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Formula One: Hamilton on pole, Vettel out of the top 10 in Melbourne

Published on Mar 15, 2014 7:24 PM
 
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain takes a corner during the qualifying session of the Formula One Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, on March 15, 2014. Hamilton captured pole position for Mercedes for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in a thrilling finish to a rain-hit qualifying session on Saturday, while Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel failed to make the top 10. -- PHOTO: AFP

MELBOURNE (REUTERS) - Lewis Hamilton captured pole position for Mercedes for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in a thrilling finish to a rain-hit qualifying session on Saturday, while Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel failed to make the top 10.

Hamilton saved the best for last with his final lap of a gloomy session after Australian Daniel Ricciardo had stormed to the top of the timesheets only seconds earlier on his first race weekend for champions Red Bull.

The 29-year-old Briton's time of one minute 44.231 seconds on a greasy Albert Park track was just over three-tenths of a second faster than Ricciardo, who upstaged team mate Vettel to the delight of the home fans.

Quadruple champion Vettel, winner of the last nine races of 2013, was only 13th fastest and was frustrated by a crash late in the final session by Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen which brought out the yellow flags and forced drivers to ease their pace.

 
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