Leclerc takes pole position at Australian GP

Leclerc takes Australian GP pole

Charles Leclerc held off the Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez to take Australian GP pole ahead of the race tomorrow.

After an intriguing morning where Lando Norris topped FP3 and both Aston Martins of Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll crashed, normal service resumed in qualifiers with Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc trading leads for the pole.

Verstappen topped Q1 and Red Bull team mate Perez led Q2 before Ferrari regrouped and Leclerc found his FP1 pace to ace the top 10 shootout with a time of 1m 17.868s to keep Verstappen 0.286s at bay in P2.

Australian GP pole being the Ferrari drivers second of the season in three attempts.

Perez finished third by 0.372s while Lando Norris made use of his first Q3 appearance of the season in P4.

His team mate Daniel Ricciardo starting seventh at home grand prix.

In between the McLarens was Lewis Hamilton in P5 and George Russell in P6 – and behind Ricciardo was Esteban Ocon in P8.

Carlos Sainz finished a shock P9 for Ferrari, 1.540s off his team mate in Q3.

Fernando Alonso crashed out in Q3, a suspected hydraulics issue ending his sterling run, and lines up a provisional P10 for Alpine.

Pierre Gasly missed out on the top 10 shootout in P11 but ahead of Valtteri Bottas, whose streak of 103 Q3 appearances ended with P12 for Alfa Romeo.

Yuki Tsunoda, Zhou Guanyu, and Mick Schumacher all failed to make it out of Q2.

Williams’ Alex Albon (P16, but with a three-place grid drop from Jeddah hanging over him for Sunday) and Haas driver Kevin Magnussen (P17) failed to leave Q1 after a red flag halted proceedings late in that session.

Aston Martin’s troubles deepened when Lance Stroll collected Williams’ Nicholas Latifi at Turn 5 in Q1, sending both out of the first segment in awkward high-speed incident. They took a provisional 19th and 20th while stewards deliberate.

Sebastian Vettel’s repaired Aston Martin after his FP3 crash emerged after that red flag with two minutes remaining in Q1, jumping to P18 on the provisional grid.

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