Start, Albert Park, Melbourne, 2019

Bottas makes a perfect start in more ways than one

2019 Australian Grand Prix review

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The 2019 Australian Grand Prix witnessed the unleashing of a potent new force in F1.

A revived, revitalised ‘Valtteri Bottas 2.0′ emerged from the off-season armed with a devastating turn of speed and a new, ruthless and uncompromising streak.

Alternatively, Lewis Hamilton fluffed his start, then dropped out of contention due to a broken floor and a (potentially unnecessarily) early pit stop to keep the Ferraris behind.

Where between these two extremes does the truth of the season-opening race of the 2019 F1 season lie?

Bottas builds his advantage

Hamilton had been the quicker of the two Mercedes drivers throughout practice and into qualifying. A scruffy first lap in Q3 left him on the back foot but he hit back in style, stringing his three best sectors together on his final lap. Bottas didn’t manage to do the same, but even if he had he would have been a few thousandths shy of the champion.

Start, Albert Park, 2019
The moment the race was won?
No matter. From second on the grid Bottas had a clean run down the inside of the other Mercedes heading into turn one. This was the path Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg had previously taken at Albert Park to deprive Hamilton of his pole position advantage when he was their team mate (in 2012 and 2016 respectively). When the lights went out, Bottas followed it.

It might not have been as good a start as the incomprehensibly fast getaway which won him the 2017 Austrian Grand Prix, but it was more than good enough to give him the upper hand at a track where passing is never easy.

Hamilton kept his team mate in sight at first, but began to drop back after lap four. From the 10th tour he held the deficit steady at just under four seconds. But he wasn’t happy with his balance. “Struggling with the rears,” he reported on the radio.

Mercedes later discovered Hamilton’s car had sustained damaged to its floor just in front of the left-rear tyre. It seems the damage coincided with Hamilton’s loss of pace at this point. But he was quick enough to eke out a near-four-second lead over Sebastian Vettel.

Mercedes shadow Ferrari in the pits

This proved valuable as the cars behind them began pitting sooner than expected. Kimi Raikkonen came in on lap 12, which kept him on course for a single stop, though it was prompted by his left-rear brake duct ingesting a tear-off – possibly his own – and starting to overheat.

This triggered the domino effect of drivers around him heading in. Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg came in on the next lap. The Renault driver had been chasing the Haas pair, who were obviously going to pit in reaction, which in turn meant Vettel’s Ferrari was about to get a clear gap to pit into.

Sure enough Vettel and Magnussen hit the pit lane the next time around, the Ferrari driver calling for one turn less of front wing angle as he switched from the soft C4 tyres to the medium C3s.

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Mercedes, who lost last year’s Australian Grand Prix because they miscalculated the pit stop gap they needed under Safety Car conditions to Vettel, seemed anxious to avoid another tactical blunder at the same track. They played it safe with Hamilton, bringing him in straight away despite his margin to Vettel, unwilling to risk a fast out-lap by the Ferrari leaving them vulnerable to the undercut.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Albert Park, 2019
Mercedes discovered damage on Hamilton’s car
But Ferrari had been struggling all weekend with the chassis which set the pace in pre-season testing. Vettel’s out-lap was nothing special – just three-tenths quicker than Bottas was going in his undamaged car – and Hamilton easily kept his position ahead of the Ferrari when he pitted the next time around. But he was conscious of the early pit stop’s likely effect on his strategy.

“What’s the reason you stopped me so early?” he asked on the radio. “To cover Vettel,” answered race engineer Pete Bonnington.

Soon afterwards Hamilton expressed doubts about his strategy. “I don’t think I’m going to make it to the end of the race on this tyre,” he remarked, adding later: “I’ve got no rear end.”

Speaking afterwards, Vettel rubbished the idea Hamilton had been in any kind of trouble. “I was told also on the radio that he’s complaining about his tyres but I think he made it quite safely to the end,” he pointed out. Clearly, Hamilton was much quicker over the long stint than Vettel, whose best lap time was almost two seconds slower than his rival’s.

In the closing stages of the race Hamilton’s tyres were in good enough shape for him to make a bid of the new fastest lap bonus point and within half a second of Bottas’s quickest lap. Verstappen and Charles Leclerc had a go too but must have known it was an exercise in futility given Bottas’s pace, position and tyre age.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said he forbade his drivers and his engineers from trying to bag the point for fastest lap if they were running in the top three positions. Was a solemn edict or a cheerful, ‘none-of-that-you-scamps’ finger-wag? It’s hard to imagine the team which took the unsentimental decision to order Bottas aside so Hamilton could win in Sochi last year to leave a point on the table.

Bottas, bristling with a sense of purpose, not to mention that new beard, made his stance clear: “I want 26 points.” He got them.

Ferrari might have beaten Mercedes to the bonus, but the thinking on their pit wall seemed even more muddled. Vettel’s dire lack of pace opened the door for Max Verstappen, with inevitable consequences: Vettel dropped out of the podium places.

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Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Albert Park, 2019
Leclerc asked permission to pass Vettel
Soon his new team mate Leclerc, whose tyres were 14 laps fresher, was zeroing in at around a second per lap. Before the season began Ferrari had given mixed messages about how such scenarios might be handled. New team principal Mattia Binotto said Vettel would be favoured in “ambiguous scenarios” but the pair were “free to fight”.

Leclerc, showing an apparent willingness to sign up to the role of ‘number two’, took the surprising step of asking his team whether he was allowed to pass Vettel as he closed in. The response was inevitable: “Back off to have some margin.” He did as he was bidden.

A subtler solution to this problem was available to Ferrari. They could have pulled Leclerc in for a pit stop, put him on fresh tyres, and tried to bag the point for fastest lap, as Leclerc suggested earlier in the week they would.

According to Binotto they didn’t because to do so because it was too great a “risk”. That may be so, but you have to wonder whether Ferrari actually could have beaten Mercedes to the fastest lap even with a newer set of tyres. Leclerc made a last-lap bid for fastest lap on tyres which were five laps younger than Bottas had end, yet ended up 1.3 seconds slower.

So against expectations, neither car from the fastest team in pre-season testing appeared on the podium. Verstappen, who wielded his new Honda power unit to impressive effect by passing Vettel, gave Red Bull’s new partner their first podium for more than a decade. Leclerc dutifully followed Ferrari home.

Haas win the midfield fight

Romain Grosjean, Haas, Albert Park, 2019
Grosjean’s “terrible” Melbourne record got no better
“If you look at my record here it’s terrible,” Romain Grosjean admitted before the race.

“In 2012 I bogged at the start and Pastor Maldonado crashed into me so I retired. In 2013 I had a tough race. In 2014 I didn’t make it to the chequered flag. In 2015 I didn’t make it to the grid – the engine blew up. In 2016 I was very lucky; 2017 – turbo; 2018 – lost a wheel. I’ve always qualified in the top 10, matter of fact I’ve only seen twice the finishing line.”

In 2019 it got no better. From sixth on the grid he fell behind Kevin Magnussen at the start, meaning he was the second Haas to pit. While Magnussen’s stop went smoothly, Grosjean’s brought back memories of 12 months ago. He was detained in the pits a long time, and once he returned to the track he eventually retired with an associated problem.

Magnussen therefore led the midfield home, impressively still on the lead lap and within half a minute of the Ferraris, their problems notwithstanding. They key to his ‘best-of-the-rest’ victory lay in the speed with which he dispatched Antonio Giovinazzi after coming out of the pits behind the Alfa Romeo driver.

Encouragingly for the state of the competition in the midfield, the top 10 was filled by representatives of eight different teams. They included Hulkenberg, who also managed to pass Giovinazzi, and Raikkonen, who was waved through.

After his misfortune in qualifying, where he was badly held up by Grosjean, Lance Stroll started on the harder tyres. He ran until lap 27 before pitting in reaction to Daniil Kvyat behind doing the same, and both came out ahead of Giovinazzi. That put the duo on course of the final points places.

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Debuts to forget

Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, Albert Park, 2019
Kvyat resisted Gasly for the final point
Kvyat nearly squandered his chance when he went off at turn three, ploughing through the gravel. Up ahead Pierre Gasly, who ran the longest opening stint of all having started 17th, seized his opportunity to pit and come out ahead of Kvyat. But heading into turn three for the first time, his tyres not fully heated (Pirelli has reduced the maximum temperatures for tyre blankets this year), Gasly was forced to cede position to the Toro Rosso.

Gasly wasn’t the only driver who will want to put his first race with a new team behind him quickly. Daniel Ricciardo’s first race for Renault was wrecked along with his front wing when he put a couple of wheels off-track on the run to turn one.

Giovinazzi served Raikkonen’s race well but after staying out for lap after lap on worn tyres he ended up 15th. Behind him were the two Williams drivers, who collected few scrapbook mementoes from their first weekend in the evil-handling FW42. That especially goes for Robert Kubica, who had waited eight years to race an F1 car again, but after a series of collisions found his car handling so poorly he was almost moved to laughter.

Bottas’s perfect start

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Albert Park, 2019
Bottas called it his “best race”
It was no exaggeration for Bottas to describe his win as “the best race I’ve had in my life”, even if that 20-second victory over Hamilton owed more to circumstance than him suddenly untapping new reserves of speed.

But his winter programme of relaxation and rallying has clearly both agreed with him and had practical value. Before the races Bottas described how his rally debut in the Arctic Lapland event helped him to stay sharp.

“For me it was great training as well because over two days the rally last you need to concentrate, you can’t do any mistakes if you want to finish,” he said. “That’s something normally that’s difficult to train and you might end up doing mistakes in winter testing or the first races if you haven’t been driving much.”

A few dozen extra practice at starting into the red glow of a start light, poised to pounce can’t have hurt either. Because in the final reckoning, it was the start that won him the race.

So you have to wonder whether, in between growing his beard and driving his rally car, how much of the off-season Bottas spent reflecting on how Hamilton’s last team mate beat him to the championship.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Author information

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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49 comments on “Bottas makes a perfect start in more ways than one”

  1. ”In 2015 I didn’t make it to the grid – the engine blew up.”
    – Wrong, he indeed did (the drivers who failed at that four years ago were Kvyat and Magnussen), and started the race, but came into the pits after the opening lap to retire for power loss.

  2. The damaged floor.. You need a microscope to find the missing part.
    https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/article.revealed-the-floor-damage-sustained-by-hamiltons-mercedes-in-australia.4vkJz23RABpMkzIEAzwaf8.html
    If that part is responsible for a 20 second delay, merc is in serious trouble.

    1. Alternatively, if even with a 20 second delay and that damage, Hamilton could hold off both Verstappen and Vettel, then Mercedes are definitely not in serious trouble.

      1. During the season the merc will take more damage. Let’s say loosing a barge board results in 60 seconds, a vane in 40 seconds.. Etc..
        Just joking, but the damage was so minimal it looks like a bad excuse

        1. It wasn’t a damaged part but a missing one. Which implies that the part’s function was absent. Quote from a Motorsport article:

          Although this part is quite small, it is critical to the performance of the diffuser as it helps control the direction of the airflow around the rear tyre – and especially prevents airflow from spilling into the path of the diffuser. The likely impact of the missing part is that it would have made the car very unbalanced – as the airflow over both sides of the car would have been different. This not only would have impacted on the car balance, and Hamilton’s ability to push, but would have hit tyre management too.

          I think there were multiple factors in Hamilton being so far back, but you can’t really say how critical a part is without in-depth data.

          1. Last year verstappen lost a significant part of his front wing. Nevertheless he held position and got a reward on the podium.
            So, some drivers are better with missing parts than others.

          2. Come on, that’s obvious. Verstappen is so pure Red Bull, he can grow his own wings whenever needed.

    2. Thanks for pointing to that article + pictures.

    3. You do understand that a lot of that 20 seconds come from Hamilton having to pit much earlier than expected to cover Vettel and therefore reduce his pace so his tires would be ok for 3 quarters of the race? combined with a car that’s not handling properly, and Hamilton realizing the win wasn’t on and probably looking after his engine?

      Do you?

      1. Even more excuses..
        Face it, this time Bottas was superior. He worked hard and probably harder then Lewis.

        1. Well I’m glad we got an expert on here. So tell us what the main function of that missing part is, and why in this case having it missing from one side of the car doesn’t affect the performance to any significant degree?

          1. I am no expert, but smart enough to recognize a bad excuse if I see one.

          2. erikje, we shall then have to wait and see if you are prepared to hold your personal favourites to that same standard in the future then.

    4. Well, at least you admit you’re no expert (neither am I, but I listen). The missing part of the floor did not cause the 20 second gap. It did, however, unbalance the air flow between the two rear tires, resulting in excessive rear tire wear.

      The 20 second gap came about because Hamilton, realizing that he was unlikely to pass the other Mercedes on track (passing is still an issue, especially at Albert Park), and being pitted way too early, decided to nurse his unbalanced rear tires for 43 laps, keeping performance in reserve for any pesky Red Bulls or Ferraris that wanted to try to pass late in the race– which, as it turned out, Vettel didn’t have the pace to keep Verstappen at bay, but Hamilton did.

      So essentially, he drove as slowly as possible to maintain second place. That’s his explanation, and since it matches what we saw during the race, and he was there in the car, and I wasn’t, it would be presumptuous for me to argue with him.

    5. I’m pretty sure that the damage just meant that Hamilton’s car was somewhat harsher on his tyres. And since he stopped early he had to go a bit more conservative to preserve the tyres to the end. Hamilton clearly showed that he had more pace available when he had a go for that fastest lap.

      On the other hand it could also have been larger, had Bottas not slowed his own car down about 20 laps before the finish. Although that in turn gave him the reserve to nick the fastest lap in the end.

    6. It’s hilarious how salty you are erikje.

      You need a microscope to find the missing part.

      Guess your eyesight is just really bad? Because the part that is missing is about the size of an adult hand, and most people can see them without any magnification whatsoever.

      Also it is one of, if not the most important part of the floor controller the airflow around the tyre. Of course someone with such a fundamentally limited understanding of F1 such as yourself probably can’t process that. Maybe you should start watching a simpler sport?

  3. Have to admit it’s both, but I like the Bad Ass Bottas story better. I think it’s the beard. If he can just keep growing it longer over the season, he can turn full hipster and insist he makes a better vegan avocado on toast breakfast than Hamilton too.

    1. @david-br avocado isn’t technically vegan anymore! Think of the bees!

      1. @gongtong Well, I agree it’s bee exploitation to force them to pollinate avocados, but it’s not as though you eat them too! So yes, eating avocados is indeed completely evil, but technically animal free still. Unless they happen to fly in your taco at the wrong time.

  4. Congrats to Bottas and he deserves to feel good about that win. Now let’s see if Hamilton can really be beaten like this over consecutive races…if so, it could get interesting.

  5. When we discussed Ricciardo’s reasons for leaving Red Bull here, I remember someone saying he believed Horner, in that Daniel went to Renault because of Max having the upper hand. And he commented that “Daniel should’ve done a Rosberg, ‘no more mister nice guy’ “.

    That phrase got to my mind when I saw Bottas attitude after the race. Maybe he’s flicked the switch and now it’s really on… he was too nice to Lewis the past two years, maybe he needs to become a “darker persona”, using all the tools available to beat him, wearing him down, no mercy. Congrats to him, it’s worked for Australia. I hope it continues to work for him because that’s the only way this is going to be interesting if Mercedes is really this far ahead of the rest. And nice guys can’t beat Hamilton…

    1. No problem with that as long he doesn’t use Rosberg tactics of pushing cars of the track and damages them.

  6. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    18th March 2019, 20:10

    I find this broken floor a bit of an excuse. Mercedes will not have manufactured the floor like this. Only Hamilton could have caused it. We all know how delicate the cars seem from what we have seen from ricciardo and Kubica. The only time Hamilton ran potentially could have damaged his floor slightly was on his first Q3 run. If it wasn’t caused by that, a problem like this doesn’t arrive overnight. It can only have been caused by something Hamilton did, even if it was slightly unlucky. But he himself didn’t mention it or use it as an excuse. But I’m not convinced that he could have been much closer to Bottas without the problem. For once, Bottas dominated a race.

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      18th March 2019, 20:16

      Although I should have seen that it was due to running over debris, which is not really avoidable. The that damage looks can’t be worth anywhere near 20 seconds.

      1. The damage was to a very important piece of aero controlling air around the left rear tyre and to the diffuser..So air on one side of the car would have been smacking into the rear left wheel rather than being directed around it and to the diffuser, whilst air would have still been directed around the rear right. So yes it really can make a 20 second difference over 53 laps considering the damage was incurred on lap 4, it would have had a big effect on the rear balance of the car meaning Hamilton would have had to look after his rears even more ontop of being pitted early by the team.

        I don’t understand why anytime Hamilton has any kind of damage people put it down to “excuses” from Mercedes, there’s literally photographs from the grand prix showing his floor before and after the damage..

        1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          18th March 2019, 21:36

          I find it very strange that there are no articles mentioning that it could have cost him 20 seconds if what you say is true. I seriously doubt it cost him anything close to this. In interviews, he mentioned nothing about the car feeling difficult to drive, at least the early ones, even when questioned about his pace. So if he said nothing then, and mercedes don’t confirm this cost him a lot of time, they you can’t confirm it either.

          Mercedes will have been able to tell during the race if something was obviously affecting the flow of the car significantly from the amount of sensors they have. But Hamilton nor them mentioned anything until afterwards. At least from what was broadcast. You almost always hear the radio for the top teams drivers if the car has a obvious problem that the team or driver know about. So this makes me doubt it yet more that it made a big difference. I know there are pictures and I believe it will have had an effect, but just not much.

          It could certainly have effected him, but i still doubt that given it was a gap this size and initially, Hamilton just said Bottas did better, i doubt the problem was the main reason he got beaten by this margin.

          1. Well he obviously knew what was wrong , because he went straight to that part of the car in parc ferme and inspected it.

          2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
            18th March 2019, 21:50

            Also, even before this problem was there for Hamilton, he himself said Bottas has much better pace in the car. So clearly he admitted that Bottas was faster. And the gap didn’t exactly start increasing much quicker once he got the problem as it was before hand. He did say that he tried to drop back initially, which is understandable. But the rest, given he said that Bottas had better pace, it was clear that 20 seconds won’t all have been down to that.

          3. @thegianthogweed Mercedes and Hamilton are not saying the damage cost Hamilton 20 seconds.

            What it did do is:
            1) Make it impossible to challenge Bottas for the lead
            2) Make the rears potentially wear more quickly

            So Hamilton only had to cover off the competition for P2 and he did so by going as slow as possible while still achieving that goal.

            Verstappen found this out when he did got to close and Hamilton simply drove away. Hamilton could go faster, but why would he? That just puts more wear on the engine.

      2. @thegianthogweed Your right, its not 20 seconds worth of damage. Once Bottas was gone, im pretty sure he was just managing what was behind him, regardless of how far ahead Bottas was.

    2. OK, since you apparently know more than the team, and the driver, please explain, if Hamilton wasn’t managing his pace, how he was able to knock 5 seconds off the gap between he and Bottas in the last 8 laps of the race, when Bottas was gunning for the fastest lap?

      There was no domination. There was only Hamilton managing the pace to preserve his tires and maintain second place.

      Bottas drove a superb race, and it’s starting to look like Bottas is stepping up his game in the way he has to if he wants to hold onto his seat at Mercedes– but he’s got to keep it up over 20 more races.

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        19th March 2019, 7:32

        Read my later comments and accept that I hadn’t seen elsewhere what they did know regarding the broken part being caused by debris.

        Regarding your comment about Hamilton catching up, Bottas was in significantly more traffic than Hamilton near the end and they took some time to get out of his way. Sky were commenting on that. That was the stage Hamilton was closing in a bit. He was behind the train of Gasly, Kvyat, Stroll, kimi and hulkenberg who were all seperated by no more than 5 seconds. Hamilton didn’t have to deal with them at this stage. Before Bottas was behind Gasly, the gap was 25. When Bottas was picking his way through, it dropped as it wasn’t easy.

    3. Who knows, maybe Kubica’s missing mirror knocked that bit off Hamilton’s floor! @thegianthogweed!

      I think the combination of a bit of floor making it a touch harder to preserve the tyres and stopping early so Hamilton was possibly overly cautious to make sure everything lasted. He had enough pace in reserve to speed up and have his own shot at fastest lap, but knew he wouldn’t be able to get a shot at Bottas so he just brought it home in steady speed.

  7. A question – how is it determined on which side of the track the pole sitter starts from? Is it the side of the track that has the dry racing line preferred by the majority (i.e. the straight line from the exit of the last turn to the apex of the first turn). Or is there some other factor that is considered? There seem to be a handful of tracks where the benefit of pole is diminished by the benefit P2 has from his starting position.

    Bottas, bristling with a sense of purpose, not to mention that new beard

    I know I’ve made fun of his beard earlier this year, but if that’s what it takes for him to get newfound purpose, then more power to him!

    1. @phylyp
      I believe the pole sitters start on the racing line or the line that is devoid of dust/marbles etc.

    2. @phylyp, I believe that there is no specific guidance on which side of the track pole position may start from and that it is at the discretion of the circuit and the event organisers.

      @webtel, I believe that having the pole sitter start on the cleaner side of the track is more of a custom than a strict rule, particularly as, at a number of venues, the racing line cuts across the track from one side to the other. At a venue like Spa, for example, the racing line is, if anything, slightly offset towards 2nd place on the grid due to the way that drivers move across to take the first corner, so it isn’t a fixed custom.

      1. @anon
        I was under the impression that it was more of rule/position of advantage given to the pole-sitter. Thanks for clearing that up.

  8. Some Ham fans will never admit that he can simply be beaten. Those that witnessed Rosberg doing it know that excuse after excuse is presented instead of just admitting the most clear and obvious.
    Even Senna and Schumacher were beaten by thier teammates when they hooked up a perfect race …and Ham is no Senna or Schumacher.

  9. amazingly, bottas won 1 race in over a year…and is hailed. lewis came second. had abit of damage and decided to manage his tyres and engine and kept 2nd. and all some people see is how bottas thrashed hamilton. yes the gap was very big. but Lewis us no push over. and he was thinking the long game. why come 2nd in 0 5 seconds and waist engine and other parts when you can save for another day and have a better performing engine due to clever thinking.

    1. It is a rehash of the start of 2017 when the usual anti-Ham gang touted Bottas at the beginning of the season.
      Lewis makes a mistake at race start and all of a sudden Bottas is Master Jedi. Such fickle minds!
      Fact is , without that mistake at the start, Bottas would have been in usual position, as was for the vast majority of the entire weekend. Granted points are awarded at the end of sunday. Can anyone beat his chest to claim that he/she saw this coming anytime before race start? This is a fluke until a pattern is established. On the evidence of the last 2 seasons, not happening IMO. Bottas is no Rosberg and even he needed mother luck.

      1. Yes … less than 5% of the season completed and they are dividing the spoils already. (Insert good chuckle here …)
        There are a load of races yet to go and Hamilton is likely playing the long game, which he should.
        Yes VB won by a large margin, but could LH have realistically, damage or no damage, have taken the fight to him and to what end.? I believe it was Vettel that commented you needed 1.8 sec a lap in-hand to overtake someone. Since VB and LH are driving the same cars, not likely that either is going to pass the other, even with DRS. 5 sec in 8 laps still isn’t enough. Better to coast into second and save the equipment.
        The race was won at the start and all the credit to VB for pulling that off. My bet is he has been in the simulator practicing starts all winter.
        Look on the bright side, with Ferrari showing signs of not quite being on form and Red Bull getting closer, but still a bit behind, a good battle between the two Merc drivers will keep these pages alive for the next 8+ months. The games are only just beginning.

  10. o wait lewis fluked 5 championships being the fastest driver of all time and has broken or matched many records…

  11. Crikey, all seems like excuses to me. I can tell you for certain…… the ‘minimal’ damage to the floor certainly didn’t affect his amateurish start off the line where he got mugged by Valteri. That is pretty much where blew his race, especially knowing how Albert Park doesn’t really lend itself to much overtaking, especially in recent years. Merc should have just kept the ahem ‘broken’ floor under wraps and let Valteri have his moment in the sun……. but noooooo…

    1. Lol @ amateurish start. Only Bottas made it past, so it clearly wasn’t that bad. Or all behind Hamilton made an equally amateurishly poor start.

  12. YES BOTTAS! He smashed it. 20 seconds lead and coasting! Come on!

  13. no 1 is denying bottas smashed it out the park. but to say lewis is making excuses is far from true. there is a difference between giving logical reasons and making up excuses. excuses are made up, fanciful wishful thinking…. reasons are based on facts. logic dictates cause and effect. lewis stated the cause. we all saw the effect.

  14. Yesterday I might have met in a bar a guy who maybe was Toto Wolff and he possibly told me that they might have accidentally installed Hamiltons PU into a car that perhaps was Bottas’ car but he wasn’t sure. I wasn’t sure either because he conceivably was on his 11th beer and I wasn’t even sure I was there.

  15. Hamilton’s last teammate beat him because of the various engine issues he suffered. We need to stop selling it as anything other than that.

    Lewis won more race, had more poles, and got more FLAP’s – so it seems extremely disingenuous to keep suggesting Rosberg beat him because of a sudden burst of skill, speed, or whatever else he got up to in the off season.

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