F1: 2019 Australian Grand Prix Preview

F1: 2019 Australian Grand Prix Preview

"We are immensely proud to announce this exciting partnership with the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, which shares numerous same values as St Hugo, a fine wine created to honour the love between a father and son to continue on his winemaking legacy", he said.

"But we are all here working flat out to try to understand what happened in the session, the things that we tried and how they changed it".

Defending champion Lewis Hamilton has dismissed the idea of putting statement wins on the board early in the Formula One season, saying his Mercedes team has plenty of work to do on its auto ahead of the Australian Grand Prix.

Just as was the case in first practice, two of the British newcomers finished in the bottom three in second practice.

Kimi Raikkonen was strong on his Alfa Romeo debut, splitting Vettel from Renault teammates Nico Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo, the triumvirate around a second off Hamilton's pace.

With Ferrari slightly quicker than Mercedes in winter testing, pundits were quick to question whether the "Scuderia" were "sandbagging" - keeping their true pace in reserve ahead of Saturday's qualifying.

"If a situation arises and I have to make room, then I am ready to get an instruction over the radio". But after a reasonably year with Toro Rosso in 2018, the Japanese manufacturer seems to have got its act together, and now that their powerplant is in the back of the Red Bull cars, we could see them challenging for wins in 2019.

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"It's nice to hear that they think they have made the right choice with me, now I have to show on the track that it's really like that". It's how Formula One cars are supposed to be when they're wide and they're big.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says it is unrealistic to expect Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly to challenge Mercedes and Ferrari this season.

"This is going to be the toughest battle yet".

Lewis Hamilton said in Melbourne that Mercedes was "not talking BS" when the team said Ferrari is clearly ahead. "I hope it wasn't much", former Australian Formula 1 star Mark Webber said. But Hamilton roared back to sweep 11 of the remaining 19 Grand Prix and the 31-year-old is desperate to turn the tables.

But all the ability in the world can't mask the fact the auto just isn't good enough.

7 - Lewis Hamilton has started from pole position seven times at the AusGP, more often than any other driver in this race (including five in the Hybrid Era). He later spun off track several times in the second.

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