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Summary

  1. Hamilton on pole, Bottas 2nd, Vettel 3rd
  2. Big gap from Hamilton to Vettel - seven tenths of a second
  3. Brit Norris 8th for McLaren
  4. Get involved #bbcf1

Live Reporting

By Niamh Lewis

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. See you tomorrow...

    ...bright eyed and bushy tailed for our first race of the season.

    Cheerio.

    Hamilton
  2. The secret aerodynamicist reveals design concepts

    Formula 1 cars are fast. That is taken as read. But exactly how fast they are is perhaps not something people dwell on too often.

    I am one of the people who does that. I am a senior aerodynamicist for an F1 team and I hope to try to explain to you some of the secrets behind F1 cars.

    I can't tell you my name, or where I work, because my team would not want me to be doing this. F1 is a secretive world. So let's just call me The Secret Aerodynamicist.

    In this first column, I am going to explain how the two cars expected to battle for this year's world championship differ in a crucial aspect of aerodynamic philosophy - and how it could mean that, although Ferrari have looked very strong in pre-season testing, they might find themselves down a dead end when it comes to developing and improving their car through the season.

    Read the column.

    The secret aerodynamicist
  3. Find out more about George Russell

    Video content

    Video caption: Falling in love with racing, doing your washing & special 63 - meet F1's George Russell
  4. Hamilton on pole

    Andrew Benson

    BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer in Melbourne

    Bottas, Hamilton, Vettel

    Lewis Hamilton pipped Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas to pole position at the season-opening Australian GP.

    Hamilton was behind the Finn going into the final runs in qualifying but edged ahead by 0.112 seconds to take his sixth consecutive pole at Albert Park.

    Hamilton was a massive 0.704secs quicker than Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in third, just ahead of new Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

    British rookie Lando Norris took a superb eighth on his debut for McLaren.

    And George Russell, the other British rookie, was 19th, well ahead of his Williams team-mate Robert Kubica.

    Read the report.

  5. In other news...

    Fernando Alonso's Toyota team has won the World Endurance Championship race in Sebring, USA.

    View more on twitter
  6. We'll leave it there

    We'll be back from 03:30 GMT tomorrow, with the race start at 05:10 GMT.

    What a brilliant qualifying session to start the season off with.

    The rookies and the newbies tested the experienced, and some of the midfield cars were right up there in the mix. But it wasn't a great day for everyone.

    There were some technical problems for Red Bull, some speed problems for Williams, some Kubicas getting in the way for Carlos Sainz, and then some just-not-a-good-day problems for the two Renault drivers Hulkenberg and Ricciardo.

    Here's some things for you to look at before the race tomorrow...

    We have our qualifying podcast which will be available to download shortly, and some analysis from Andrew Benson on all you need to know about this grand prix in Australia.

  7. Our line-up tomorrow

    Race start 05:10 GMT tomorrow

    Aussie Grid
  8. How will they fare tomorrow?

    Last year, Hamilton took pole but Vettel won the race.

    As Sebastian said in his post-qualifying interview, it's not over until there's a chequered flag.

    hamilton on pole
    Bottas and Hamilton
    Image caption: Hamilton and Bottas lock-out the front row with Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen behind
  9. Get Involved

    Your reaction to qualifying in Melbourne #bbcf1

    SGJ: Where’s the crazy Helmut Marko? I thought he said Mercedes were behind both Ferrari and Redbull.

    Lady T: Wow, congratulations Hammy, you own that track but let's hope no errors from Mercedes like in the past so he can bring it home for the win. Thank you F1 2019 definitely more exciting. Norris too ..wow. Now let's hope for lots of overtaking please

    Ricardo da Silva: Mercedes works as if Ferrari were a threat to them. Ferrari behaves as if they were a threat to Mercedes

  10. Post update

    Lando Norris, speaking to Sky Sports on his Q3 performance says: "I enjoyed it to a point. I was so nervous that it almost ruined the enjoyment. Enjoyment comes once I know I can complete a fast lap - that's what makes me happy, to see it all work and see a good qualifying session.

    "We had three runs and used three sets of softs our aim was just to try and get it to Q2 but we pushed and got it to Q3. It's massive to see that it is possible to do it and in some ways we've moved forward form last year - not that much but I feel I've maximized it as much as possible and we still need to do a lot of work to maintain these Q3's, today isn't a one off."

  11. Post update

    Kimi Raikkonen, speaking to Sky Sports: "I bit disappointed the car had good speed but I didn't put a good enough lap together. We'll try to improve tomorrow."

  12. Get Involved

    Lewis Hamilton takes pole in Melbourne #bbcf1

    Ian Jones: Death. Taxes. HAM-BOT-VET.

    Michael Rand: Wow the gap between Mercedes and Ferrari is astronomical. Couple that with Vettel always bottling it against Hamilton, could be an interesting season. Plus, there is Leclerc for Vettel to also worry about.

    Josh Earle: Lando 8th on the grid, exceptional!

  13. 'I need to keep both feet on the ground'

    Mercedes team principal, Toto Wolff speaking to Sky Sports, says: "I’m really overwhelmed after testing, it didn’t look like this at all - the team have done a great job as we pulled in everything we had. It's unbelievable really, but I need to keep both feet on the ground.

    "It’s one of Lewis’ fave tracks so it was a really great start for him. Reliability laws are always above us and we need to get a good start off line."

  14. Post update

    Sebastian Vettel, who starts P3 tomorrow says: "Of course I think we can, you never know what's happening. The race is over when there's a chequered flag we have a good car and a good strategy we are here to race so we'll see what happens tomorrow."

    Sebastian Vettel
  15. Well that was interesting

    This is Hamilton's eighth pole. Second to that is Mika Hakkinen who had three at this circuit. That's a huge gap, so it seems inevitable that Hamilton would collect it once more today.

  16. 'It was fun'

    Valtteri Bottas, who qualified in second: "We really made some good progress, I had a difficult practice three and we turned things around for the qualifying.

    "The Q3 lap one was really good, I enjoyed that. Fortunately it wasn't enough for pole but Lewis did a great job at the end and I struggled a bit in the first sector on the second run.

    "Anyway, it was fun and I look forward to tomorrow."