Formula 1

F1: Bottas dominates Australian Grand Prix

Credit: Mercedes-Benz archive

Valtteri Bottas dominated the Australian Grand Prix finishing 19 seconds ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton.

The Finn failed to score a single victory last year but got off the mark straight away in 2019 as his great start got him ahead of Hamilton before turn 1.

Once past Hamilton, Bottas disappeared off into the distance with his teammate unable to match his pace.

“I don’t know what just happened. The start was really good, definitely my best race ever, I just felt so good and everything was under control and the car was very good, I just need to enjoy today.” said Bottas.

Despite his dominant victory Bottas was still intent on maximising his points haul and in the last laps he focused on getting the fastest lap point, a feat he achieved on the penultimate lap.

The Finn said, “The fastest lap is a new rule as I had strong pace, I had to go for that. I’m just so happy and cant wait for the next race.”

Max Verstappen rounded off the podium, unable to get close enough to Hamilton having chased him down for the last 27 laps.

Ferrari’s testing pace seems to have disappeared this weekend with the team unable to compete for the front row in qualifying and both cars unable to match the pace of both Mercedes and Verstappen’s Red Bull in the race.

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Vettel and Leclerc went on two different strategies at the pitstop with Leclerc taking the harder compound tyre. As such, Leclerc closed down the gap between him and his more experienced teammate, however, it appeared as though the fight was called off by the team before it even began.

The Haas of Magnussen finished a distant sixth place with Hulkenberg, Raikkonen, Stroll and Kvyat completing the top ten.

Daniel Ricciardo had yet another Australian Grand Prix to forget. After a good get away from the grid the Australian went slightly on to the grass and lost his front wing in the process. He managed to avoid an accident but suffered too much damage and retired on lap 31 as a result.

Haas had a flashback to last year with Romain Grosjean retiring after his front left wheel came loose a few laps after his pitstop.

As expected from testing, the midfield was tightly packed for the majority of the race. Antonio Giovinazzi displayed some great defending skills holding off numerous cars for long periods of time while he went long on the soft tyre. It ultimately cost him a lot of time and he finished 15th.

Lando Norris, who started eighth, showed his inexperience, unable to pass Giovinazzi for 8 laps and this cost him a chance of getting points on his debut. The young Briton came across the line in 12th while his teammate Carlos Sainz retired with an engine failure.

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