Formula One: Hamilton storms to pole with a mammoth 0.664 gap

   Apr 12,2022

Lewis scores the pole for the Australian GP with Kimi Raikkonen locking the front row for the season opener in Melbourne


Hamilton crushed the field with his final hot lap of the day, breaking the all-time track record with a 1:21.164 to clinch a record seventh career pole in Australia.

Kimi Raikkonen emerged as Hamilton's nearest rival in P2, but both he and Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel were six tenths behind the dominant Brit.

Max Verstappen, who had been just over half-a-tenth off Hamilton after the first Q3 runs, ended up third after losing the rear through the Turn 13 right-hander ahead of Red Bull Racing teammate Daniel Ricciardo. While ultrasofts were the tyres of choice for the rest of the field throughout qualifying, the two RBR drivers will start on the supersofts, having used them to set their Q2 times.

Bottas ended up 10th after crashing at Turn 2 on his first flying lap in Q3. The Mercedes driver hit the inside kerb at Turn 1, which appeared to push him deep mid-corner and meant he skimmed the damp grass with his left-rear wheel.

He attempted to hold it through the second part of the right/left, but lost the rear and backed into the wall, coming to rest in the middle of the track.

Fernando Alonso was eliminated in Q2 after failing to improve on his second run, having a moment in Turn 3 and ending up three-tenths slower than his earlier attempt. That was still enough to put him 11th ahead of McLaren-Renault teammate Stoffel Vandoorne.

Williams, Toro Rosso and Sauber were the teams who looked vulnerable heading into qualifying and that came to fruition in Q1; Brendon Hartley, Marcus Ericsson, Charles Leclerc, Sergey Sirotkin and Pierre Gasly were all knocked out.


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