Lewis Hamilton crushed the Melbourne circuit pole time in qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix, beating nearest rival Kimi Raikkonen by a massive margin of over six tenths of the second after the session had looked close following the first runs.
The top three were covered by just 0.061s after the first runs of Q3, and it looked like we were all set to see a thrilling climax to the session.
But, Hamilton and Mercedes turned on their 'party mode' to take pole by 0.664s, with a 1m21.164s lap, making it easily the fastest lap ever around the Australian circuit.
The qualifying climax will no doubt have left many fans disgruntled after the excitement of the opening stages of Q3, and indeed many took to social media to vent their frustration at how it looked like it could be a Hamilton and Mercedes walkover, akin to the second half of 2017.
But, there is a saving grace or two.
Firstly, Mercedes often manage to pull something special out in qualifying and so does Hamilton.
It may well be one of those rare laps when a driver just nails it to leave his rivals trailing in his wake.
Secondly, the race runs on Friday were incredibly close between Mercedes, Ferrari, and Red Bull.
We often saw in 2017 that Ferrari could win the race despite not qualifying on pole or even the front row. so all is not yet lost for the race.
Of course, we all want a much closer competitive order in the sport.
A fifth straight title for Mercedes would hark back to the early 2000's when Michael Schumacher and Ferrari had a tight grip on the sport and nobody wants those days to return.
But, Saturday is just qualifying day. It may well be come the race, we see an incredibly close spectacle and a spectacular fight for the win.News Now - Sport News