Hamilton bags F1 pole to match Mansell’s record

Lewis Hamilton snatched pole in a rain hit Melbourne to make it 32 Formula 1 (F1) pole positions, equalling the record of fellow Brit Nigel Mansell.

Mercedes driver Hamilton set a time of 1:44.231, beating local favourite Daniel Ricciardo by three tenths of a second who had a good result on what is his first qualifying session for Red Bull.

On the other side of the garage, Sebastian Vettel will not by imitating Ricciardo’s trade mark smile. Thanks to Kimi Raikkonen spinning off and hitting the wall bringing out yellow flags for that sector, many cars had their best laps impeded – Vettel was the man most affected by the yellow qualifying 13th.

Focussing back on the sharper end of the grid, Nico Rosberg scored a decent third place to put himself ahead of the absolutely rapid Kevin Magnussen who scored an impressive fourth place in his first ever F1 qualifying session.

Magnussen’s team mate Jenson Button could only manage 11th but managed to get himself ahead of Raikkonen.

Ferrari power’s only representative in the top ten was Fernando Alonso who was less than one tenth of a second back from the McLaren but vitally ahead of the very strong pairing of Jean Eric-Vergne and Daniil Kvyat who finished sixth and eighth respectively for Toro Rosso.

One team that got a good result, and nailed on Mercedes as the top engine suppliers was Williams, who claimed ninth and tenth for Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas but the team must have been rueing what might have been after a strong few weeks of testing before heading to Australia.

Another team who will definitely want to forget that qualifying ever happened was Lotus, both their drivers prop up the field thanks to mistiming their qualifying runs for when it started to rain and the pair seeing more gravel than track.