Hamilton fastest in 1st practice at Australian GP

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Five-time world champion Lewis Hamilton has posted the fastest practice lap at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on Friday.

The Mercedes driver clocked one minute 23.59 seconds in the opening session of the 2019 season, just 0.03 of a second ahead of Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel, and 0.74 seconds ahead of Charles Leclerc, also from Ferrari.

Australia's Daniel Ricciardo made a disappointing start on his home soil, coming in 17th best in the field of 20.

Hamilton's teammate, Valtteri Bottas, had a near miss with a barrier after skimming a grass patch on the outside and locking up into a spin.

Fortunately the Finn came to a complete stop without making contact with any of the other vehicles or track markers.

Round one of the Australian Grand Prix and 2019 Formula One World Championship starts on Sunday. 

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