Max Verstappen won the pole position at the Australian Grand Prix Qualifying, beating Lewis Hamilton and George Russell. Verstappen’s Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez crashed out in Q1, making the reigning world champion an overwhelming favourite for pole. Despite this, challenging weather conditions allowed Mercedes to pose a surprise challenge. Hamilton was just nine thousandths of a second behind Verstappen after the first set of runs in Q3.
However, Verstappen secured a clear 0.2s advantage in the closing moments and finished with a time of 1:16.732. Russell surprised by securing a place on the front row, out-qualifying his team-mate Hamilton for the third time in the current season. Fernando Alonso finished fourth for Aston Martin, while his team-mate Lance Stroll finished sixth.
Verstappen expressed happiness at his win, stating that the weekend was tough to get the tires ready to push straight away, but the last run was very good. He believed that they would have a good race car but would have to deal with the tricky task of keeping the tyres alive