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FACTS AND STATS: Home hero Piastri misses out by fractions as McLaren continue Q1 exit streak in Melbourne

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Sean Kelly
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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 31: Oscar Piastri of McLaren and Australia  during practice ahead of

Qualifying in Melbourne proved to be anything but straightforward, with the weather in play and the drivers struggling with tyre warm up. But once again it was Max Verstappen who was able to lay down a dream lap when the pressure was on, the Dutchman grabbing his first pole position on Australian soil. Here are the rest of the best facts and stats from Albert Park…

  • Max Verstappen scored Red Bull’s first pole in Melbourne since 2013, when Sebastian Vettel was quickest.

  • George Russell has managed to get his seventh career front row start.

  • Russell has out-qualified Lewis Hamilton in all three races this year.

READ MORE: Verstappen claims first ever Melbourne pole as Russell bags front row start

  • Hamilton’s P3 is his first top six start this season.

  • Mercedes only managed to get both cars in the top three twice in the entire 2022 season – in Mexico and Brazil.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 01: Second placed qualifier George Russell of Great Britain and

A strong day for Mercedes saw them get two cars into the top three

  • Fernando Alonso was fourth, having not started higher than P10 in Melbourne since 2014.

  • Carlos Sainz was fifth, for his highest ever start in Australia.

  • The Spaniard also out-qualified his Ferrari team mate Charles Leclerc for the first time this season.

  • Lance Stroll grabbed sixth, in his first ever Q3 appearance in Melbourne.

  • Leclerc was seventh, his worst qualifying showing in Australia since his debut here in 2018.

  • Alex Albon qualified eighth, which was a best Q3 performance for Williams since 2021.

  • Albon managed one Q3 appearance in 2022, back in Spa in August.

  • Pierre Gasly reached Q3 in Melbourne for the first time.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 01: Alexander Albon of Thailand driving the (23) Williams FW45

Albon continued his strong start to the season with a brilliant 8th in qualifying

  • Nico Hulkenberg will start 10th, the same position as Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

  • The German has also out-qualified his team mate in all three race weekends this season.

  • Esteban Ocon ends a five-race streak of Q3 appearances, one short of his career best.

  • Lando Norris has not made the top-10 shootout this season.

  • Nyck de Vries made it out of Q1 for the first time.

  • Oscar Piastri was out in Q1 – with McLaren sliding back from their P4 and P7 slots on the grid last year.

  • The Australian missed out on Q2 by just 0.046s, with McLaren losing a car in Q1 in all three races this season.

  • It was Alfa Romeo’s worst qualifying of the year, with both drivers out in Q1.

MUST-SEE: Early drama during qualifying at Albert Park as Perez beaches his Red Bull in the gravel

  • Sergio Perez didn’t reach Q3 in his first eight visits to Melbourne.

  • Perez did finish eighth after starting last here back in 2012 for Sauber though.

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