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Verstappen dominates, Mercedes surprises, Alonso fourth on the grid and Sainz fifth

Max Verstappen has taken pole position at the Australian Grand Prix. It is the 22nd in his career and he will start ahead of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, who slipped ahead of Fernando Alonso.

After failing to make the podium in the first two races of the season, the two Mercedes cars managed to bounce back in Australia. However, Alonso believes that this was the best qualifying for Aston Martin this season.

"It will be a fun race. At Mercedes they always say that they want to abandon [the concept of] this car and then they are there to fight for victories," Alonso told DAZN F1.

"They will be there in a very short time and tomorrow we have them ahead of us.

"I think it is our best qualifying, four tenths behind Verstappen. We had never been so close and we wanted not to take more risks than necessary."

Carlos Sainz will be fifth on the grid following a magnificent final lap in Q3, where he clearly beat Lance Stroll and his teammate, Charles Leclerc.

The bad news was the elimination of Checo Perez in his first lap of Q1 , when he went off in turn 3 and could no longer return to the track.

It's a shame that Perez will not be able to compete against Verstappen in Albert Park, although this means that the two Spaniards will have the opportunity to push for a podium finish.

Starting Grid, Australian GP 2023

  1. M. Verstappen (B) Red Bull 1'16"732 24
  2. G. Russell (B) Mercedes 1'16"968 +00"236 29
  3. L. Hamilton (B) Mercedes 1'17"104 +00"372 28
  4. Fernando Alonso (B) Aston Martin 1'17"139 +00"407 26
  5. Carlos Sainz (B) Ferrari 1'17"270 +00"538 28
  6. L. Stroll (B) Aston Martin 1'17"308 +00"576 26
  7. C. Leclerc (B) Ferrari 1'17"369 +00"637 25
  8. A. Albon (B) Williams 1'17"609 +00"877 27
  9. P. Gasly (B) Alpine 1'17"675 +00"943 25
  10. N. Hulkenberg (B) Haas 1'17"735 +01"003 26

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