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Hamilton breaks lap record, secure pole as Ricciardo crashes

Triple-time world champion Lewis Hamilton has secure pole position for the Australian grand prix as local hero Daniel Ricciardo crashed in final qualifying Q3.

Mercedes ace, the Brit also claimed a new lap record at Albert Park during qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix. This is Hamilton’s 62nd career pole position.

Ferrari speedy, Sebastian Vettel fends off Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas for second spot in 1:22.456. Kimi Raikkonen was fourth in the second Ferrari.

Daniel Ricciardo will have his work cut out for him at the season-opening F1 grand prix in Melbourne after spinning out in qualifying.

The Aussie was ninth and fifth in the first two qualifying sessions respectively, but pushed a bit too hard in Q3 and, in his own words, “lost it” and ended up with his backside in the wall.

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.”

Fernando Alonso made it through Q1 but was forced to pit midway through Q2 after complaining of a power problem, continuing the reliability woes that plagued McLaren during the off-season. His rookie team mate Stoffel Vandoorne also suffered a problem in Q1 and will start 18th.

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