Max Verstappen blitzes to Australian GP pole as Lewis Hamilton slumps

The Red Bull superstar blitzed qualifying on Saturday as he aims to back up last year’s race victory at Albert Park, securing the 35th pole of his career. Verstappen finished in front of resurgent Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz and his Red Bull teammate Sergio Pérez. Australia’s rising star Oscar Piastri will start Sunday’s race from sixth after an impressive qualifying session for McLaren. Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton had his worst qualifying session in Melbourne since 2010, placing 11th. Australian Daniel Ricciardo was eliminated in Q1 for the first time at Albert Park after his fastest lap was deleted by stewards.

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