Valtteri Bottas won the Australian Grand Prix earlier today, after a convincing drive at the Albert Park track. The Finn’s teammate Lewis Hamilton was second and Max Verstappen third.
Ferrari’s duo Sebastian Vetter and Charles Leclerc finished behind the above-mentioned drivers.
Bottas Strikes Early and Keeps the Lead
Everything was decided after the start when Bottas passed Hamilton before the first turn, thus taking over the first place and providing himself with a clear track in front of him.
He didn’t have any troubles of keeping the first place after that, and his advantage over Hamilton was continuously increasing as time went by. On top of everything, his excellent performance today was awarded with one extra point for providing the fastest lap of the race.
In the end, the difference between the two Mercedes cars’ was a little bit more than 20 seconds.
Opposite to Bottas who didn’t have to worry about anything, Lewis Hamilton was pressured by Max Verstappen for a while, and the way the youngster drove he would have certainly make a lot of troubles for the reigning champion.
Hamilton had to visit the pit stop early, and that pretty much changed his tactics. Verstappen started closing down on him as the race reached its end, but one small mistake ruined all his chances for jumping over the champ.
For a brief moment, the 21-year old lost the control of his Honda, and he went out of the track. Luckily for him, he quickly recovered and got back on track, but without any chances to endanger Hamilton. In the next ten laps, he tried to create a miracle, but it simply wasn’t possible. The gap between the two guys was somewhat less than 1.7 seconds.
When mentioning Honda, we have to say that this was the first notable result for them since deciding to come back into Formula 1 some four years ago. The last time they reached the podium was 11 years ago at the Brittish Grand Prix in Silverstone. Back then the Brazilian Rubens Barrichello won the third place too.
Ferrari’s Bad Performance
Ferrari’s drivers finished behind this trio. Sebastian Vettel was helpless against Verstappen who provided a highlight of the day when passing the four-time champion. His vehicle wasn’t good enough to race with Red Bull’s, and it appears that the engineers at the Italian manufacturers will have to double their effort to make their cars competitive with Mercedes’ and Honda’s.
Vettel was 57 seconds behind Bottas, while his teammate who jumped in instead of Kimi Raikkonen during the offseason, Charles Leclerc, finished fifth with 1.1 seconds behind the German.
At certain stages of the race, Ferrari didn’t have enough consistent power, which is something this car lacked during the previous season. In fact, that is what separated Mercedes from the Italians, and what brought both titles to them, in drivers’ and constructors’ categories.
The next race will take place in Bahrain at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir. The event is scheduled for the 31st of March, and after that, the championship is moving to Shanghai, China.