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Hamilton on pole for Australian GP
March 15, 2008 10:27 IST
McLaren's Lewis Hamilton [Images] seized pole position for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix on Saturday after world champion Kimi Raikkonen's [Images] Ferrari [Images] suffered an early breakdown.
The 23-year-old pipped Poland's Robert Kubica, who will be making his first appearance on the front row for BMW [Images] Sauber, to line up a perfect start to his second season in Formula One.
Finland's Heikki Kovalainen, in the second McLaren, qualified in third place with Ferrari's Brazilian Felipe Massa [Images] alongside on the second row.
Raikkonen, winner in Melbourne on his Ferrari debut last year, was eliminated after the first phase of qualifying when his car coasted to a halt with a fuel pressure problem. The Finn will start in 16th place.
Spain's double world champion Fernando Alonso [Images], now back with Renault after a turbulent year alongside Hamilton at McLaren, failed to reach the final 10-car shootout for pole and will line up 12th on the grid.
Red Bull's Mark Webber, the only Australian in Sunday's race, crashed out in the second session in a big disappointment for local fans.
"It was just a failure on the front right of the car, so it pitched me off," he said.
Formula One: The Complete Coverage