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

Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS have enjoyed their best qualifying of the season as George Russell secured second and a front row start with Lewis Hamilton just behind him in third.

The pair were always next to each other in the three qualifying sessions with Russell leading his teammate through each time.

After qualifying George Russell was happy with how the session went saying: “What a session that was for us. The car felt alive today and we weren’t expecting that result at all. The lap at the end was right on the limit; I’m a little bit disappointed that we didn’t get pole position. But that’s one of those things in this sport.

“Your expectations change so quickly; we probably would have been happy with a top five result yesterday but today the car felt awesome. It goes to show we’ve got potential still to come.

“There is a lot of hard work going on back at the factory and here in Melbourne. I’m excited for tomorrow – it’s going to be tough against Max, but we’re definitely very happy to be lining up P2.”

Russell took second in Q1, first qualifying session, dropping to sixth before claiming a place on the front row with a 1 minute 16.968 seconds.

Only Russell and Max Verstappen dropped into the 1 minute 16 second lap time.

A pleasantly surprised Lewis Hamilton said: “This was a totally unexpected result and I’m so happy and grateful for P3. My second lap wasn’t as good as the first one. I did gain a little bit of time in the last sector, but ultimately lost out a little bit at the beginning of the lap.

“I’m not disappointed though and I’m going to work as hard as I can to try and move forwards tomorrow. I’m proud of the team. We’re all working as hard as we can to get right back up the front, so to be this close to the Red Bull is incredible.

“Hopefully tomorrow we can give them a bit of a run for their money. And we hope the weather will be good.”

Hamilton followed Russell through in third, seventh and then third in the top ten shoot out.

The team ran the same tyres for both drivers with them using a single set of soft tyres in Q1 and Q3 with two sets in Q2.

The race is an early start for UK views with it starting at 6am GMT.