Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Albert Park, 2019

Bottas stuns Hamilton with crushing Melbourne win

2019 Australian Grand Prix summary

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Valtteri Bottas won the Australian Grand Prix in dominant fashion as Mercedes started the new season with a one-two finish.

Bottas passed pole-sitting team mate Lewis Hamilton at the start of the race and seldom came under threat from that point onwards. He capped a perfect race by setting the fastest lap and claiming the bonus point which now comes with it.

Hamilton dropped back from his team mate after making his first pit stop early to cover off the threat of Sebastian Vettel behind. But Bottas was able to extend his first stint and pull out a lead of more than 20 seconds over Hamilton.

Max Verstappen also ran a long first stint and emerged from his pit stop on Vettel’s tail. He surprised the Ferrari driver with an attack into turn three, and claimed the final spot on the podium. Vettel then fell back into the clutches of team mate Charles Leclerc, who lost time early on when he went off at turn one.

Kevin Magnussen fought his way past Antonio Giovinazzi to take sixth for Haas. But in a parallel with last year’s race team mate Romain Grosjean dropped out with a wheel problem.

Home favourite Daniel Ricciardo also retired after a disastrous first race for Renault which began with him losing his front wing within metres of the start. Team mate Nico Hulkenberg claimed seventh.

Giovinazzi ran a very long first stint which aided Kimi Raikkonen’s progress to eighth place. Lance Stroll took points for ninth place in his first race for Racing Point.

The final point went to Daniil Kvyat despite the Toro Rosso driver a trip through the gravel at turn three. He held off Pierre Gasly after passing the Red Bull driver, who made a late pit stop.

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2018 Australian Grand Prix reaction

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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115 comments on “Bottas stuns Hamilton with crushing Melbourne win”

  1. Mercedes civil war part 4 for the whole season please…

  2. I think Bottas pretty much stunned everyone…excellent performance. Very good drive by Stroll as well, happy for him.

    1. Bottas even stunned himself!

    2. Congrats to Bottas on a long over due win.

      This was Mercedes showing enough of an advantage over their rivals to gift their wing man an early win.

      As ever Hamilton took this in his stride, he had enough in hand dispite the age of his tires to keep a charging Verstappen at bay.

      As Lewis said in a brief sky interview immediately upon parking up “…that’s how the game goes”.

      Bottas needed this to boost his confidence, its no less than i would expect of Mercedes man management.
      Its early days, but Mercedes know they need to do this ahead of the real championship fight later.

      1. You’ve still got some of Hamiltons poo on your nose mate. 👃🏻 💩 What a load of nonsense.

      2. Aka Bottas destroyed Ham!

        At least give him the credit he deserves.

        1. Bottas was owed a victory last season. Mercedes failed to micro manage that at the start of the last season, and very possibly renaged on that promise at the end of the seaon because it was that close.

          This victory in the opening race of the season is the least they could do. The only question was how.

          If you can’t see this then you are not paying attention.

          1. Absolute nonsense.
            Bottas made his way through the lead. Mercedes pitted Hamilton to cover Vettel and from that on all Lewis could hope was a second place with a battle towards the end of the race hence nursing his tyres all along, this simple.

            As if Hamilton would ever hand the first victory to his teammate. Not a single driver would do that.

          2. Looks like it could even be as simple as floor damage for Hamilton.

    3. Don’t worry, Merc will fix his engine mapping until next race. He got the one Ham should have had.

      1. isaac (@invincibleisaac)
        17th March 2019, 16:29

        @neutronstar Stroll seemed to have a very good drive, although he was hardly mentioned during the highlights on Channel 4. Most of the talk was about if Gasly could get into the points from starting 17th but Stroll actually ended up 9th from 16th on the grid. How did that happen? Seemed to go by pretty unnoticed. Stroll did a very long first stint so must’ve made the difference there.

        1. @invincibleisaac Yeah a long first stint combined by a great start helped him out. He had decent pace throughout the race and made the most of his opportunities.

        2. Racing Point read the Giovannazi situation pretty well with Stroll. By making him pit late he took advantage of it and gained a lot of places.

  3. 12 months on, new wings, same thing, only surprise on the trend from Abu Dhabi is that Bottas is alive.

    1. What exactly do you want. Closer racing…faster….some nice battles….last lap shootouts. Whats the problem? If the problen is your team is nowhere….then choose a new team. Winners win. Sorry.

    2. Well passing was fine for me, DRS didn’t make it easy. They had to work for it like they should do and used to.

  4. Grosjean’s luck on this venue, though. The third DNF for him around there in a row.

    1. barichello’s Sao Paolo streak is not impressed

  5. Jeez that’s a very quick write up! It wasn’t a spectacular race, but definitely raises some very interesting questions and possibilities moving forward this year. Bring it on!

  6. Mercedes had Hamilton pit to cover Vettel, and lost a lot of ground to Bottas. It’s a good example of how the second driver often suffers in race results for the sake of strategy. Stuff like this happened to Bottas and Raikonnen very often last year.

    1. Yep, have to agree @one; Looking back, had they not pitted Hamilton to cover, they probably would have been well ahead with both cars. But, not so sure the team leads would have enjoyed that (nightmares of HAM/ROS 2014/2016?); would perhaps have allowed Hamilton to go for the flap point, kept the 1-2, and VER a bit further back in third. But, at the time, no real way to know that.

    2. @oni

      Hamilton appeared to be struggling by time he was stopped. But the early stop ended any thoughts of closing the gap for the undercut.

      1. @slotopen

        My interpretation was that Hamilton was playing the long game on his first set of tires, not trying to chase Bottas down straight away. I was imagining he would either try to extend his stint, or attack Bottas when the pit window was open.

        However, that all changed when Vettel pitted very early, which put Merc between a rock and a hard place. With Ferrari’s true pace still being an unknown, first race of the season, they decided to cover him.

        I still think reacting to Vettel ruined his race. Bottas may still have won, but the margin would have been a lot finer I think.

  7. Hamilton pretty much blown out of the Melbourne water by Bottas, crushing is about right. Has he ever lost by so much to a team mate in a straight fight with no incidents? Sets up the season well, especially if Ferrari are off the pace and Red Bull (Verstappen) still just a bit too far behind.

    Also the biggest lead ever at the start of a championship :O)

    1. @david-br

      Has he ever lost by so much to a team mate in a straight fight with no incidents?

      I was thinking the exact same thing. I don’t ever remember Hamilton finishing 20+ seconds down on his teammate in an incident free race, especially starting from pole. Maybe Mercedes pitting Hamilton exaggerated the gap slightly, but still, it was a straight fight.

      Talk about throwing down the gauntlet on your teammate… I don’t think Lewis saw this coming.

      1. @todfod @david-br with it being early in the season with the regulation changes that there have been, I imagine that setup may have played a part in the gap between BOT and HAM (as well as HAM pitting earlier). Regardless of that, HAM didn’t have an answer to the pace at the start of the race either (if he was pacing himself I reckon we’d have seen him hang at most 2 seconds behind, but he kept falling back). Bottas was just on fire.

        I’ve also changed my stance on point for fastest lap. I originally thought it was just a gimmicky introduction but it added a level of intrigue today and prevented cruising at end of race, we got to see drivers going as fast as they can even if this meant there was a risk. Hope it carries on working as well as this.

        1. Hamilton was effectively playing the part of the wingman. He kept a size able gap to protect the lead of Bottas. Meaning if Bottas had to come in for any reason, Hamilton would have still kept the opposition behind him. I would also say dispite the radio chat about his rear tires etc, Hamilton was playing the game.

          The real surprise is Ferrrari. Not only did they conceed position to a charging Verstappen, Vettal only kept his position due to team orders. Vettal will need the compliance of his wingman in the races to come.

          1. I think you’re mistaken if you think a five times work champion is about to start playing the wingman role whilst he’s still in prime

        2. I’ve also changed my stance on point for fastest lap. I originally thought it was just a gimmicky introduction but it added a level of intrigue today and prevented cruising at end of race, we got to see drivers going as fast as they can even if this meant there was a risk.


          Agree. I thought it definitely added some entertainment at the end of the race. Bottas, Hamilton and Verstappen were all hungry for it.

          1. Yeah, even if only the top 6 can realistically get it, it does add some interesting strategy to the race – especially on days like today, when fresh tyres weren’t necessarily that much quicker, as well as some additional risk for the top guys, imagine if the leader spins when pushing too hard for the fastest lap!

          2. Yes, Bernie would have been proud to have introduced it, he always liked to give the commentators something to talk about, in fact that was his reasoning for introducing re-fuelling, felt the American commentators needed to be able to talk about tactics and statistics as though it were Gridiron football.

        3. @todfod @david-br

          Mercedes say that they found damage on Hamilton’s floor

          Bottas was still immense imho, the best I’ve seen him drive

          1. @3dom @todfod I agree, seriously impressive drive today and not on one of his renowned best circuits. True that covering Vettel’s pit cost Lewis, putting on slower tyres, but Bottas was still faster on both. Let’s hope he can maintain this level.

          2. isaac (@invincibleisaac)
            17th March 2019, 16:35

            @david-br Russia 2017 – Bottas won and Hamilton was 4th some 36.3 seconds adrift with no significant issue. I was certainly very surprised with how strong Valterri was this race and I wonder if he’ll continue this strong form now that he’s leading the championship. Personally I don’t think he will carry out this form throughout the entire season and he won’t be World Champion this season, but you never know – it could be another Nico Rosberg-like story. I Wonder what Esteban Ocon is thinking right now …

          3. @invincibleisaac Good call, though in that case Bottas jumped from third to first place in the opening lap and Lewis got stuck in fourth all race. Great race again by VB but the time difference was more understandable. I agree this could be a Rosberg-level year from Bottas (to be honest I think Rosberg was fairly consistent over all 3 years fighting for the championship with LH, which would mean Bottas, if he reaches the same, has at least a fighting chance to win, all depending on a dose of luck too). Agree about Ocon, I like him but have found the constant TV coverage of him in the Mercedes pit looking on all a bit disrespectful of Bottas. Excellent whenever someone responds to that kind of pressure as Bottas has done.

    2. Apparently had floor damage.

      … or it’s a Mercedes conspiracy to make Valterri feel better, or Hamilton’s a terrible driver who can’t win without a massive advantage over his teammate, or the aborigines are massive Alonso fans, and they cursed Hamilton to never win at Albert Park in 2007.

      … depending on which conspiracy theory you favor. I might have made up the last one. He does tend to have absolutely terrible luck at Melbourne and Singapore, though.

  8. Nice guys finish first! As a huge fan of Valtteri’s I can’t describe how happy I am for him after the season he had last year. Having to endure all the press saying over the off season he didn’t deserve his seat and that he had to look over his shoulder must have been incredibly tough, but to put in a performance like that in the first race back shows such incredible character. Hopefully this is the first of many this season.

    Also, before people think I’m being a bit gushy…what would the naysayers have said if Bottas finished more than 20 seconds behind Hamilton today?

    1. @geemac For sure. Well said.

    2. @geemac – y’day, when Bottas got pole and lost it to Hamilton, I was initially impressed but went back to thinking “same old, same old”.

      Not today, though, that was an excellent showing. And nice to see that hunger in him for that 26th point as well.

      If Ferrari are going to be tripping over themselves this year as well, then I’d look at today’s podium to entertain us this year.

    3. They would have said Bottas had a poor season last year and was showing the same form again this year.

      As it is all we know is Hamilton has had an off race compared to his team mate in a dominant car following a very strong performance in the second half of the season last year.

      If Hamilton doesn’t pull things together next race compared to Bottas people are going to start scratching their heads though.

  9. Well, what a fantastic and exciting start to the season for F1b with K Mag taking the win, the ever reliable Hulk finishing 2nd and Kimi for Alfa Romeo with a solid third. Surprise of the day was the often put-down Stroll who gets my driver of the day finishing in 4th, having passed 7 cars to do so (more than anyone else in the race).

    One highlight was ‘newbie’ Giovinazzai being scared out of the way of a fast approaching KMag, but then I’d poo myself too if I saw him in the mirrors. A disappointment for the local fans was Danny Ric losing it in the first 50 yards going to the grass and losing his front wing after being squeezed a little by Checo.

    In other news F1a also had a different winner in Valarie Bottas who started well.

    1. Did Stroll make any on-track overtakes? I thought he gained all those places at the start, and then when there was the Giovinazzi-Train with Norris, Grosjean, etc.

    2. I find your race review refreshing and exciting, having seen the Netflix show I have a new desire to follow these guys and ignore F1a.

  10. Fantastic VB. Fantastic Max. Stroll will be on a cloud too. Great start to the season on several counts.

  11. 2019 started with a bang!
    Cool! Missed that!

    I am Lewis’s fan, but I am really happy for Valtteri! He had so much bad luck last year, so great to see him in such a great form this year!
    And Mercedes… well done!

    1. F1oSaurus (@)
      17th March 2019, 13:10


      1. +2 Who doesn’t want to see ‘other winners’, (and I’m firmly with ‘team LH’) bravo VB ! The game is on.

  12. I am a Lewis McLaren and Honda fun (go figure!!!) but great race for VB
    Merc was wrong for pitting Lewis so early, they should have known that Ferrari pace was crap +34 sec
    I also wonder if they kept Lec behind Vettel why they didn’t go for the fastest lap with an extra pit for Lec?

    1. Ghost Racer (@sibusisokolwapi)
      17th March 2019, 7:26

      Merc are so risk-averse its borderline pathetic. They didn’t want their drivers racing each other as well.

      1. @sibusisokolwapi

        Merc are so risk-averse its borderline pathetic. They didn’t want their drivers racing each other as well.

        Do you mean Ferrari?

        1. Ghost Racer (@sibusisokolwapi)
          17th March 2019, 8:33

          Merc probably had a 1st corner/lap pact and whoever was 2nd was going to be sacrificed to cover the leader. No way Hamilton is that much slower than Bottas. It just feels wrong when Merc are so much more superior already to be so calculated.

          If they didn’t believe they had the pace to 1-2, they wouldn’t have left Ham in the clutches of the Ferraris.

          Letting Vettel and Leclerc race was too risky as they had more to lose (already behind and a Leclerc incident from the 1st race would have strained the relationship/dynamic)

          1. Strange view. But probably needed to keep your bias alive.

          2. @sibusisokolwapi

            Your theory seems a little far fetched. It just seemed that Mercedes were covering Hamilton from Vettel’s early stop. That’s about it.

            If anything, Ferrari were risk averse by letting their drivers race. They openly admitted to giving the team order.

          3. It is an interesting idea Ghost Racer.
            I think Lewis did (probably does still) feel bad about using Bottas last season and I could imagine him feeling such an agreement would be a decent thing to offer.
            I would expect absolutely no mercy from Lewis for the rest of the season though, should be fun ;)

          4. F1oSaurus (@)
            17th March 2019, 13:15

            @sibusisokolwapi They felt they had to cover off Vettel’s undercut and by doing that they knew that Hamilton would have gotten P2.

            So they went for a sure 1-2 finish instead of betting on Ferrari also not having the pace during the race.

            Makes perfect sense really. What did they have to win by taking that bet? Nothing.

            Ferrari not letting Leclerc race Vettel already in the first race sounds obnoxiously risk averse. It sadly confirms that Leclerc will be in a #2 role just like Raikkonen always was.

          5. @nullapax I’ve no doubt Bottas got a better start and deserved the win. It did cross my mind, though, that, if not exactly a pact or something pre-arranged, at some point Hamilton may have decided that resigning himself to a Bottas win might not be the worst thing for either the team or himself in the championship. They need Bottas competing well with Verstappen, Vettel and Leclerc all likely to be challenging on good days. And that negative karma from last season in Russia did need exorcising still – not by doing Bottas any obvious favours, but by him having a confidence-boosting win on merit. Like I said, no suggestion Bottas wouldn’t have won, but maybe Vettel’s suggestion that Hamilton backed into him out of boredom wasn’t entirely untrue. It’s like Hamilton said to himself, well now I’ve given up on the impossible task of catching Valteri, what am I going to do?

  13. So happy for Max/RBR/Honda to confirm the hype and the buildup. This is like a victory for them given it’s race one of this marriage. Given Honda’s history in the hybrid era. Wow. All Honda’s were reliable and racy. Awesome. Newey has nailed the car and no doubt they will develop further alongside others. Dream start as Horner just said.

    1. Also, first podium for Honda since 2008. Thank you Max and team. Way to go Honda.

      1. @robbie, 2 observations from the race,
        1 The Honda engines sounded sweet.
        2 The cars actually did seem to be able to run closer, might be something in that newfangled science stuff after all.

        1. 2 The cars actually did seem to be able to run closer, might be something in that newfangled science stuff after all.

          I thought that too, @hohum. I’m curious to see how the cars will follow each other in Bahrain, a permanent track.

          1. @toiago, Me too, no matter how many times our hopes have been crushed, still we hope, fools that we are.

        2. @hohum

          I love the sound of the Honda PU !!! WoW!!! It’s like Vtec just kicked in yo!!!

          Very impressed with RB and Honda. What a laughing stock McLaren must be

    2. @robbie

      I think they did well for their first race weekend. There were no problems as such, and they looked decent in race trim.

      As we’ve argued about before, if they did make the progress they’ve been praised for, a podium in the opening race should have been on the cards. Good on them for delivering in race 1. I’m not a fan of Honda, but I like seeing a competitive Max Verstappen fighting for the title.

      Having said that… it’s just race 1. Let’s see if they can stay reliable for the next few races.

      1. Agreed but for now.. 4 Hondas alive and one podium. 1 Renault blew and one dnf.
        Nice start for Honda, bad start for Renault.

  14. Lot of negative comments about Mercedes team orders last year which were implemented because of the situation in the WDC, here we are at the first race in 2019 with Leclerc easily 2 secs a lap quicker than Seb and in DRS range with 10 laps to go and he backs off …. if that is Ferrari team orders it sucks, if it was Leclerc’s own decision then he does not deserve the Ferrari seat.

    1. …seems a bit harsh on Leclerc there .. what surprised me more was that Ferrari did not pit him with 5 laps to go – it would have been a free pitstop and surely he would have had a showing for an extra point.

    2. Dude, seriously, 2 seconds???? each lap the graphic was shown and it was 0.6 or 0.7. Stop exaggerating. And at the start it was Leclerc who was falling behind.
      Also, when the gap was like 5 seconds, Ferrari should’ve pitted both of them, kept same order and have them duel it out for fastest lap. But in a way, I doubt even on a set of Softs the Ferrari would’ve been quicker than Bottas’s FL.

      1. ok maybe two secs was an exaggeration but Leclerc was clearly faster at that point of the race and should have been able to pass Seb with relative ease. Merc took some serious stick for issuing team orders late in the season, why does it seem to people that it is ok for Ferrari to seemingly do in the first race …. looks like Leclerc will be free to race everybody except Seb.

    3. Ghost Racer (@sibusisokolwapi)
      17th March 2019, 7:48

      I think it was the right call tbh. This track is tricky to overtake on and if something bad happened Ferrari would have looked foolish

    4. Maybe you were distracted by all the other cars during that race cruising up to the car in front and then blasting past them to disappear into the distance?

      Or maybe you weren’t … because that didn’t happen did it.
      There were maybe two legitimate overtakes the whole race … everyone was caught in a 2-3 sec hole behind the guy in front, even when those ahead were much slower or on older tyres.

      Clearly you have no idea what you were watching.

      1. Ferrari literally told him to not overtake Vettel. Race 1 and his championship challenge is already over in Ferraris eyes.

        1. It’s Ferrari, it’s always been that way,ever since Enzo was in charge.

    5. F1oSaurus (@)
      17th March 2019, 13:18

      Spot on man. Especially doupled with the message a few days ago that Leclerc would always get the short straw if the team had to make decisions. Just like always happened with Raikkonen.

      It’s just disgusting how they always have these #1 and #2 driver setups.

  15. Bottas was on fire all weekend and during the race just blitzed it. Good on him, maybe having Ocon in the pits has fired him up.

  16. If action movies followed the F1 script …

    There would be an amazing trailer promising a blockbuster.
    In the first 5mins we’d see all the car chases, fight scenes, shoot-outs, suspense, hero’s vanquishing enemies, humanity saved, etc.
    Then for the next 90 minutes all we’d see is the hero washing his car, doing his laundry, getting a few items from the shops, making a meal or two, replying to some emails, & having a nap.

    1. But for some strange reason, that movie will not attract a lot of viewers, F1 however…

    2. Then go watch something else instead of making pointless comments.

      1. As a fan of F1 I’ll point out it’s current deficiencies when I feel like it.

        If you accept & celebrate mediocrity that’s your problem.

        1. I laughed at your comment mate…amusing analogy :)
          ..but I did watch the race, will again, and am thoroughly stoked to see the boys at it again, who knows what this season will bring.

  17. Where are the people who were saying Honda won’t be good in races.
    The McLaren embarrassment is now complete. The Amazon documentary looks stupider and stupider as time passes.

    1. Just because Honda is finally coming good now doesn’t take away from the fact that they were rubbish during the Mclaren years. Honda have had 4 seasons worth of testing before coming good in their 5th season, so I don’t see how Mclaren looks stupid now.

      It’s just race 1. Why don’t we wait a few races to see just how reliable the Honda power unit is.

      1. Exactly … 1 podium in 11 years and suddenly some people behave like Honda has achieved something worth talking about.

        1. petebaldwin (@)
          17th March 2019, 13:12

          1 podium in 1 race for Red Bull/Honda….

          1. @petebaldwin

            And the 5 races before the Australian gp we had Red bull with Renault power on the podium in each of the races. Including a win in Mexico and another potential win in Brazil.

            Let’s see if Honda can deliver the same result in the next 4 races…then maybe heap some praise on Honda.

          2. @petebaldwin

            1 race… after an entire years worth of on & off track development thanks to their B-team…

    2. Panagiotis Papatheodorou (@panagiotism-papatheodorou)
      17th March 2019, 9:29

      1 podium doesn’t excuse their poor perfomance with McLaren.

      1. Let’s not downplay Honda’s excellent achievement here. Mercedes has dominated the hybrid era and everyone except Merc fans bemoaned their locked in advantage thanks to the token system. Nobody has been able to touch them. Not even mighty Ferrari with all their extra money. Zak Brown said last year that only Mercedes will win the Championships until 2021’s changes potentially might change that. Honda were the late comers to the party and yet appear as though they may have passed Renault. That is no small feat in this highly complex era. What happened at Mac and last year at STR were obviously necessary steps in the learning process. And…nobody is claiming, including myself, that they are now matching Mercedes and Ferrari, but boy they sure seem to have closed the gap just as they claimed, and seem to have surpassed Renault as they claimed too. Everything to play for yet though of course, but RBR/Honda will be chuffed bigtime.

        1. @robbie

          Honda were the late comers to the party and yet appear as though they may have passed Renault. That is no small feat in this highly complex era

          Honda were a year late to join the party.. But they have allocated a way larger amount of resources, money and effort on their engine program as compared to Renault. Yet they haven’t taken a clear step ahead of Renault. It’s still mere speculation.

          They might be respectable this year… But they haven’t really achieved any big feat yet.

          1. @todfod That’s why I said ‘they appear,’ and why I said what I did in my last sentence. I repeat, RBR/Honda will be chuffed right now.

        2. They look good, but after 5 years of purely engine development and a full on track development year last year they should. Don’t forget that RBR Renault took third place on the track here in the first race of the hybrid PU system in 2014… RBR don’t particularly look like they are in any better place than they were at the end of last year. It does finally seem to be a much more even playing field across the engines thankfully. Let’s hope we can see someone other than one of three teams climb onto the podium.

  18. Beardy Bottas Reborn!
    “I want that extra point” said it all! Best start of the season he could have.

    Hamilton: got a beating from Bottas, wow! Must have felt like being hit with a hammer.

    Fantastic Verstappen: on pace with Ferrari and Hamilton. Pulled off a great move on Vettel, on a circuit that has never been good for RB.

    Vettel: was he allowed to stay for Leclerc? Ouch…

    Leclerc: very promising start! Will be a definite threat for Vettel this year.

    1. Ghost Racer (@sibusisokolwapi)
      17th March 2019, 8:45

      No way Bottas is 20 seconds faster than Hamilton! Great race from Bottas none the less but Hamilton was looking after his engine as he wasn’t allowed to race Bottas anyway.

      1. Just read Hamilton missed a piece of his floor… So the beating was not realistic in retrospective. Nonetheless, Bottas had a fantastis start what brought Lewis on the backfoot.

  19. Delighted for Valtteri.
    Delighted to see Max start a season calm and professionally at last. Next new WDC I believe, eventually.
    Impressed by Landos entire weekend.
    Stroll definitely gets a pat on the back for a solid drive despite all our negative vibes.
    Concerned by Gasly’s performance but it’s a hard track to overtake on so ….
    Upset by ferraris lack of pace.

    I think that sums me up. Good start to the season :)

  20. With the point for fastest lap the thing for me is that while it may add a bit of interest to the end of a race I still don’t think that who gets the fastest lap should contribute towards the championship standings & ultimately help decide the championships.

    At the end of the day the fastest lap is a largely irrelevant statistic which isn’t indicative of who had the best package on the day, Especially when you are going to see drivers pit late in the day for fresh tires which will make who gets it even less relevant & even less deserving of an extra point.

    Whatever artificial spice it may add for a few minutes at the end of a race (Artificial spice we’re likely rarely going to actually see BTW)….. Is this really something we want to see contribute towards & potentially decide who wins the championships?

    I’m not sure it is.

    1. @gt-racer We’ve only had the one example so far, but what we saw was that nobody decided to pit late for tires just to go for the fastest lap and the point, but we heard drivers on the radio that were keen about it. After all, it is 21 points over a season as LH said after the race, and that’s almost a race win worth. In this one example that point went exactly to the one driver that ran away from the field, so it was perfectly fitting, and showed that he had genuine pace even in the end, and wasn’t just settling for the win by coasting.

      I do appreciate where you are coming from wrt if we want this contributing to the Championships, and can only say for now that if it usually goes to the one winning anyway, then no problem. It’s fitting.

  21. GtisBetter (@)
    17th March 2019, 9:57

    Lots of good stuff here, but the biggest thing for me was Gasly. RB have a chance to finish second in the constructors championchip, but they need Gasly to pull his weight. And it looked like he didn’t even fought for that point. If you can’t pass a Torro Rosso with fresh tyres, how are you going to challenge the big boys? Maybe it’s nothing, but i think it’s a interesting thing to look out for this season and to see if he overcompensates.

    1. My thoughts precisely.
      We all know Melbourne is a bad track for overtaking but I don’t believe Max would have finished that low if the roles were reversed.

      Gasly is new to the team and the car so let’s wait and see how he does in the future.

  22. José Lopes da Silva
    17th March 2019, 10:29

    First race without Alonso, first podium for Honda.

    All the talks if Red Bull was doing a good choice by going with Honda suddenly vanished.

    1. First Honda race without Alonso? I can get the joke but we’re in 2019 and Honda powered Toro Rosso all previous year.

  23. At the bottom of the article there’s the 2018 Australian grand prix reactions instead of 2019. Funny to see the title of the first article: “McLaren can target Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull now – Alonso”

    1. F1oSaurus (@)
      17th March 2019, 13:20

      “Now we can fight!”

  24. This was great from Bottas. If we want a good season we need a good championship Battle. If he can get him Rattled with a string of consequtive wins, that would give him a fighting chance.

    Meanwhile look at RedBull Honda. Max was awesome, Honda engine did the job on the straight around Ferrari. That was impressive.

    And Ferrari? They had a great race, but considering their pace, they were only good for P4, even that could have been p5.

    After such strong winter testing, they have sunk so low.

  25. Really strong drives from Bottas and Max; Bottas for putting Lewis in the shade, Max for getting a controlled 3rd on a track that doesn’t favor his car at all.
    Stroll also surprisingly good today, good to see he can perform with a decent car.

    Gasly was pretty terrible, not being able to move into the points in a RB even with retirements from some strong top 10 drivers. Ricciardo incredibly unlucky, feel bad for him. And Williams, well….

  26. Great job by Bottas and Mercedes, but we all know this track is a bit unusual so still hopeful it will be closer coming races.

    The midfield is crazy close and fun to watch, but this track made even that a procession which was disappointing.

    Rookies doing well and no bonehead moves anywhere. Nice.

  27. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    17th March 2019, 14:47

    Very happy with this race! Bottas looked like he was in a class of his own really, like he was a completely different driver. It’s the beard, I could watch that all day. Also Verstappen taking a podium for Red Bull-Honda is awesome! Clearly the engine isn’t as bad as everyone feared – McLaren must be devastated. Also Kvyat snatching a point on his return, and holding off a Red Bull to do it was great.

  28. I’m really curious if part of VB’s form this weekend is down to the driver weight regulation changes. I assume not starving yourself helps keep you sharp and strong.

    1. I don’t know about that. The weight limit is the same as a light heavyweight boxer.

      Bigger neck and muscles than an F1 driver

  29. On the subject of food, I’d be interested to know what the preferred race cuisine was at Chateau Dieter ?

  30. Keith still discrediting kimi at every opportunity. Poor journalism.

    Sorry you didn’t get an autograph.

  31. First race i didnt watched in ages… thank god i didnt stay awake for this borefest. Honestly between the halo and mercedes my love for f1 is dying really fast.

  32. Am I right in saying that’s only two wins from the last 9 poles for Lewis now?
    And I got slated here for sticking to my guns that Lewis has these off-periods every season to be considered better than Schumacher or Senna.
    Last year Bottas looked promising when Lewis was complaining about the Merc’s tyres. So I guess when this is fixed in his favour again it will be business as usual (except at altitude where Max slaughters him)
    An another great race by Max whilst he waits for a car on par with the top 2.

    1. that aint correct.
      he won at least five races from his last 10 pole positions.
      that info you got there is about his poles on Australian soil only.
      and frankly, can’t agree with that. its much easier to lose more races from pole when you start from pole all the time, like he does.
      he still has only 10 more poles than wins. that’s a very good proportion, actually.

  33. digitalrurouni
    17th March 2019, 22:36

    Interesting there’s no mention of the fact that Hamilton was running a damaged floor throughout the race. Mercedes did well with the 1-2!

  34. I’m quite surprised there hasn’t been an article about this yet..

    Fair enough that Bottas beat Hamilton on the start but to act like the damage on Hamilton’s floor had nothing to do with the gap is a bit ridiculous, the usual conspiracy theorists on here accusing Mercedes of inventing excuses for Hamilton that he had rear floor damage when there is literally photographic evidence are just delusional. I suppose a mechanic for Mercedes must have just taken a saw to his car during the pit stop lol

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