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Thread: Australian Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton snatches pole as Sebastian Vettel flops

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    The Lone Ranger Lieutenant General rishabhd's Avatar
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    Default Australian Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton snatches pole as Sebastian Vettel flops

    Lewis Hamilton snatched pole position from Australia`s Daniel Ricciardo in the dying seconds of a thrilling Australian Grand Prix qualifying session Saturday, as world champion Sebastian Vettel failed to make the top 10.

    Ricciardo, preparing for his first race with Red Bull, stormed to the top of the field as the clocked ticked down to zero, before he was trumped by Mercedes` Hamilton in a flying last lap in driving rain.

    The 2008 world champion`s German team-mate, Nico Rosberg, placed third, with McLaren rookie Kevin Magnussen fourth and Ferrari`s Fernando Alonso fifth in the season`s first qualifying session.

    But there was a sensational miss for Vettel, seeking his fifth straight world title and record 10th consecutive race win, who failed even to reach the final qualifying shoot-out and placed 13th.

    Vettel had been struggling in his Red Bull car and he was held up in Q2 after Ferrari`s Kimi Raikkonen hit a wall, prompting yellow flags ordering drivers to slow down.

    It was the first time since Abu Dhabi in 2012 that Vettel has missed Q3, and Hamilton`s pole position ends Red Bull`s run of eight consecutive races after the Belgian Grand Prix in August.

    "It was tricky conditions, for some reason we had more problems today than we had yesterday... the speed is there so we`ll see what it (the car) can do tomorrow," Vettel said.

    "It`s a long race, anything can happen we`ve seen this year so far that with these cars anything is possible so especially in the race I think there will be plenty of opportunities, so we`ll see what we get."

    Vettel will be in good company halfway down the grid after former world champions Raikkonen and Jenson Button of McLaren also failed to reach the final qualifying shoot-out.

    Raikkonen nosed into a wall and came to a stop, while Button, who had claimed two previous poles in Melbourne, was 11th quickest and just missed out on Q3.

    Lotus had a nightmare first outing of the season when both their drivers, Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado, went out in Q1.

    Rain lashed the circuit 10 minutes into qualifying, sending fans scurrying for their umbrellas and rain jackets.

    And there was a mighty roar when Australia`s Ricciardo appeared to have taken pole, before Hamilton stole it back at the death.
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    The Lone Ranger Lieutenant General rishabhd's Avatar
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    Default Vettel's winning streak ends in Australia




    Vettel's retirement snapped a winning streak that started at the Belgian Grand Prix in August.
    Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton, the last driver to beat Vettel when he won the Hungarian Grand Prix in July, also retired on Sunday with an engine problem.
    "On the second formation lap already we lost power," Vettel told Britain's Sky television.
    "We didn't understand why and then basically I had no power from the start. The cars kept passing me. I was down. We tried to recover as much as we could.
    "At some stage I thought there was a slight improvement but obviously we realised there was a bigger problem with the engine for some reason. I think it looked like we lost a couple of cylinders," explained the German.





    Sunday's race was the first for Formula One's new V6 turbo engine with its complicated energy recovery systems and Red Bull had arrived in Melbourne with a big question mark over their Renault power unit after problems in testing.
    "When you don't have the power from the engine, you can't make the whole system function properly and then you lose even more power and so we had to stop." said Vettel.
    "No doubt we'll fix these issues. The question is how soon," he added.
    "We are working hard...obviously we started a bit on the back foot but we've learned this weekend an awful lot. We also learned the car is quick so if the package comes together I think we are very competitive."




    Pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton retired from the Australian Formula One Grand Prix on his third lap of the Albert Park circuit after an engine problem on Sunday.
    The 29-year-old Mercedes driver, fastest in Saturday qualifying, was told to retire over his team radio due to a reliability problem and duly pitted, removing the steering wheel after parking up.
    "I think I was driving on five cylinders," Hamilton told Britain's Sky television. "It's a bit unfortunate but that's racing."




    Formula One started a new engine era in Melbourne, the first race for the V6 turbo units with energy recovery systems that have replaced the old V8s.
    Mercedes had arrived as clear favourites after their engine had looked the most reliable in pre-season testing, with Hamilton and German team mate Nico Rosberg putting in plenty of laps and carrying out race simulations without problem.
    Hamilton said the pace of the car was one of the positives from the weekend.
    "We will recover from this, it's only a small hiccup. There's a long way to go still," he added. "At the moment I'm not concerned about anything."











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