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  1. Lewis Hamilton secures pole position
  2. Vettel 2nd, Bottas 3rd, Raikkonen 4th
  3. Ricciardo crashes out
  4. Get involved: #bbcf1

Live Reporting

By Gary Rose

All times stated are UK

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He may have missed out on pole position, but Sebastian Vettel has every reason to smile. 

For the first time in a long time, Ferrari look close to Mercedes this season. Lewis Hamilton and Vettel battling it for the title? I'll have some of that.

That's it from us today, if you missed qualifying then have a read of Andrew Benson's report here 

See you tomorrow!

Get involved #bbcf1

Liam P Rayner: Impressed by @Anto_Giovinazzi in quali I'd love to see @RGrosjean teamed together in a mentorship & young driver combo  

Andrew Benson

Chief F1 writer in Melbourne

Alonso accepts 13th is positive in context but: “We are McLaren-Honda. If we are not in the top five, in the podium, the rest is losing time.”  

Don't be too downhearted, Ares, Fernando Alonso isn't. He's just posted on instagram to say he is very proud of his lap in Q2. 

They've come through the weekend so far without any major reliability dramas. Tomorrow will be a big test since they never managed to put the 2017 car through a full race distance during testing.

Get involved #bbcf1

Ares M: I so wanted improvement from #mclarenhonda so that Alonso could compete. Sadly getting excited over P13 is as good as it gets 

Closed the gap?

Just looking back to last year, Lewis Hamilton secured pole position with a time of 1:23.837. Sebastian Vettel qualified third, 0.8 seconds off Hamilton's time. This time the gap between the pair was 0.3s. Kimi Raikkonen was 1.2s off last year and 0.845 this year.

'At least it wasn't in Q1'

Daniel Ricciardo still manages a beaming smile as he is asked about what happened in the media pen, but it's clear from the tone of his voice that he is bitterly disappointed.

"Physically I am OK but emotionally it's tough," he said. "At least it wasn't in Q1. The lap in Q3 was a little messy, the turn caught me out, caught me by surprise. There was not a way catching that and saving it."

Ricciardo in action

Get involved #bbcf1

Josh Earlt: New F1 season, Hamilton on pole again. Absolutely faultless from Lewis, cut above the rest. Shame about Ricciardo.  

FakeJustnBieber: With Vettel on the front row, then get your money on him tomorrow, always fast starts from Ferrari & u can't overtake here.

Stronger than ever?

More from Lewis Hamilton: "Tomorrow is about putting in all the work that went on over winter. I will make sure I get a good night's sleep and come back stronger than ever."  

Valtteri Bottas' previous best start on the Australian GP grid was 15th. I think when he has a bit of time to reflect he can be pretty happy with his day. After looking way off yesterday he was just three tenths off Lewis Hamilton today. Solid.

'Tomorrow all that matters'

Valtteri Bottas, who qualified third: "Third is not ideal. In general I am not happy for the result but I am proud of what the team has done with this car. It is really nice to see the work has paid off and we are fighting at the front. It seems close this year but me personally I did not get any perfect laps in. Tomorrow is the day that matters. Our starts have been quite strong in practice."


'We can do something tomorrow'

Sebastian Vettel, who qualified second: "We have a good car, we are working well as a team and things are improving. 

"We had a mixed day yesterday but the confidence in the car was there from testing and we showed that today. I would have loved it but I don't think pole was up for grabs. 

"I think we can do something in the race tomorrow."


Lewis Hamilton, who secured pole position: "It has been a fantastic weekend so far. It feels like only yesterday I came here and had my first race here in 2007. Such an incredible journey. I am really proud of my team, the guys have worked so hard to make the car what it is today.

"Valtteri has done a great job and it is great for Mercedes. It is close between us all and it will be a tight race."


Mark Gallagher

BBC Radio 5 live Formula 1 analyst

Perfect job by Hamilton, great pole lap. Vettel was ace too, Bottas made errors on final run, pushing too hard perhaps. Silver & Red front row.

Ferrari on the front row for the first time since Singapore 2015. A great position for Sebastian Vettel to attack Lewis Hamilton on the run down to the first corner. 

It was always going to be tough to out qualify Mercedes, but they are looking there or thereabouts.

Qualifying 11-20

11) Sergio Perez 12) Nico Hulkenberg 13) Fernando Alonso 14) Esteban Ocon 15) Marcus Ericsson 16) Antonio Giovinazzi 17) Kevin Magnussen 18) Stoffel Vandoorne 19) Lance Stroll 20) Jolyon Palmer

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Mollie Ellen: Fantastic lap from @LewisHamilton ! Starting the season off on top, bring on the race tomorrow!  

Reece Young: Bottas goes P1. Hamilton shows him his place. Phenomenal lap from both Vettel and Hamilton.  

Rachel T: Absolutely superb from HAM. Seeing off the sandbaggers!   

Qualifying top 10

1) Lewis Hamilton 2) Sebastian Vettel 3) Valtteri Bottas 4) Kimi Raikkonen 5) Max Verstappen 6) Romain Grosjean 7) Felipe Massa 8) Carlos Sainz 9) Daniil Kvyat 10) Daniel Ricciardo

BBC Sport