Lewis Hamilton will start the first race of the 2017 season on pole after beating Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel by in 0.268s qualifying. After topping the final free practice session in the morning, Vettel split the two Mercedes drivers. Valtteri Bottas will start the race third after a “scrappy” flying lap for the Finn. He’ll start alongside Kimi Raikkonen. Daniel Ricciardo crashed at the start of the final qualifying session. The home favourite was out of shape at the exit of turn 14, and the car ran backwards into the barrier, bringing out the red flag and pausing the session. With a damaged rear, Ricciardo wasn’t able to get back out and will start the race in tenth. Earlier in qualifying, it was a stressful time for Williams as they worked to get Lance Stroll’s car ready after a crash in FP3. The Canadian was able to get out and set a time, but could only manage 19th fastest. A penalty for a gearbox change will demote him to the back of the pack. Team-mate Felipe Massa was able to get into Q3 and set the seventh fastest time. After a relatively trouble free weekend for McLaren so far, signs of the difficult time the team are having returned in Q1, when a fuel flow problem kept Stoffel Vandoorne in the pits. He didn manage to get out later in the session, but could only manage P18. Fernando Alonso didn’t face the same problems and proceeded to Q2. He will start the race from thirteenth. Special mention goes to Antonio Giovinazzi. The Italian was only told he would be competing in tomorrow’s race this morning, and only had an hour of track time in which to get up to speed. Giovinazzi was close to getting through into Q2, but made a small mistake at the final corner on his final lap, and will start the race from sixteenth. Full order: Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes – 1:22.188 Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari – 1:22.456 Valtteri Bottas – Mercedes – 1:22.481 Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari – 1:23.033 Max Verstappen – Red Bull – 1:23.485 Romain Grosjean – Haas – 1:24.074 Felipe Massa – Williams – 1:24.443 Carlos Sainz – Toro Rosso – 1:24.487 Daniil Kvyat – Toro Rosso - 1:24.512 Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull – no time Sergio Perez – Force India – 1:25.081 Nico Hulkenberg – Renault – 1:25.091 Fernando Alonso – McLaren – 1:25.425 Esteban Ocon – Force India – 1:25.568 Marcus Ericsson – Sauber – 1:26.485 Antonio Giovinazzi – Sauber – 1:26.419 Kevin Magnussen – Haas – 1:26.847 Stoffel Vandoorne – McLaren – 1:26.858 Lance Stroll – Williams – 1:27.143 Jolyon Palmer – Renault – 1:28.244 For more Formula One news and discussions head over to the RaceDepartment Formula One sub forum and join in with your fellow community members. Who do you think will get the best start? Can Vettel challenge for the win? Is there a chance Giovinazzi will score Sauber’s only point of the season? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.