Lewis Hamilton predicts a tough battle in Australian GP

Rex Christensen
March 14, 2019

"The name of this year's vehicle, the SF90, is already a celebration of this anniversary and, on top of that (we have) made a decision to honour this achievement in an even more evident manner in Melbourne", Ferrari said in a statement.

Hamilton reiterated his view that Mercedes are behind Ferrari on performance heading into the first race of the season in Melbourne's Albert Park this weekend. "This year we are more prepared, our vehicle seems to work fine".

"My last Formula One race was in Abu Dhabi 2010, so I am looking forward to going to Australia with a few things to cover and learn".

Leclerc, who joins Ferrari in just his second season in F1 after impressing for Sauber previous year, said: "I completely understand the decision".

"I hope that this year we get to have a lot of fun".

Formula One's governing body, the FIA, is opposed to any advertising or sponsoring of cigarettes or tobacco, as are a number of countries staging races.

India scores 358/9 in fourth ODI against Australia, Dhawan scores a ton
After being given out, Finch reviewed the decision and replays caused a big controversy. However Finch said overall that DRS was a "pretty good system".

Under different management and after a positive winter testing, Ferrari have arrived in Melbourne with a fast vehicle and plenty of buzz, raising expectation of a genuine challenge to five years of Mercedes dominance. We've done some sim work on the set-up already so I'm feeling pretty well prepared.

Mercedes and Haas have an unchanged driver line-up with World Champion Hamilton and teammate Valtteri Bottas aiming high in 2019, and Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean hoping to build on a successful debut season for the Haas F1 team.

"What we see from testing, we think [we are underdogs]", Bottas told reporters in Melbourne.

"We're free to race like every single year", Hamilton said. "A lot of my friends have said they really like the colors of our vehicle and everybody says it looks great watching trackside".

Ben Allen is a senior manager at Nielsen Sports and reports on a Nielsen SportsLink survey that shows the overall popularity of Formula 1 has held strong in recent years despite recent changes to competition and racing formats. It matters who improves the most. It's just feeling how the auto handles and how the balance is, we know there is definitely more to come.

Reigning champion Lewis Hamilton will be looking to make it three titles in a row in his Mercedes, but Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel will be fighting hard to end a six-year championship drought and Daniel Ricciardo, Charles Leclerc and Pierre Gasly will want to impress their new bosses. After all, they have yet to be beaten to a world championship in the five-year history of Formula 1's hybrid era. Perhaps a little puppy love may well go a long way to proving his critics wrong...

Other reports by

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER