F1: 2019 Australian Grand Prix Preview

F1: 2019 Australian Grand Prix Preview

F1: 2019 Australian Grand Prix Preview

Lewis Hamilton is braced for his biggest challenge as he chases a sixth Formula One title and Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari sense this could be the year they finally turn the tables on Mercedes.

"We are immensely proud to announce this exciting partnership with the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, which shares numerous same values as St Hugo, a fine wine created to honour the love between a father and son to continue on his winemaking legacy", he said.

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

"To be completely honest, these 50-50 situations, when the time will come I will probably be let know in the auto", he said.

During Thursday's FIA press conference, when asked if Mercedes' testing form was hard to read into, Hamilton responded, "it's not hard to read it".

Mercedes vs Ferrari: What happened last 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.




"It's actually 24-years-old and never been resurfaced so if we're going to resurface it let's work with Formula 1 with their simulators and track analysis and see if there are some things that we can evolve".

"It will be interesting to see how the Red Bull upgrade works, and I know some other people, Ferrari usually bring an upgrade for the first race, so it'll be interesting to see". It's not going to be easy, I have a lot to learn.

"Our optimism is not unfounded", said Red Bull motorsport consultant Helmut Marko. "It was said back at the factory and repeated [in a team meeting] today and that's how I like it". It has been the same every year. "I think it was quite clear, however it's hard to know what everyone's doing, so naturally we won't fully know until we get out in the vehicle tomorrow and, come qualifying you get a better picture, and usually, over the first few races is when you really start to get an idea of where everyone stands. but we said that we have work to do and we weren't talking BS".

Asked about the importance of winning the first race, Hamilton said: "It's a long, long season so I don't particularly feel it is the most important thing, it is about finishing races and getting as many points as you can but I am not really one for needing to stamp authority". It's a long way.

He added: "We are definitely in the fight and we know we have a strong team".

But Vettel, who won in Australia last season after Mercedes made a strategy error that handed him the race, admitted that Ferrari were in a better position heading into this season than they were in 2018. "We'll have a much better understanding of it - but I think it's the same for everyone". We got a bit lucky with the safety auto to grab the win. We've been trying to plan with the team all my sponsor events a bit more in advance so I can plan my calendar a bit more around it, all the details in terms of travel, logistics, hotels, everything to help my wellbeing and performance.

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