Lewis Hamilton is targeting victory in the 2023 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix after a successful qualifying for Mercedes.
The seven-time world champion ended the qualifying hour third fastest overall with Max Verstappen taking an expected pole position in the Red Bull. George Russell, Hamilton’s teammate, is alongside the Dutchman on the front row after Sergio Perez suffered issues and was knocked out in Q1.
With Verstappen’s car not running entirely smoothly so far this weekend, Hamilton is a believer that standing on the top step of the podium is a possibility in the race.
When asked what his goal is for the Australian GP, Hamilton said: “To get to first. I’m gonna try and see.
“We’re hoping for a day like the first year, 2007, Turn one here would be awesome. I don’t know if anyone here remembers but yeah, that’d be awesome if you can do that.”
Nobody was predicting a Mercedes two-three in qualifying based on the free practice sessions which saw Fernando Alonso the nearest challenger to the Red Bull contingent.
Even as early as Q1 saw Ferrari get closer to the leading cars than the Silver Arrows but both Russell and Hamilton managed to find pace in the final 12 minutes and Hamilton admitted it came as a total shock to the team.
“Oh, yeah. I’m so happy with this,” Hamilton added. “Totally unexpected. Really, really proud of the team. George did a fantastic job.
“So for us to be up on the two front rows is honestly a dream for us. We’re all working as hard as we can to get right back up the front.
“I hope tomorrow we can give them a bit of a run for the money. And we hope the weather is good.”