Formula 1: Hamilton grabs pole in season-opening Australian GP; Bottas, Vettel round-up top 3

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Mercedes’ Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton picked up where he left off last year to reassert his authority and snatch a record-extending eighth pole position at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix on Saturday.

The Briton clocked a fastest lap of one minute 20.486 to narrowly pip team-mate Valtteri Bottas, with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel third, but well off the pace on 1:21.190. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was fourth and Ferrari newcomer Charles Leclerc fifth.