Hamilton takes blistering pole as Bottas crashes out

Lewis Hamilton has blitzed the field to take pole position for Sunday's Australian Grand Prix after Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas crashed out early in the final phase.

The Finn clipped the turf coming out of turn one and crashed the rear of his car into the wall.

Bottas walked away from the incident but his car will need a lengthy repair before the race tomorrow afternoon.

He is slated to start 10th but could take a grid penalty, with Mercedes likely to need to replace the gearbox.

Bottas's teammate and reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton went on to take pole position, his seventh in Melbourne.

Watch Hamilton take pole:

Hamilton pulled out a stunning 1:21.164 lap, more than half a second faster than Ferrari duo Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel in second and third respectively.

"You would think with these results we have had for years it would feel the norm but it doesn't," Hamilton said.

Lewis Hamilton. Pic: Getty

"That was intense, my heart is racing. I am so happy with that lap. What was surprising was to see how quick the Ferraris were."

Australia's Daniel Ricciardo qualified fifth but will start eighth after being handed a three-place grid penalty for a red-flag infringement in Friday's second practice session.

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