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Sports

Hamilton takes pole over Rosberg for Australian Grand Prix

British driver Lewis Hamilton has taken pole position for Sunday's Australian Grand Prix in a qualifying round dominated by Mercedes. But McLaren had a bad day.

Hamilton (seen center above) beat out Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg to take pole at Saturday's qualifying on the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne.

The defending champion clocked a fastest time of 1 minute 26.327, 0.594 seconds ahead of the German driver, giving him his fourth pole in Australia, a record for any driver.

Williams driver Felipe Massa will join Sebastian Vettel in a Ferrari in the second row for Sunday's race, though Massa's third place was a full 1.351 seconds behind Hamilton.

It was Vettel's first qualifying since leaving Red Bull for Ferrari. The German came in one place ahead of teammate Kimi Raikonnen.

But McLaren, which is still reeling from the absence of Fernando Alonso following the Spaniard's crash during testing in Barcelona on February 22, put in a poor showing, with its two cars, piloted by Jensen Button and Kevin Magnussen, starting at the end of the grid.

The team is still having issues with the new engine from its fresh partner Honda, which showed some unreliability in pre-season testing.

tj/ng (dpa, AP)