By Alan Davies, Sports reporter
Saturday, March 17, 2012
FORMULA 1 star Lewis Hamilton will start the 2012 Australian Grand Prix from pole position as part of an all-Vodafone McLaren Mercedes front row in Melbourne.
The 27-year-old F1 racer from Hertfordshire bagged provisional pole in the third phase of qualifying around the Albert Park circuit with a blistering lap of 1m 24.922s.
That put him seven-tenths ahead of Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull after the first runs in Q3.
Jenson Button snatched second place on the grid with his second run to join his McLaren team-mate on the front row.
Button finished just a tenth behind Hamilton, who aborted his final lap having grabbed pole.
Frenchman Romain Grosjean was third for the Lotus F1 team in the final results, with Michael Schumacher fourth for Mercedes.
Mark Webber lines up fifth in the Red Bull after out-qualifying Vettel.
Red Bull’s reigning F1 world champion will start from sixth place on the grid ahead of Nico Rosberg.
Vettel said: “I think McLaren were out of reach today.”
Rosberg had topped the timesheets in Q2 for Mercedes ahead of team-mate Schumacher, with Hamilton and Button third and fourth respectively.
Both Ferrari drivers went out in Q2. Fernando Alonso beached his car in the gravel at the first turn and eventually finished 12th fastest.
Ferrari colleague Felipe Massa was down in 16th place.
The 2012 Australian Grand Prix starts tomorrow (Sunday) at 6pm GMT.