Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team’s Valtteri Bottas completed dominated Sunday’s season opening Australian Grand Prix in Albert Park Melbourne. The Finn was absolutely sensational taking the lead of the race from team mate Lewis Hamilton off the line and from there he never looked back.
Bottas stretched his legs and showed what the W10 can do and that Saturday’s qualifying performance wasn’t a surprise. The Finn crossed the line more than 20s ahead of his team mate he finished in second place.
Speaking following the race, Lewis Hamilton said that it was a great day for the team. It was also a great day for Aston Martin Red Bull Racing in their first race with Honda power they scored a podium with Max Verstappen ending the race in third place. The result was Honda’s first Formula One podium since Rubens Barrichello scored a third place finish at the 2008 British Grand Prix.
Sebastian Vettel finished the race in fourth place having struggled for pace during the 58 lap event. The German ended the race just ahead of his team mate Charles Leclerc who was on the receiving end of Ferrari team orders. The Moneqaques driver was closing on his team mate and when he asked if he should stay behind the four time champion he was told yest and hold the margin.
The Rich Energy Haas F1 Team’s Kevin Magnussen came home in sixth place just ahead of the Renault F1 Team’s Nico Hulkenberg while Alfa Romeo Racing’s Kimi Raikkonen was eighth, the Iceman said that his race had been compromised after being forced to make his pit-stop early due to a brake issue which was caused by a visor tear off getting caught in the brake duct.
SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team’s Lance Stroll on his debut for the Silverstone based outfit picked up a ninth place finish while on his return to Formula One, Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat scored a point rounding out the top ten.
Pierre Gasly had a great on track battle with Kvyat but was left disappointed to finish the race just outside the top ten in eleventh place ahead of McLaren Renault’s Lando Norris who had a promising day in the MCL34 but just missed out on picking up points on his Grand Prix debut.
Sergio ‘Checo’ Perez finished the race in 13th place for the SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team just ahead of Scuderia Toro Rosso’s rookie driver Alex Albon.
Antonio Giovinazzi ended the race in 15th place for Alfa Romeo Racing just ahead of the Rokit Williams Racing duo of George Russell and Robert Kubica who rounded out the order in 16th and 17th place respectively for the Grove based outfit.
It was a disappointing Renault debut at home for Daniel Ricciardo who was forced to retire from the race. Carlos Sainz in his first race for McLaren was also forced into retiring after the MGU-K in his Renault power unit failed. It was also a disappointing race for the Rich Energy Haas F1 Team’s Romain Grosjean who suffered the same issue that he did in Australia last season with a wheel not being secured properly.
Valtteri Bottas heads to Bahrain in two weeks time leading the championship on 26 points after picking up a bonus point for securing the fastest lap of the race.