Hamilton Breaks Records to Oz Pole

Hamilton takes record 7th pole at Australian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel are expected to continue their fight for the Formula One title as the season begins with the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on Sunday.

Less than 0.3 seconds separated the fastest Mercedes, Red Bull, and Ferrari cars in the Albert Park circuit. "I think certainly we have a little bit in hand, I wasn't happy with the lap that I had and with the rhythm and the balance yet so there's more to come but I think that's probably the same for everyone else. It was such a nice lap", Hamilton said.

Fourth fastest, and quickest of the drivers who stayed on grooved tyres for the whole session, was Red Bull's Max Vestappen. "He has got four world titles which is the most of any driver in our time, so it is an exciting year for Formula 1 fans, in that we have two four-time world champions battling it out".

"Hopefully Ferrari and Red Bull will be in the mix, as Ferrari were last season and Red Bull were towards the end of a year ago. I use the same mode from Q2 to the end of Q3 so there was no extra button, no extra mode that I engaged in", Hamilton said. "That was a little bit of a punch in the stomach to everyone".

According to the BBC, Hamilton is driven by his desire to prove to the world what he already knows: that he is statistically better than the German - the only other four-time world champion on the grid. "But everyone else is hating it". The Finn went deep in Turn 1, touched the grass with his tyres and spun out of control in the second corner.

"Our vehicle is great. there's plenty to look forward to", he said. Bottas walked away without any injuries.

The new protection device has been met with a mixed reception, with Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff theatrically declaring he would take a chainsaw to the safety system if he could because of its weight.

Only three drivers ran slicks.

In fact, only four other drivers in Formula One history have managed to win at least 40 races throughout their entire career.

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It was a gamble that played off, Vettel going fastest at the flag with a 1m26.067s that left him more than two seconds clear of the rest of the field.

"What was surprising was to see how quick the Ferraris were". "They've obviously made an improvement to their power mode".

It looks like we'll be in for fine weather for Sunday's race. "As I said before, if it's close then it's good for everyone because it means that you're always sort of in range and you can do something".

"We approach tomorrow with a fighting spirit".

Further back, Haas continued their brilliant form with both Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean sailing through to the pole position shootout along with Renault's Carlos Sainz and Nico Hulkenberg.

Ricciardo believes Mercedes is still beatable, despite the speed Hamilton displayed in qualifying.

"I was waiting to put a good lap in so I could wipe the smile off your face", came the catty response from Hamilton. We have to establish if I lost some performance or they all gained.

During F1's previous season, the competition was very close between the top teams, especially in the first half.

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