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Lewis Hamilton is anticipating a close fight for victory in the Australian Grand Prix despite storming to the 62nd pole position of his Formula 1 career on Saturday.

Hamilton saw off challenges from Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel and team-mate Valtteri Bottas to take pole position by three-tenths of a second in Q3.

Hamilton had previously tipped Ferrari as the favourite for victory in Melbourne, making the result all the sweeter for Mercedes, with the Briton paying tribute to his team after taking his sixth pole at Albert Park.

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"It's been a fantastic weekend so far. It's quite amazing to come here for I think the 11th time, and it feels like it was only yesterday that I came here and had my first race here in 2007, such a great journey," Hamilton said.

"I'm just incredibly proud of my team. This rule change has been huge and such a massive challenge for everyone. The guys have just worked so hard to make this car what it is today and to be up here representing them."

Hamilton was quick to praise Bottas, who will start his first race for Mercedes from third place on the grid, and said he is expecting a close battle in Melbourne.

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"Valtteri did a fantastic job given it's his first qualifying session with the team. He did a great job, and it's great for Mercedes," Hamilton said.

"Looking forward to the race and it's close between us all, as you can see there's going to be a tight race this year I think."

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