Five talking points ahead of the Australian Grand Prix

15 March, 2019, 05:10 | Author: Isabel Grant
  • Lewis Hamilton- Lewis Hamilton relaxed as Briton prepares for Australian Grand Prix

Duncraig's Daniel Ricciardo has spent the morning with the fans ahead of this weekend's racing in Melbourne and a defence of the Australian F1 Grand Prix remaining as the season opener.

Mercedes struggled to find a suitable auto balance in the opening week and while the team's fortunes appeared to improve with a raft of aerodynamic updates introduced for week two, Hamilton suggested that the gap to Ferrari was "potentially half a second" after the final day of pre-season testing.

16,277 - Red Bull will race in Australia with their youngest two drivers ever in a single F1 grand prix (Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly - 16,277 days combined).

"But having said that obviously we can't do better than last year's result".

Hamilton was eight points behind Vettel in the drivers' championship before that race but won seven of the final 10 races after that while the Ferrari driver won just one.

Red Bull, the best of the rest behind Mercedes and Ferrari last season, have ambitions of higher honours after partnering up with Honda engines. Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc will drive for Ferrari this year.

"But an F1 season is not just about who comes out of the blocks quickest", he added.

Valtteri Bottas claims Mercedes has "made improvements" since their outing in Barcelona two weeks ago.

Lewis Hamilton- Lewis Hamilton relaxed as Briton prepares for Australian Grand Prix
Hamilton has appeared relaxed in Melbourne in the countdown to the Australian Grand Prix Credit GETTY IMAGES

"This is going to be the toughest battle yet".

After a series of unlucky races at the start of the 2018 season, Bottas finished the year with no wins to Hamilton's 11.

Vettel is a victor and having to settle for second in the drivers and constructors championship past year was tough to take.

They have an unchanged driver line-up this season.

"I feel Melbourne is the flawless place to start the championship", said the 31-year-old German, now in his fifth season with the glamour team.

"Over the winter some things have been different, like with my coach again we looked through the travel plan and everything, all the details that we think is going to be best for my performance, like where I am between races, where do I fly, when do I fly".

"We have got so many incredible people within the team and the energy is really, really inspiring to see so many people pumped and pulling together", he said.

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