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Featured 2019 Formula One Australian Grand Prix

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by Paul Jeffrey, Mar 15, 2019.

  1. Lewis Hamilton

    37.5%
  2. Valterri Bottas

    14.2%
  3. Sebastian Vettel

    22.0%
  4. Charles Leclerc

    7.4%
  5. Max Verstappen

    5.3%
  6. Pierre Gasly

    0.6%
  7. Daniel Ricciardo

    1.5%
  8. Nico Hulkenberg

    0.3%
  9. Carlos Sainz

    0.5%
  10. Lando Norris

    0.6%
  11. Kimi Raikkonen

    2.7%
  12. Antonio Giovinazzi

    0.2%
  13. Sergio Perez

    0.2%
  14. Lance Stroll

    0.5%
  15. Romain Grosjean

    0.4%
  16. Kevin Magnussen

    0.4%
  17. Daniil Kvyat

    0.7%
  18. Alex Albon

    0.4%
  19. Robert Kubica

    3.9%
  20. George Russell

    0.7%
  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium

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    2019 Australian Grand Prix.jpg
    Welcome to the central discussion thread for the 2019 FIA Formula One Australian Grand Prix.


    The season is here people! New cars, new driver partnerships, new opportunities and new adventures aplenty are awaiting us all!

    Can Ferrari carry on from their strong pre-season testing form? Will Mercedes show what many believe to be their true pace at last? Are Williams able to recover some much needed dignity following a difficult start to the year? This weekend all will be known...

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    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019
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  2. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
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    THURSDAY PRESS CONFERENCE

    Aus GP Press Conference.jpg

    DRIVERS – Lewis HAMILTON (Mercedes), Sebastian VETTEL (Ferrari), Daniel RICCIARDO (Renault), Max VERSTAPPEN (Red Bull Racing), Robert KUBICA (Williams)

    We’re gathered under very sad circumstances, following the news that Charlie Whiting, the FIA’s Director of Formula One died during the early hours of this morning. I’d like to start this press conference by asking each of the drivers present for their thoughts and memories of Charlie. Lewis, could we start with you, please?
    Lewis HAMILTON: I’ve known Charlie since I started in 2007. I made some comments this morning on my Instagram. It may have not worked, as I think it’s down but obviously incredibly shocked this morning to hear the sad news and my thoughts and prayers are with him and his family. What he did for this sport, I mean, his commitment… he really was a pillar, as Toto said, such an iconic figure in the sporting world and he contributed so much for us, so may he rest in peace.

    Q: Sebastian?
    Sebastian VETTEL: Well I guess I was as shocked as we all are still now, when I head the news this morning, especially because I spoke to him yesterday and walked the track for the first couple of corners together with him. Difficult to grasp when somebody is just not there anymore. To add to what Lewis said. I’ve known him for a long time and he’s sort of been our man, the driver’s man. Obviously there are regulations and all that and then there is us and he was the middleman. He was someone you could ask anything of, anytime. He was open to everyone at any time. His door was always open. He was a racer. He was just a very nice guy. Shocked. I don’t think there’s that much to add. I think all our thoughts, the whole paddock, the whole circus, the whole family of Formula One; all our thoughts are with him and especially with his family in these difficult circumstances.

    Q: And Robert?
    Robert KUBICA: Well, as Seb says, and Lewis, it’s a hard moment. I saw Sebastian walking with Charlie yesterday and I thought I would not interrupt them because I would see him on Friday at the Drivers’ Briefing. Unfortunately this will not be the case. It’s very sad. He was kind of an icon of Formula One. He was, as Sebastian said, a racer, but also keeping up everything in the regulations. He was really the kind of a person you could always trust and commit. A very sad moment. My thoughts are with his family, but that’s how it is unfortunately.

    Q: And Max, please?
    Max Verstappen: I think as everybody said, I think it was a big shock, also because I spent the day with him in Geneva a few weeks ago and we had a good chat, just about a lot of things. When I left at the time, I was like “see you in Australia for another season of racing” and when you hear this news it‘s just unbelievable – just 66 years old. I guess we just have to appreciate every day and every morning you wake up and that you enjoy life, and that it’s not only about Formula One but there are a lot of other things in life and this is just one part of it. And yeah, I think at the moment what is most important is that the thoughts are going to his family and friend and close ones.

    Q: And Daniel?
    Daniel RICCIARDO: I echo everything. Not the nicest news to walk into. Taken aback by it, for sure. I’ll try to make it slightly more positive. As Seb said, he was there for us, and we gave him a hard time. We would really press him and push him and make him work, but he was always really receptive and you always felt like he was on our side. I guess we were like a broken record with a lot of the things we would complain about but he never really shut it down. He was always ears open. I think he did a lot for the sport. We’ll have some very nice and positive memories of him. I remember my first Aussie GP, in 2012, going up. I remember we were with Franz and he goes “go and introduce yourself to Charlie; it’s the start of a new season” and start the relationship on a good news. Time goes fast, but as Max touched on, it’s important just to appreciate it, each moment. You do take it for granted. I’m sure we’ll all race with a lot of passion this weekend and it’s just a reminder as well that we are all very lucky to be in this position.

    Q: Thank you all five of you. A couple more questions now to each of you, and Daniel, we’ll stay with you. Your home race, it’s always a busy build-up but how have the last few days been for you?
    DR: Busy! But it’s alright; I’m actually used to it now. It’s expected. But, you know, busy is good; it means people car and that they’re excited about the start of the season. A lot of things have changed. I’ve changed team and that’s created a lot of other change within the F1 paddock and other drivers moving teams. It’s been a pretty cool and pretty busy off-season for sure. Done some activities – drove a V8 Supercar yesterday; Max was saying he was a passenger today in one, so just chatting a little bit about that. It’s fun. It’s fun when you can balance some of the not so fun media commitments with a little bit of enjoyment. But now we’re getting close. We’re within 24 hours of driving the car, so excited to get on track, but also excited to see the pecking order. I think we could draw some conclusions from testing but not much, so we’ll see where we stand.

    Q: I was going to ask you about the conclusions from testing. How close are Renault to the top three teams now?
    DR: Not sure… Not sure, so we’ll see how we go. The second week, the last couple of days, we had a few new parts on the car and they seem more promising for our development, so that was encouraging. I think we left the test more encouraged. We’ll see. Judging the top three cars, I don’t even know where they stand at the moment, but yeah, a few more days and you’ll know.

    Q: Thank you, Daniel. Robert, coming to you: it’s your first race since 2010, can you describe your emotions heading into this weekend?
    RK: Yeah, it has been a long time, a long time away from the sport. Emotions… to be honest there is not really a lot of time to think about them, you are focused on the job, focused on the things to do. Try to learn as much as you can about new F1. Things have changed quite a lot since I was racing here last time. Just trying to prepare; trying to be ready. We didn’t have a the perfect start to winter testing, so there are a lot of things to be checked, to see how they will be and yeah, let’s see.

    Q: As you said, it was a difficult period for the team in winter testing – the car arrived late in Barcelona. What’s a realistic goal for you and the team?
    RK: Unfortunately we were late for the winter testing and it’s not like you recover this delay in one week, so there are still things being sorted out. The guys are pushing really hard, especially on track but also in factory. It is a difficult period but we have to make sure we are doing everything we can in the current situation. We cannot change it, so we have to make we concentrate on what we have. There is no point in wasting energy or time and then thinking of a difficult job. We just need to do our job and this is the approach of each member of the team we are having. We have to make sure we maximize our opportunities from what we have.

    Q: Max, coming to you, the management at Red Bull Racing has been very bullish about the new package, what are your thoughts?
    MV: I guess we’ll find out, won’t we? I think so far, we had a good winter test, not too many issues, and I was just very happy about how everybody was working together, which I think is very important, and a good start. Of course, integrating the new engine into the chassis but it didn’t seem like it was giving us problems, so very happy about that. I could do most of my running, so that was very positive but in terms of performance, I think it’s a bit difficult to judge at the moment where we exactly are. I didn’t have any time to do performance runs, or whatever but yeah, we’re happy with what we did. Of course, I think it can always be better, I think everybody has that thoughts. I guess here – but not only here in Melbourne – we’ll find out throughout the beginning of the season where we will stand.

    Q: What’s the atmosphere like in the team at the moment, with the new partnership with Honda. Do you feel it’s a bit more bullish that it was in the recent past?
    MV: I think everybody’s just very motivated, very positive and very focused on the job as well.

    Q: Sebastian, coming to you, fastest in winter testing. Do you feel you’re in a better position now than you were at this time last year?
    SV: Yeah. Quite frankly because I think last year’s winter testing didn’t go well for us and we actually had some issues with the car to fix and obviously we got a bit lucky during the race weekend with the safety car to grab the win – but yeah, I think in this regard we are more prepared. Our car seems to work fine: no problems at this stage. Having said that, obviously we can’t do better than last year’s result. So, it’s a tough weekend ahead of us. Always the start, you’re a bit nervous, you don’t know exactly where you are. You don’t know what’s going to happen but yeah, I think we are… y’know… the spirit is good, the atmosphere is good, we’re happy to be here and start racing.

    Q: And just a quick word on the technical regulation changes that have happened over the winter. Do you feel that it’ll be possible to follow another car closer this year than last year?
    SV: Well, testing isn’t about following other cars and overtaking. So I didn’t get much of that – but it didn’t seem to make a difference. Hopefully it turns out to be better and easier this year. We will see. Obviously the DRS is a bit different. It’s a bit bigger delta – so let’s see. I didn’t have that much experience in testing to make a full conclusion.

    Q: Lewis, difficult to read Mercedes’ testing form. What’s your take on it?
    LH: I don’t think there’s much to… it’s not difficult to read it. I think it was quite clear, however it’s difficult to know what everyone’s doing, so naturally we won’t fully know until we get out in the car 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. We have work to do.

    Q: From an internal point of view, how important has continuity been – both stability on the driving front and the technical front?
    LH: On the driving front, continuity is what works. We have a great pairing and I think the contribution Valtteri and I together, it’s worked well for years and there’s no reason to change it. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. In terms of the team, we’ve got so many incredible people within the team, and the energy… it’s inspiring to see so many people so pumped, pulling together. The communication is better than ever. Just after the test I went back, and Toto rallied the troops and we all sat together and it’s really impressive to see so many people so passionate about their jobs and so passionate about racing and wanting to do a better job and always wanting to improve. And knowing where they can improve – it’s really, really cool to see. Really encouraging. I just know they’re the soldiers. They’re the real, true fighters within the team, and I know they’re going to be giving absolutely everything to make sure that we continue to progress.
     
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  3. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
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    FREE PRACTICE ONE

    Business as Usual in FP1
    Australian Grand Prix FP1.jpg
    The Formula 1 action resumed this morning, and once again Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes look to be the package to beat.

    The opening Free Practice session for the 2019 Formula One season would begin under warm Australian late morning sunshine, and following a slightly tentative start with few cars scoring more than a handful of instillation laps, the action would ramp up considerably for the beginning of the new season – ending with a familiar figure at the head of the timesheets come the chequered flag.

    Mercedes have been suspiciously low key during pre-season testing back in February, with the team management even going so far as to suggest the year ahead might be difficult for the Silver Arrows, but once the cars hit the circuit for real those fears would prove to be unfounded.

    Both Hamilton and Bottas appeared to have a solid car underneath them during FP1, if not a little stiffly sprung, as the team easily upped their pace throughout the session – eventually going on to record the fastest time from Ferrari pair Vettel and Leclerc, with Bottas recovering from a small spin to record the fifth quickest time overall.

    Ferrari, having come from winter testing in high spirits with their SF90 challenger, would be a little disappointed at the end of the opening session. Despite a two – three result, both drivers complained of a lack of confidence within the car, something expected to be further exposed as Mercedes and the rest of the field open up performance running ahead of qualifying on Saturday.

    Pleasantly, FP1 in Australia would prove that Red Bull made a good decision to move to Honda power for the new season, Max Verstappen and new boy Pierre Gasly both completing competitive runs in the new car, with Verstappen taking fourth quickest and best of the rest, just under two tenths shy of the ultimate pace.

    Home hero Daniel Ricciardo would fair less well in his new Renault, the former Red Bull man having a troubled session on his way to 17th place, not quite where the Grand Prix winner would hope to be at the beginning of his new partnership with the French outfit.

    If Ricciardo thinks he has it rough, it’s nothing compared to the nightmare that is Williams start to the season. Although both cars would run reliably in the opening session, Kubica and Russell would be a long way adrift of the pace in 19th and 20th, Kubica some two seconds shy of next slowest man Lando Norris in the McLaren.

    Provisional FP1 Results:
    1. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes - 1:23.599
    2. Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari - 1:23.637 +0.038s
    3. Charles Leclerc – Ferrari - 1:23.673 +0.074s
    4. Max Verstappen - Red Bull Racing Honda - 1:23.792 +0.193s
    5. Valtteri Bottas – Mercedes - 1:23.866 +0.267s
    6. Kimi Räikkönen - Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari - 1:24.816 +1.217s
    7. Daniil Kvyat - Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda - 1:24.832 +1.233s
    8. Pierre Gasly - Red Bull Racing Honda - 1:24.932 +1.333s
    9. Kevin Magnussen - Haas Ferrari - 1:24.934 +1.335s
    10. Nico Hulkenberg – Renault - 1:25.015 +1.416s
    11. Antonio Giovinazzi - Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari - 1:25.166 +1.567s
    12. Romain Grosjean - Haas Ferrari - 1:25.224 +1.625s
    13. Alexander Albon - Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda - 1:25.230
    14. Carlos Sainz - McLaren Renault - 1:25.285 +1.686s
    15. Lance Stroll - Racing Point BWT Mercedes - 1:25.288 +1.689s
    16. Sergio Perez - Racing Point BWT Mercedes - 1:25.498 +1.899s
    17. Daniel Ricciardo – Renault - 1:25.634 +2.035s
    18. Lando Norris - McLaren Renault - 1:25.966 +2.367s
    19. Robert Kubica - Williams Mercedes - 1:27.914 +4.315s
    20. George Russell - Williams Mercedes - 1:28.740 +5.141s
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
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  4. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
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    FREE PRACTICE TWO

    Mercedes Pace Blows Away Competition
    Australian Grand Prix FP2.jpg
    Eight tenths in favour of Mercedes. The year might have changed, but the competitive advantage certainly hasn’t.

    AMG Mercedes turned up the wick during second practice in Australia as the Silver Arrows cruised to a dominant one – two on the streets of Melbourne, taking the fastest time with ease as they stretched their advantage over the rest of the field to a very comfortable eight tenths of a second.

    While it was smiles all round of the reigning champions, another former title winning outfit would have cause to be cautiously optimistic follow the end of the first day of the new season – Red Bull have started their new relationship with Honda power in impressive fashion today, ending FP2 with a three – four result, giving hope that the team should be in the mix throughout the coming year.

    Again heading up the midfield would be Alfa Romeo Racing, new star driver Kimi Raikonen proving the class of the ‘b’ field in his new mount under the former Sauber guise – the most experienced driver on the grid having a solid start to his second stint with the team as Sau.. Alfa Romeo look to build on the solid foundations laid during the 2018 season.

    Sadly, the troubles at Williams would be no less significant during the second of Fridays running, both drivers propping up the rear of the field and a significant margin away from the next slowest runner, this time with young George Russell the faster of the two cars.

    Free Practice 3 will take place ahead of the all-important qualifying session tomorrow.

    Provisional FP2 Results:
    1. Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes - 1:22.600
    2. Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes - 1:22.648 +0.048s
    3. Max Verstappen - Red Bull Racing Honda - 1:23.400 +0.800s
    4. Pierre Gasly - Red Bull Racing Honda - 1:23.442 +0.842s
    5. Sebastian Vettel - Ferrari - 1:23.473 +0.873s
    6. Kimi Räikkönen - Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari - 1:23.572 +0.972s
    7. Nico Hulkenberg - Renault - 1:23.574 +0.974s
    8. Daniel Ricciardo - Renault - 1:23.644 +1.044s
    9. Charles Leclerc - Ferrari - 1:23.754 +1.154s
    10. Romain Grosjean - Haas Ferrari - 1:23.814 +1.214s
    11. Daniil Kvyat - Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda - 1:23.933 +1.333s
    12. Kevin Magnussen - Haas Ferrari - 1:23.988 +1.388s
    13. Lance Stroll - Racing Point BWT Mercedes - 1:24.011 +1.411s
    14. Carlos Sainz - McLaren - Renault 1:24.133 +1.533s
    15. Antonio Giovinazzi - Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari - 1:24.293 +1.693s
    16. Sergio Perez - Racing Point BWT Mercedes - 1:24.401 +1.801s
    17. Alexander Albon - Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda - 1:24.675 +2.075s
    18. Lando Norris - McLaren Renault - 1:24.733 +2.133s
    19. George Russell - Williams Mercedes - 1:26.453 +3.853s
    20. Robert Kubica - Williams Mercedes - 1:26.655 +4.055s
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
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  5. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
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    FREE PRACTICE THREE

    Mercedes Fastest, Haas Lead Midfield Battle
    Australian Grand Prix FP1.jpg
    Lewis Hamilton laid down a marker to the F1 field in FP3, showing good pace ahead of the battle for Pole this afternoon.

    Lewis Hamilton continues his perfect weekend of fastest times on Saturday morning, setting the pace in the final practice session ahead of qualifying for the 2019 season opening Australian Grand Prix.

    Hamilton would head the field in Australia by over two tenths from main rival Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari, the 2018 title protagonists leading the field from the second Ferrari of Charles Leclerc, with Romain Grosjean having a great start to the season as he headed home Haas team mate Kevin Magnussen in fourth and fifth positions.

    Valtteri Bottas would have a scrappy session in the second Mercedes, taking to the grass a couple of times as he looked to put together a more consistent drive in the second Silver Arrow, eventually coming home in P5 and continuing what has been a slightly troubled weekend so far - the Finnish driver finding himself off circuit more than he would care for during the weekend running to date.

    Bad times at Williams would continue once again today, both cars firmly at the foot of the times - with Robert Kubica even coming to blows with the wall in the pit lane, the 34-year-old Polish star making contact with the pit wall and causing light damage to his car - hardly likely to make any impact on lap times, but disappointing nevertheless..

    Provisional FP2 Results:
    1. Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes - 1:22.292 12
    2. Sebastian Vettel - Ferrari - 1:22.556 +0.264s 12
    3. Charles Leclerc - Ferrari - 1:22.749 +0.457s 12
    4. Romain Grosjean - Haas Ferrari - 1:23.112 +0.820s 17
    5. Kevin Magnussen - Haas Ferrari - 1:23.334 +1.042s 15
    6. Pierre Gasly - Red Bull Racing Honda - 1:23.367 +1.075s 17
    7. Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes - 1:23.422 +1.130s 17
    8. Daniil Kvyat - Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda - 1:23.442 +1.150s 16
    9. Max Verstappen - Red Bull Racing Honda - 1:23.481 +1.189s 19
    10. Daniel Ricciardo - Renault - 1:23.695 +1.403s 14
    11. Nico Hulkenberg - Renault - 1:23.737 +1.445s 15
    12. Antonio Giovinazzi - Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari - 1:23.831 +1.539s 16
    13. Carlos Sainz - McLaren Renault - 1:24.049 +1.757s 21
    14. Sergio Perez - Racing Point BWT Mercedes - 1:24.082 +1.790s 18
    15. Alexander Albon - Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda - 1:24.328 +2.036s 15
    16. Lance Stroll - Racing Point BWT Mercedes - 1:24.345 +2.053s 16
    17. Kimi Räikkönen - Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari - 1:24.402 +2.110s 18
    18. Lando Norris - McLaren Renault - 1:24.568 +2.276s 16
    19. George Russell - Williams Mercedes - 1:25.944 +3.652s 14
    20. Robert Kubica - Williams Mercedes - 1:26.589 +4.297s 16
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019
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  6. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
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    QUALIFYING

    Boom! Advantage Mercedes as Hamilton Secures Easy Pole
    Australian Grand Prix Qualifying.jpg
    Lewis Hamilton takes Pole Position as AMG Mercedes lock out the front row in Melbourne.

    As soon as qualification for the opening round of the Formula One season began, it would quickly be apparent that Mercedes have a formidable package this year, and both Valterri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton would take good advantage of that performance, locking out the front row and putting a solid seven tenths between themselves and the nearest challenger.

    That challenger would be a Sebastian Vettel driven Ferrari, the German never really looking likely to take the fight to the Silver Arrows this weekend, despite what was a solid pre-season testing performance at Barcelona in February. Ferrari woes would be compounded yet further by Max Verstappen, the Red Bull driver popping up in P4, ahead of Charles Leclerc, the Monégasque coming home a further 0.25 behind his teammate, some 9+ tenths behind Hamilton out front.

    With the top positions filled out by the usual contenders, one of the surprise performances from qualifying today would be young Lando Norris, the McLaren rookie performing wonders for his new team to display enviable pace throughout the session, bringing home his car in an impressive eighth position, just behind the two midfield leading Haas F1 drivers in sixth and seventh - the American team having a very good day to firmly place themselves 'best of the rest' behind the big three teams.

    Home hero Daniel Ricciardo would have a difficult qualifying, the Australian Renault driver suffering from traffic and a lack of confidence to post just the 12th fastest time, outside of the top ten and behind his new team mate Nico Hulkenberg in 11th. Despite the relatively poor result, Renault and Ricciardo remain confident of moving forward once the race begins on Sunday.

    At the rear of the field it would be no surprise to see the Williams team, George Russell proving fastest of the two drivers as he lapped the Albert Park circuit in 1:24.360, a staggering 3.8 away from the ultimate pace of Mercedes up front. Russell would be 1.7 ahead of team mate Kubica, the Polish driver having a difficult day as he brushed the wall during his timed lap, leading to a puncture on his FW42 and an early end to running for the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix winner.

    Provisional Qualifying Results:
    1. Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes - 1 1:20.486
    2. Valterri Bottas - Mercedes·- 1:20.598
    3. Sebastian Vettel - Ferrari·- 1:21.190
    4. Max Verstappen - Red Bull - 1:21.320
    5. Charles Leclerc - Ferrari·- 1:21.442
    6. Romain Grosjean - Haas - 1:21.826
    7. Kevin Magnussen - Haas - 1:22.099
    8. Lando Norris - McLaren - 1:22.304
    9. Kimi Räikkönen - Alfa Romeo - 1:22.314
    10. Sergio Pérez - Racing Point - 1:22.781
    11. Nico Hülkenberg - Renault·- 1:22.562
    12. Daniel Ricciardo - Renault·- 1:22.570
    13. Alex Albon - Toro Rosso - 1:22.636
    14. Antonio Giovinazzi - Alfa Romeo -1:22.714
    15. Daniil Kvyat - Toro Rosso - 1:22.774
    16. Lance Stroll - Racing Point - 1:23.017
    17. Pierre Gasly - Red Bull·- 1:23.020
    18. Carlos Sainz Jr. - McLaren·- 1:23.084
    19. George Russell - Williams - 1:24.360
    20. Robert Kubica - Williams - 1:26.067
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019
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  7. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
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    RACE

    Outstanding! Bottas Reigns Supreme in Melbourne
    Bottas Wins Australian Grand Prix.jpg
    Valtteri Bottas put aside a difficult 2018 in fine style at the Australian Grand Prix - dominating the race right from the very start.

    Bottas would put in a Hamilton like performance in Australia today, taking his first victory in over 12 months and becoming the first man to score 26 points from a Grand Prix weekend - thanks to securing fastest lap and with it the controversial additional championship point.

    Bottas took the lead of the race right from the very start of the race, and from that point on the Finnish driver would never look back, performing superbly in the Silver Arrow to take a commanding and impressive race victory ahead of an out of sorts looking Lewis Hamilton.

    Rounding out the podium would not be the expected Ferrari driver... Max Verstappen taking a first V6 hybrid era rostrum for new engine supplier Honda, and proving that the season ahead could well be a successful one for Red Bull following the seemingly risky decision to switch from Renault following 12 years together and four World Championships.

    Speaking of Ferrari, the red team never really looked to be in the race throughout the event, Vettel having a difficult race performance wise on the way to fourth position, ahead of his teammate Charles Leclerc, who would have a scrappy event before eventually rounding out the top five finishers.

    In the midfield it would be Haas vs Renault once again, with the American team taking first honours thanks to the sixth place finish of Kevin Magnussen, the former McLaren man heading home Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg and a low key but impressive Kimi Räikkönen in the new Alfa Romeo. Räikkönen would hold solid top ten pace all weekend, even if both team and driver would fly below the radar for much of the race, it will be a reassuring performance that the new car looks likely to continue the strong form developed during the previous year.

    Rounding out the top ten would be Lance Stroll in ninth, scoring points for his new outfit, and returnee Daniil Kvyat for Toro Rosso.

    Provisional Race Results:
    1. Valtteri Bottas Mercedes Leader
    2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +20.886
    3. Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing +22.520
    4. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari +57.109
    5. Charles Leclerc Ferrari +58.230
    6. Kevin Magnussen Haas F1 Team +87.156
    7. Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1L
    8. Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo Racing 1L
    9. Lance Stroll Racing Point 1L
    10. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1L
    11. Pierre Gasly Red Bull Racing 1L
    12. Lando Norris McLaren 1L
    13. Sergio Perez Racing Point 1L
    14. Alexander Albon Toro Rosso 1L
    15. Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing 1L
    16. George Russell Williams 2L
    17. Robert Kubica Williams 3L

    DNF Romain Grosjean Haas F1 Team
    DNF Daniel Ricciardo Renault
    DNF Carlos Sainz McLaren
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium

    Messages:
    9,328
    Ratings:
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    Yeeehaaaa

    FP1 coverage is starting on Sky. Don't care if I'm at work tomorrow, I'm stopping up :)
     
    • Beer Beer x 4
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium

    Messages:
    9,328
    Ratings:
    +20,072
    So, who's watching and browsing RD right now? Say hello folks!
     
    • Beer Beer x 5
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    • Haha Haha x 1
  10. BrainsBush

    BrainsBush

    Messages:
    269
    Ratings:
    +151
    Here we go! Enjoy F1 2019 season.
    Very curious if all the team efforts, predictions, high hopes etc etc come together.
    Let's find out starting with FP1

    Kimi first on track!
     
  11. T04STY

    T04STY

    Messages:
    274
    Ratings:
    +72
    Soooo...F1 TV not working for anybody else?

    For FP2 I couldn't even log into my account anymore lol
    I mean...come on.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium

    Messages:
    9,328
    Ratings:
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    oh dear... another F1TV fail...
     
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  13. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium

    Messages:
    9,328
    Ratings:
    +20,072
    Anyone think it would be cool if those pit lane limiter lights on the rear wing would be turned into brake lights? How awesome would that be? Really get to see how late folk hit the stop pedal?
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. BrainsBush

    BrainsBush

    Messages:
    269
    Ratings:
    +151
    That's a very very close helmet close up cam
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium

    Messages:
    9,328
    Ratings:
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    #worldsmostuslesscameraview
     
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  16. T04STY

    T04STY

    Messages:
    274
    Ratings:
    +72
    That's exactly what I thought when they announced them. Would've been a perfect opportunity to introduce it and also a safety feature in the rain imo. But I just got hate on reddit for the idea.
     
    • Haha Haha x 2
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  17. rubaru

    rubaru

    Messages:
    4,197
    Ratings:
    +561
    How about turn signals so these guys know which side to overtake?
     
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  18. IMrIMike

    IMrIMike

    Messages:
    358
    Ratings:
    +374
    It kinda works for me, getting regular blackscreens and audio cuts though. Bad audio mix on the english commentary option, way too quiet.
     
  19. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium

    Messages:
    9,328
    Ratings:
    +20,072
    ah bugger it, I don't want to, but I'm off to bed. 1.30am here, and I need to be up at 6 for work :(

    Stupid job, getting in the way once again.

    If anyone mega rich reading this wishes to donate enough money to allow me to step away from paid employment, drop me a PM or email :D

    Goodnight chaps - enjoy the rest of FP1 !
     
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  20. T04STY

    T04STY

    Messages:
    274
    Ratings:
    +72
    That doesn't sound exactly nice as well. Mine is just initializing endlessly.
     
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