IT'S A FRONT ROW LOCK OUT!
Mercedes Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas keep Ferrari firmly at bay with a front row lock-out with Lewis Hamilton starting tomorrow's first race of the F1 season in pole position.
Lewis Hamilton has secured his sixth consecutive pole starting tomorrow's race in pole position after beating his team mate by just a tenth of a second on his final flying lap in Q3. Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel sits behind the two Mercedes in third place with Max Verstappen in fourth and Charles Leclerc starting back on the third row in fifth position.
Romain Grosjean finished in P6 one place ahead of his team mate Kevin Magnussen as Haas capitalized on their strong pre-season showing.
McLaren rookie Lando Norris brought a smile to Mclaren's garage making it through to Q3 in his first ever F1 qualifying session securing P8.
Lewis Hamilton said: "I feel so fortunate to be in the position I'm in today. We had no idea that we'd have this gap to the others - we thought we were behind, we thought it was going to be a push, so we gave it absolutely everything and more to arrive here with the best possible package and delivery. Valtteri and I have been pushing the car to its absolute limits. We haven't massively changed the car; it's almost the same set-up we had in Barcelona, so this gap was really surprising to see. This is the first time we've unleashed the full potential of the car and I'm so happy to have a car that I can fight with. This is a really great start to the new season and it puts us in a good position for the fight tomorrow."
Valtteri Bottas said: "I really enjoyed driving today, I was in a good flow and usually when you enjoy driving it shows on the time sheets as well. My first lap in Q3 was pretty good and I wanted to improve in my second lap, but I was stuck in traffic on my out lap, so my tyres were just a bit too cold at the start of the lap. Lewis did put in a fantastic lap, but I think without the traffic it would have been a close fight for pole today. We didn't expect to be this strong - we're happy, but frankly quite surprised to see that gap. We came here, not knowing where we'd be and actually thought we'd be a bit behind Ferrari. But we shouldn't underestimate them; they looked very strong in winter testing and have a quick car, even if they struggled today. At the same time our team has done a really good job between Barcelona and here, constantly improving the car. Today was good fun, we both got some nice laps in, so let's hope we will have a good Sunday as well. It's a decent run into Turn 1, so hopefully I can get a good start, build a gap to the cars behind and have a good fight with Lewis."