Hamilton laughs from pole, lights and shadows at McLaren

The Briton will start first in Australia ahead of Bottas and Vettel. Maximum equality in the middle zone with Norris 8º, after the Haas, and bad day for Sainz: it will start 18º.

Now the one who laughs is Hamilton. He waited his last lap of Q3 after Bottas had punished him for a minor error in the first sector, and the British five-time champion started the hammer for the first time in 2019. They had said one and again in Mercedes that did not know what they would be capable of, came out touched by the tests. If everything was a staging, or if they have brought a completely new car to Melbourne, they only know that. In any case, the theoretical winter champion, Ferrari, has frozen the smile.

Bottas will start second this Sunday, and that threatened with the pole until at the last minute Lewis stole a tenth. Vettel completed the top-3 to save the Ferrari fort after a disappointing grand prize and was redone with luck: had suffered a runway exit minutes before it could well damage the flat bottom of his car, but his team cleaned it everything against the clock so that the German had his good turn. At least he has his chance in the race, playing with strategies like in 2017 or 2018 to fight for the victory, although the Mercedes also threaten rhythm and the cars of Maranello are filled with doubts with each kilometer that they travel.

Back, lights and shadows in almost all the garages and great news for the sport and the spectacle: the classification of Melbourne was decided by thousandths, by the inspiration of the pilots in each round especially in the Q1. Beyond the Haas, who are the big winners of the middle class not so far from the Red Bull, Lando Norris shone with a McLaren that nobody expected and put him in Q3 to leave 8th, all in his first classification, while Carlos Sainz suffered with the same material after a weekend full of problems of chassis and engine and will go 18th in his first race with the house of Woking. He could finish better, but he found Kubica punctured when he came with his best record and as the track improved with each passing lap, his options ended there.

The Renault and the Toro Rosso stayed in Q2 when they had drawn attention by the morning, and the poor Gasly does not run out of misfortune in its premiere with Red Bull: did not pass the first cut and sees Verstappen (4th) from the well. But is that in the first round, in half a second had become entangled from the fifth to the 18th, and the long runs seen so far no team will have an extra advantage among that working class for the race. The fight for the points, harder than ever. In front, you will see. Although Hamilton, while saying that he hopes "that Ferrari gets very close and pushes very hard", he can no longer hide his smile ...

Photos from as.com

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