Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton took pole position at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix as the new qualifying format failed to work.

Hamilton on pole in Melbourne

Hamilton on pole in Melbourne

The reigning world champion produced a stunning lap to finish 0.360 seconds in front of team-mate Nico Rosberg.

The German beat both Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen and they will start third and fourth respectively.

Ferrari decided not to bother attempting another lap in the final session in order to preserve their tyres and that meant that the track was empty for the final five minutes.

Toro Rosso's Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz were fifth and seventh, split by Williams driver Felipe Massa.

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo finished eighth in his home grand prix and the Force Indias of Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg completed the top 10.

McLaren started better than they did last year as Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button finished 12th and 13th.