AusGP: Hamilton claims pole position

A fascinating qualifying period at the 2012 Australian Grand Prix has ended with Lewis Hamilton claiming pole position for McLaren. He was the only man to break the 1:25 barrier with a time of 1:24.922, en route to his 20th pole position.

In second place was Jenson Button (1:25.074) completing a front-row lockout for the Mercedes-powered McLarens.

Romain Grosjean, fast emerging as the dark horse for the 2012 F1 season, finished third for Lotus (1:25.302). Michael Schumacher will start alongside the young Frenchman after he came home fourth with a 1:25.336.

That means Red Bull will start tomorrow’s race from an unfamiliar row three, with Webber in P5 (1:25.651) and Vettel alongside in P6 (1:25.668). Yep, you better believe it, this season is wide open now.

The remaining places in the top 10 were claimed by Nico Rosberg (Mercedes AMG, 1:25.686), Pastor Maldonado (Williams, 1:25.908), Nico Hulkenberg (Force India, 1:26.451) and Daniel Ricciardo (Toro Rosso, no time).

Full results from qualifying are available here. We’ll have pics and the full post-quali transcript for you later tonight.