Australian Grand Prix 2017
Lewis Hamilton (C) and Sebastian Vettel (R) will start from front row on Sunday Reuters

The season's first Formula 1 Grand Prix kickstarts at the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit in Albert Park, Australia on 26 March and Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton will be starting from pole position after setting the pace in the qualifying race on Sunday.

The Brit ensured Mercedes domination in the era of "faster and meaner cars" continued by clinching the pole in 1:22.188s, which was 0.268 faster than Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, who will start from the first row of the grid along with the former tomorrow. It was also the sixth pole for Hamilton in Australia, with which he has equalled F1 great Ayrton Senna's record Down Under.

Mercedes' new recruit Valtteri Bottas, who replaced 2016 champion Nico Rosberg, was impressive as well as finished with his best ever pole position in Melbourne (third) with just 0.025s separating him and Vettel. However, the 27-year-old Finnish driver revealed he was not happy with the third place after topping Q2 on Saturday morning.

The biggest disappointment of the day came when local driver of Red Bull, Daniel Ricciardo raced off the track to hit the wall at Turn 14 and ended up 10th on the grid. Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen will start alongside Bottas from second row as he finished fourth with 1:23.033s.

With Ricciardo suffering a crash, Max Verstappen saved Red Bull's blushes by finishing fifth and he was followed by Haas' Romain Grosjean. Williams' Felipe Massa finished seventh while Toro Rosso duo of Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat occupied the next two positions.

Qualifying results from Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix 2017

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes - 1:22.188s

Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Ferrari - 1:22.456s

Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Red Bull - 1:22.481s

Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Ferrari - 1:23.033s

Max Verstappen (Ned) Red Bull - 1:23.485s

Romain Grosjean (Fra) Haas - 1:24.074s

Felipe Massa (Bra) Williams - 1:24.443s

Carlos Sainz (Esp) Toro Rosso - 1:24.487s

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