Charles Leclerc takes pole in Australia
Written by Mario Rodríguez, edited by Sasha Macmillen
After three years, Formula 1 has finally returned to Melbourne. Charles Leclerc has claimed his second pole position of the season, with Max Verstappen in second place and his teammate Sergio Pérez in third. It is the Monegasque's 11th pole position of his career, and Ferrari's first one in Albert Park since Kimi Raikkonen's debut for the team all the way back in 2007.
Q1 was interrupted with two minutes left on the clock as Lance Stroll and Nicholas Latifi collided in a quite absurd incident which brought out a red flag. However, that didn't leave any big surprises as the eliminated drivers were both Williams and Aston Martin along with Kevin Magnussen. Sebastian Vettel could only manage a single lap as the car had to be repaired following his crash during FP3.
Q2 was also relatively calm, with the remaining Haas of Mick Schumacher being knocked out along with both Alpha Tauris and Alfa Romeos. That marked the end of Valtteri Bottas’ 103 race Q3 streak.
Q3 started with a surprise, Fernando Alonso setting a blistering pace in the Alpine until his car suffered a hydraulic issue and got stuck in fourth gear, as well as a loss of power steering, meaning he couldn't brake in time and ended up hitting the barrier, bringing out a red flag. This also meant Carlos Sainz had to give up his flying lap just before the finish line, adding to the Spanish disappointment.
After the session was restarted, Leclerc set the fastest lap ahead of the Red Bulls, while his teammate Sainz couldn't get out on track as his Ferrari didn't start. When he finally did, he only had time for a fast lap with no preparation, which gave him P9. Lando Norris confirmed McLaren are finally back in the fight with P4, while both Mercedes drivers were able to lock out the third row of the grid.
While we wait for possible penalties which could alter the starting grid, this is it for today. Tomorrow's race will certainly be an interesting one, even more with the small possibility of rain at the start. What are your predictions? Let us know down below in the comments section!