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Hamilton revels in perfect start
Lewis Hamilton has described his Australian Grand Prix pole as "an incredible feeling" as McLaren locked out the front row of a grid for the first time in two and a half years.
Hamilton clinched the 20th pole of his Formula One career by 0.152secs from team-mate Jenson Button with a lap of one minute 24.992secs around Melbourne's Albert Park.
As for reigning double world champion Sebastian Vettel, who was on the front row in 18 of 19 races last year, the Red Bull star could only qualify sixth, his worst grid position since the 2010 Italian Grand Prix. A delighted Hamilton said: "It's an incredible feeling to be back here (on pole) and to get off to such a good start."
He added: "I think this is mine and Jenson's first one-two - I believe at least - in qualifying, so it's fantastic to start the season this way.
"I'm massively proud of the team, working incredibly hard as every year they do, but to see they never give up, and this is the result of that."
Although Hamilton won from pole in Australia in 2008, and went on to win the title that year, he knows one pole Down Under does not mean too much in the grand scheme of things.
"It's going to be incredibly tough, a very intense race," added Hamilton. "Of course, there's still a long way to go, and looking after the tyres will be key, but we're in the best possible position to have a strong race. The team need to be on point, and so do me and Jenson, so we'll make sure we do that."
For Button, who has so far never been on pole with McLaren, it will be the fourth time he has started from the front row since he joined the team at the start of 2010. Like Hamilton, he expressed his enormous pride at just how hard all within the team have worked to propel himself and Hamilton to the head of affairs.
"First of all, congratulations to Lewis and the whole team. I think we have done a very good job this winter and I think we have proved that," said Button.
"It is only the beginning and obviously the lights haven't gone out yet, but this is a great first result for us on a Saturday. But it's looking like it's going to be a very exciting season."