MELBOURNE: Lewis Hamilton took pole position with the fastest lap ever at Albert Park and will start the season-opening Australian Grand Prix at the front of the grid.
The times kept improving during the three practice sessions and the Mercedes driver's last flying lap in qualifying Saturday was 1 minute, 22.188 seconds. That lowered the mark Sebastian Vettel set in his Ferrari in the last of the three practice sessions, which was already lower than the previous quickest time in Melbourne he set here in taking pole position for the 2011 GP.
Vettel overhauled Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas for second spot in 1:22.456, but three-time world champion Hamilton had done enough to claim pole in Australia for the sixth time. Kimi Raikkonen was fourth in the second Ferrari.