post-qualifying news conference.

    Lewis Hamilton mentioned being in party mode after producing that sizzling lap. Asked about that, he said: “I can assure you we don’t have a party mode. I use the same mode from Q2 to the end of Q3. There was no extra button or mode I engaged in.”

    “What were you doing before then?," asks Sebastian Vettel.

    “I was waiting to put a good lap in and wipe the smile off your face," responds Hamilton.

  7. Post update

    Check out BBC Sport's Twitter moment on qualifying here.

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  8. Qualifying result

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  9. Get involved #bbcf1

    James Doe: Jeeeeeeeeeeeeez! Where did Lewis Hamilton find that from?! What an incredible lap!

    Josh Gribby: Hamilton continues to blow you away. What a lap.

    Addy YNWA: People should respect Lewis Hamilton from now on. What a driver.

  10. Post update

    Lewis Hamilton describes that lap - the fastest ever at Albert Park - as close to perfect as he can get. I think he's wrong, it was perfection because I can't see how he could have found more time. Stunning lap.

    View more on twitter
  11. 'We can be happy'

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    Sebastian Vettel, third quickest: "I think we can be happy. I wasn't happy yesterday but it got better in qualifying. I had a little moment in Turn 13 on the last lap. Shame Lewis had quite a big gap in the end but his lap was pretty good.

    "I hope they turned it on today as it means they will have to turn it off tomorrow. It is not the easiest place to overtake but you never know."

  12. 'A decent job'

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    Kimi Raikkonen, second quickest in qualifying: "It was a decent job, obviously the lap time difference is very big, but we have to be happy with where we're starting the race."

  13. 'Intense'

    Lewis Hamilton, who secured a record seventh pole position for the Australian Grand Prix: "You would think with these results we have had for years it would feel the norm but it doesn't. That was intense, my heart is racing. I am so happy with that lap.

    "What was surprising was to see how quick the Ferraris were."

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  14. Qualifying top 10

    1) Hamilton

    2) Raikkonen

    3) Vettel

    4) Verstappen

    5) Ricciardo

    6) Magnussen

    7) Grosjean

    8) Hulkenberg

    9) Sainz

    10) Bottas

  15. Chequered flag

    LEWIS HAMILTON SECURES POLE POSITION FOR THE AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX.

    Lewis Hamilton
  16. Post update

    No they can't Kimi Raikkonen is second quickest, six tenths of a second down on Lewis Hamilton. Sebastian Vettel is third quickest.

    When it mattered, Hamilton delivered and delivered in some style.

    Kimi Raikkonen
  17. Post update

    It's a 1:21.164 for Lewis Hamilton. What a lap! Surely no-one can touch that?

  18. Post update

    Lewis Hamilton is on his flying lap and he's FOUR tenths of a second up in the first sector!