F1 Australian GP LIVE: Verstappen leads from Hamilton with Russell out after huge fire

Max Verstappen was able to clinch pole position for this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix with a predictably strong performance in Saturday’s qualifying session.

The Dutchman easily managed to keep the likes of Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton at arm’s length with a lap time of 1:16.372, which put him two-tenths clear of second-placed George Russell, but it was Mercedes who caused a surprise in Melbourne by securing P2 and P3 on the starting grid.

It was not all plain sailing for Red Bull, either, as Sergio Perez was forced to end his session after only a few minutes of Q1 due to a massive lock-up into Turn Three.

The Mexican driver was unable to stop himself from beaching his car in the gravel, which brought out the red flags and gave Red Bull some extra food for thought in terms of their strategic approach ahead of Sunday’s race.

Catch up on the full story HERE.

source: express.co.uk