First Australian Grand Prix Pole For Max Verstappen

By Robert Haile

Red Bull have made it three from three in Melbourne, Australia with Max Verstappen claiming his first pole position.

It didn’t all go the way of the dominant Red Bull team as Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez went out in the first session of qualifying and will start in twentieth.

This opened the door which a resurgent Mercedes stormed through with George Russell leading Lewis Hamilton in second and third.

READ MORE: George Russell Qualifies On Front Row For Mercedes At Australian Grand Prix

Pole position qualifier Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing celebrates in parc ferme during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit on April 01, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Verstappen said: “Overall, it was a pretty good qualifying. It’s been tough this weekend to get the tyres in a good window to push straight away, but it all worked out in Q3 and the last run was good.

“I’m very happy with the lap and to be on pole position here in Australia. I’m looking forward to tomorrow, it’s going to be an interesting race that’s for sure.

“We need a clean start, and after that, hopefully we can do a good job. I’ve been on the podium here before but this time I want to be on a different step.”

Aston Martin’s impressive start continued with Fernando Alonso taking fourth and Lance Stroll sixth splitting the Ferrari’s of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc.

Williams’ Alex Albon secured a spot on the fourth row qualifying in eighth with Pierre Gasly taking ninth for Alpine as Nico Hulkenberg’s Haas took tenth.

READ MORE: Alpine In Strong Position For Double Points At Australian Grand Prix

Going out in the second session (Q2) Alpine’s Esteban Ocon will take confidence from being 0.08 seconds off tenth after being held up.

Yuki Tsunoda starts in twelfth, McLaren’s Lando Norris took thirteenth ahead of Kevin Magnussen’s Haas and Nyck De Vries’s AlphaTauri.

Australian Oscar Piastri missed a Q2 appearance at his home race by 0.047 seconds as he went out in the first session in sixteenth.

Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu out qualified teammate Valtteri Bottas in seventeenth while Williams’ Logan Sargeant in eighteenth and Perez in last and twentieth.

The Australian race around Albert Park starts 6:00am GMT on Sunday.

Australian Grand Prix Qualifying

  1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
  2. George Russell (Mercedes)
  3. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
  4. Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin)
  5. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)
  6. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)
  7. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
  8. Alex Albon (Williams)
  9. Pierre Gasly (Alpine)
  10. Nico Hulkenberg (Haas)
  11. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)
  12. Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri)
  13. Lando Norris (McLaren)
  14. Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
  15. Nyck de Vries (AlphaTauri)
  16. Oscar Piastri (McLaren)
  17. Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo)
  18. Logan Sargent (Williams)
  19. Vallteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo)
  20. Sergio Perez (Red Bull)