Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen has secured pole position for the Australian Grand Prix. The Red Bull driver from the Netherlands relegated Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz to second place in Melbourne with a fantastic lap.

Verstappen also secured his third pole position this season, the 35th of his career. Third in qualifying was Sergio Perez in the second Red Bull. Sainz had to undergo an appendectomy just two weeks ago.

Verstappen had to replace the engine in his company car after the first day of training. The Dutchman had repeatedly driven violently over the curbs.

Setback for Hamilton

Record world champion Lewis Hamilton experienced disappointment in qualifying. The Mercedes driver, who will drive for Ferrari from next year, missed the final knockout round in eleventh place.

The only German regular driver in the field, Haas driver Nico H├╝lkenberg, was eliminated in the first lap for the first time this season. The Rhinelander didn’t get past 16th place.

Verstappen has already won the first two races this year. The 26-year-old is aiming for his tenth win in a row across all seasons on Sunday (5:00 a.m. CET/Sky).