Charles Leclerc takes out pole position in F1 qualifying at the Australian Grand Prix, Daniel Ricciardo qualifies seventh

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc has taken his second pole position in three F1 grand prix races.

Leclerc’s blistering 1 minute, 17.868 took pole, ahead of Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez. 

The session was marred by two massive crashes that stopped the qualifying sessions.

Ferrari and Red Bull traded top spot throughout the three sessions, before Leclerc became the first driver to crack the 1:18:00 mark. 

“It felt good. Even more because it is a track where I have struggled in the past as a driver,” Leclerc said. 

“Very happy to be starting on pole.”

Meanwhile, Daniel Ricciardo made it to Q3 for the first time this season, qualifying seventh for Sunday’s race.

After a tough start to the season, the Australian looked comfortable in his McLaren.

Daniel Ricciardo produced his best qualifying session to the season in Melbourne.(Getty Images: Clive Mason)

Q3 was thrown into chaos when Fernando Alonso crashed on his first flying lap, stopping qualifying for the second time on Saturday afternoon.

Red Bull’s Sergio Perez was brilliant in qualifying but his third-place start could be in jeopardy.

The Mexican is under investigation from the race stewards for allegedly not slowing down when yellow flags were being waved during Q2.

Massive crash stops qualifying

Two F1 cars crashing on track.
The Williams of Nicholas Latifi crashes after a collision with Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll.(Kayo: F1)

A massive shunt between both Canadian drivers Nicholas Latifi and Lance Stroll halted Q1 when they collided.

The miscommunication brought out the red flag with two minutes left in Q1.

Latifi pulled to the side of the track to let faster cars through when Stroll, who was not on a flying lap, passed him.

Then Latifi then tried to overtake the Aston Martin driver on the right, at the same time Stroll was moving his car to that side of the track.

Both drivers were audibly frustrated with each other over their team radio.

The 15-minute delay led to a frantic end to Q1, with several cars racing around the track to get a final flying lap in.

The two drivers were eliminated from Q1, along with Sebastian Vettel, Kevin Magnussen and Alex Albon.

You can follow Sunday’s F1 Australian Grand Prix on the ABC Sport live blog.

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