It’s business as usual for Team Mercedes at the start of the 2019 Formula 1 Season. The team of Hamilton and Bottas started the season-opening Australian Grand Prix the way they started last season - dominant.

Record setting run

Lewis Hamilton set a new track record at Albert Park on his way to pole position at the Australian Grand Prix. Teammate Valteri Bottas was actually faster in the third qualifying session but was pipped by 0.112 seconds to finish second for a Mercedes lockout of the front row. The Telegraph reports that the current world champion clocked one minute and 21.014 seconds in Q2 but was half a second faster in Q3.

It was the Briton’s 84th career pole and sixth in Melbourne.

The Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc finished 3rd and 5th with the Red Bull of Max Verstappen splitting the Prancing Horses for fourth. Leclerc actually registered the best time in Q1 but could not replicate it in Q2 and Q3. The German was 0.704 seconds behind Hamilton with Verstappen 0.130 seconds further.

Impressive debuts

It was also an auspicious debut for the rookies in the field. Fox Sports revealed that 19-year old Lando Norris had a sensational run for McLaren in Q1 and Q2 finishing eight. Alexander Albon also impressed finishing ahead of his Toro Rosso teammate Daniil Kvyat and making it through Q2 finishing in 13th place.

Former world champion Kimi Raikkonen finished 9th in his Alfa Romeo while Australian Daniel Ricciardo disappointed his home fans finishing outside the Top 10 for 12th. Rounding out the top 10 are the two Haas of Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen and Sergio Perez of Racing Point.

The main race is on Sunday as Lewis Hamilton tries to open up the season with a win.

Luck has not been on the side of the Brit though, as he has only won two out of the eight times he started on pole at Alberta Park.

Here are the final positions after the qualifying:

  1. Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes GP 1min 20.486secs
  2. Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Mercedes GP 1:20.598
  3. Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Ferrari 1:21.190
  4. Max Verstappen (Ned) Red Bull 1:21.320
  5. Charles Leclerc (Mon) Ferrari 1:21.442
  6. Romain Grosjean (Fra) Haas F1 1:21.826
  7. Kevin Magnussen (Den) Haas F1 1:22.099
  8. Lando Norris (Gbr) McLaren 1:22.304
  9. Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Alfa Romeo Racing 1:22.314
  10. Sergio Perez (Mex) Racing Point 1:22.781
  11. Nico Hulkenberg (Ger) Renault 1:22.562
  12. Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Renault 1:22.570
  13. Alexander Albon (Tha) Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:22.636
  14. Antonio Giovinazzi (Ita) Alfa Romeo Racing 1:22.714
  15. Daniil Kvyat (Rus) Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:22.774
  16. Lance Stroll (Can) Racing Point 1:23.017
  17. Pierre Gasly (Fra) Red Bull 1:23.020
  18. Carlos Sainz (Spa) McLaren 1:23.084
  19. George Russell (Gbr) Williams 1:24.360
  20. Robert Kubica (Pol) Williams 1:26.067