Lewis Hamilton hailed breakthrough changes to his car’s set-up as the main reason for claiming pole position for the Australian Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver posted a 1:26.327 to secure his fourth pole position at the Albert Park circuit. The Englishman was more than half-a-second faster than his team-mate Nico Rosberg. After struggling to find a suitable balance throughout both Friday practice sessions – where Rosberg proved fractionally quicker in both – Hamilton was quick to acknowledge the set-up changes after qualifying on pole.

“It has been a great start to the weekend,” he said during the post-qualifying press conference. “It doesn’t feel like that long since the last race and it was a big rush from all the guys back at the factory to come here and have this performance. I feel incredibly blessed to have this car. Today we found a good balance and it was just about pushing those laps. It is so much fun when you get into qualifying and push those single laps.”

Last year, Hamilton retired from the race after just three laps, when one of the cylinders in his Mercedes engine failed; this year he is eager to make up for the disappointment. His sole victory here came in 2008.

“We had a difficult start to the season last year, so as a team we are hoping for a better start and for both cars to succeed tomorrow,” he said, while adding: “Hopefully it will be a good fight with Nico.”

Image via XPB Images

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Blaž Štremfelj

Journalist at MotorsportM8