It looks like the winter break has had no effect on the Mercedes AMG Formula One team, with star driver Lewis Hamilton starting his title defense by securing pole position for this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix season opener. The Briton’s fastest time was a 1:26.327 set in Q3.

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Starting by his side will be his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg, who was only slightly off the pace with a 1:26.921. Rounding out the top three was Williams’s Felipe Massa, whose fastest time was a 1:27.718.

Ferrari may prove a serious threat to the domination of Mercedes this season with its drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen securing the fourth and fifth positions respectively. Vettel was just a hair’s width behind Massa, having set a fastest time of 1:27.757. Räikkönen was close behind also with a 1:27.790.

Starting at sixth will be Williams’ other driver Valtteri Bottas, while seventh spot on the grid has gone to Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo, who suffered some technical problems today including a stall of his Renault power unit. Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz will start at eighth and then it is the two Lotus drivers, Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado, starting in ninth and tenth respectively.

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Unfortunately for Marussia drivers Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi, it has been confirmed that the recently revived team will not be competing this weekend. Also suffering a setback was McLaren, whose drivers Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen (filling in for Fernando Alonso), running under Honda power, will start at the back of the grid after a dismal performance in today's qualifying. It has also been confirmed that Sauber’s contracted drivers Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson will be driving for the Swiss team.

The weather is still looking good in Melbourne for tomorrow’s race. Last year’s winner was Rosberg; he will be fighting harder than ever this season after losing the title last year to Hamilton. We hope you enjoy the Australian race, and remember to tune in Monday for our full results coverage.


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