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  • Posted March 15, 2014 by

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    Hamilton takes opening pole in Australia

    MELBOURNE, Australia- Following the failure of his system in the opening practice session, followed by much improvement with the fastest time later on Friday, Lewis Hamilton kept things rolling as one of the favorites by taking pole position on a wet Saturday afternoon with a 1:01:44 fastest time for Sunday’s opening Grand Prix of Australia at Albert Park. Home hero Daniel Riccardo took second, while Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate, Nico Rosberg, finished in third.
    "It was very tough.” Hamilton said afterwards. “Today was the first day at least for myself in the wet with this car. So much more power, so much more wheelspin. It was the toughest I've ever had to drive in in the wet in terms of how difficult it was,"
    It was difficult right at the beginning of the 1st qualifying period, as the rain began to arrive halfway through the session. For Max Chilton, it was a big disappointment as the Briton just missed putting his Marussia into the second session. Typical 1st session finishers from not only Marussia, but also Estaban Gutierrez, who finished near the back due to an engine change in his Sauber. Kamui Kobyaschi advanced in his Caterham, but teammate Marcus Ericsson failed to do so. Even worse was the performance from both Lotus drivers, as Romain Grosjean finished in 21st and teammate Pastor Maldonado never even turned out a lap. Since the Venezuelan failed to make the 107 percent rule, it is debatable whether or not he will start Sunday’s race.
    Session two was just as crazy as Kimi Raikkonen crashed his Ferrari coming out of a dry line at turn three. Because of this, traffic which included Sebastian Vettal and Jenson Button, could not turn out fastest laps and were excluded from advancing to the third and final round of qualifying.
    But Hamilton despite the bad weather, managed to just edge out Riccardo and Rosberg by just three tenths of a second, while McLaren rookie Kevin Magnussen was impressive in fourth. Fernando Alonso finished in fifth in his Ferrari, while Jean-Eric Vergne managed sixth. Nico Hulkenberg was seventh in his Force India, and Russian rookie Dani Kyvat was another first year driver that impressed with eighth. Williams teammates Felipe Massa and Valterri Bottas rounded out the top ten.
    Tomorrow’s race expects to be unpredictable and hopefully, there will be good weather to debut what could be a very exciting and interesting season.
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