Hamilton wins pole for Australian GP

AP

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position for Formula One’s season-opening Australian Grand Prix in a rainy qualifying session Saturday, while four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel will start 12th after being hindered by the wet conditions.

Vettel was joined by fellow big-name drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Jenson Button in dropping out of qualifying in the second session as they struggled on the wet surface at the Albert Park street circuit.

While Vettel struck trouble, his new Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo thrived, qualifying second. Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg qualified third.