Lewis Hamilton converted Mercedes' dominance into pole position for the Australian Grand Prix, as pre-season favourites Ferrari were blown away by the reigning champions in Melbourne. Hamilton required a last-gasp flyer to pip teammate Valtteri Bottas to pole, lowering the lap record to 1:20.486.
Hamilton had plenty to do ahead of the final run in Q3, having seen Bottas go almost half a second quicker.
However, the Finn could not improve, while Hamilton tidied up his lap to find the extra time required and secure a sixth consecutive pole position at Albert Park and eighth overall.
A tense battle had been expected between Mercedes and Ferrari, but the Silver Arrows were dominant, Hamilton seven tenths quicker than Sebastian Vettel.
Behind the front-runners, Haas locked out best-of the rest with Romain Grosjean in sixth and Kevin Magnussen seventh – giving the American team the chance to gain redemption for last year's double DNF.
More evidence of the crazy nature of F1's midfield this year. Both Renaults surprisingly dropped out, meaning Daniel Ricciardo will need to hope for some home-race magic on Sunday. Alex Albon outqualified Toro Rosso teammate Daniil Kvyat, while Antonio Giovinazzi also dropped out.
A big hock as Gasly dropped out at the death, sat in the Red Bull garage while times tumbled at the chequered flag. Robert Kubica and George Russell were last as expected, while Lance Stroll and Carlos Sainz dropped out after a thrilling midfield fight.