Mercedes ace Lewis Hamilton has taken pole position for the Australian grand prix as local hope Daniel Ricciardo crashed in qualifying.
BET: Place your BET on the Australian Grand Prix HERE!
Hamilton logged the fastest-ever lap of Melbourne’s Albert Park circuit in Saturday’s qualifying session, with Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel and Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas the next quickest.
But Australia’s Ricciardo spun out of control and crashed into a barrier, damaging to the rear of his car.
Ricciardo was 10th-fastest in qualifying but could slip further back on the starting grid depending on what repairs are needed – a potential gear box replacement would incur a five-spot penalty.
Ricciardo apologised to his team over the car radio after spinning out while taking a regulation corner.
His Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner said the Australian driver was not injured.
“It’s a shame, unfortunately he has just lost the rear of the car,” Horner said.
“He was obviously pushing that little bit too hard in that corner.
“The car is in a bit of a mess.”
Hamilton clocked a new record time of one minute 22.188 seconds to ensure he starts Sunday’s race from the front of the grid.
The Englishman will start an Australian grand prix from pole for the sixth time, equalling the all-time record for poles in the Australian event held by Ayrton Senna.
Ferrari’s Vettel (1:22.456) and Bottas (1:22.481) were followed by Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Haas’ Romain Grosjean.