Lewis Hamilton will start the opening race of the 2019 Formula 1 season from pole position after breaking the track record multiple times in what was a thrilling Qualifying session at Albert Park.
It was a Mercedes front row lockout with Valtteri Bottas also breaking the track record at one point during the session, as the Silver Arrows continued their sensational start to the season.
Hamilton’s pole, his sixth straight and eighth overall in Australia, came in at just under two seconds faster than his third practice chart-topping time, marking a dominant day for the five-time champion.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel ended Qualifying in third ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Ferrari debutant Charles Leclerc who rounded out the top five.
It was a disappointing day for Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo who starts tomorrow’s race in 12th, alongside Renault teammate Niko Hulkenburg on the sixth row of the grid.
The biggest shock of the day came with Ricciardo’s replacement at Red Bull Pierre Gasly, with the Frenchman failing to make it past the first round of qualifying. Gasly will start from a lowly 17th.
The Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix will take place tomorrow at 4:10pm (AEDT).
Scott McLaughlin’s perfect record in the 2019 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship has come to a crashing end as he was forced out of the day’s second race.
The reigning champion started the day off right, taking out his fourth straight win for the year in the historic 1000th Australian Touring Car Championship/Australia Supercars Championship race.
McLaughlin’s fellow Ford Mustang pilots Chaz Mostert and Cam Waters continued their good runs in at the Grand Prix rounding out the podium.
It was a different story in the second race as McLaughlin and Waters failed to even make the grid after colliding in the pits ahead of the outlap forcing them both to watch from the garages.
On track, Mostert put a slow start behind him to notch his first win for season after overtaking 2017 champion Jamie Whincup at the midway point of the race to hold and secure his first win for the year and Ford's fifth straight win.
Unlike yesterday's weekend opener, Holden put on a much better show as Whincup and Tim Slade finished in second and third respectively, while David Reynolds crossed the line in fourth ahead of McLaughlin's teammate Fabian Coulthard.
McLaguhlin and Waters weren't the only high profile causalities for the race as Shane van Gisbergen lost a wheel late in the race, causing him to drop to the back of the field and limp to a disappointing 22nd.
The Virgin Australia Supercars Championship’s final race for the weekend is at 1:35pm tomorrow.
CAMS AUSTRALIAN GT CHAMPIONSHIP
The CAMS Australian GT Championship has had its third different race winner for the weekend as Peter Hackett took out Saturday morning’s race.
It was a stroke of luck from the #63 Mercedes-AMG driver who had trailed the likes of Fraser Ross and Max Twigg for a majority of the weekend, only for Ross to be handed a 10-place penalty ahead of the third race.
The race one winner’s penalty was due to some serious contact with Kenny Habul’s Mercedes in the first race at the at Turn 3, essentially ruining Habul’s race.
Hackett managed to overtake Twigg in the middle of the third race, demoting the 2018 Endurance Champion to second outright where he stayed for the remainder of the race.
With Habul finishing third outright ahead of 2018 champion Geoff Emery, the podium was the Mercedes-AMG lockout, continuing the manufactures domination of Albert Park.
The fourth and final race of the weekend for the CAMS Australian GT Championship takes place tomorrow at 11:40am.
CAMS AUSTRALIAN FORMULA 4 CHAMPIONSHIP
Victorian Antonio Astuti has won the second race of the CAMS PAYCE Australian Formula 4 Championship, in a thrilling final lap on Saturday.
The AGI Sport driver drew inspiration from Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo’s popular catch phrase “you’ve gotta lick the stamp and send it”, and did just that to snatch the win from Team BRM’s Tommy Smith on the second to last corner at Albert Park.
It was a brilliant move from an ecstatic Astuti who claimed victory in front of his home crowd in Melbourne, his first career win in Australian Formula 4.
Following Astuti’s move, Smith fell back to fourth as Ryan Yardley and Taylor Cokerton finished on the race on the podium, while race one winner Luis Leeds could only manage ninth.
The race was marred by two safety car interruptions, the first for another turn three tangle with Jayden Ojeda locking up and tagging the rear of former teammate Ryan Suhle, and JRD’s Matt Holmes another unfortunate casualty.
The CAMS PAYCE Australian Formula 4 Championship will hold the last race of its season opener at 11:50am tomorrow.
Porsche PAYCE Carrera Cup
Dale Wood’s stronghold over the Porsche PAYCE Carrera Cup has been stalled as Jordan Love took second race honours in what was a fantastic day for the one-make series.
Right from the get-go, Love and Wood were head-to-head throughout the whole race, but it was Love who would not budge as he crossed the line first, despite Wood posting the fastest lap of the race.
Rounding out the podium for the second consecutive day was Warren Luff who finished just four tenths of a second ahead of fourth placed David Wall.
The Porsche PAYCE Carrera Cup will hold its final race of the weekend at 12:55pm on Sunday.
Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli
There was plenty of drama in the first official race of the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli, as Kazuyuki Yamaguchi took advantage of a number of mishaps to claim the win.
Yamaguchi finished just over one second ahead of M Auto Hiroshima’s Go Max, while Blackbird Concessionaires Hong Kong’s David Pun rounded out the podium.
The victory was not very straightforward for Yamaguchi, who didn’t take the lead in the race until American James Weiland was forced to retire on the eighth lap.
Weiland’s retirement opened up the door for Yamaguchi after pole sitter Philippe Prette spun out in the midway point, effectively putting him out of the race.
Prette was not the only one to suffer an accident in the first lap, as Japan's Atsushi Iritani spun into the opening corner on the first lap. Makoto Fujiwara then crashed head on into the barrier between turns three and four on the second lap.
The Ferrari Challenge is the opening race of tomorrow’s final day of action taking place at 10:30am.