Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas clinched a win at the Formula 1 season premiere in Australia.
The Finnish driver posted his fourth career win at the Albert Park circuit.
His teammate and the reigning champion, Lewis Hamilton finished second, with more than 20 seconds behind. Max Verstappen joined these two at place No.3, bringing Honda their first podium exactly four years after their comeback to F1.
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The Australian Grand Prix was decided early on, following Bottas’ excellent maneuver, after which he jumped over Hamilton who held the pole position. Since that moment on, the Finnish driver didn’t look back, confidently controlling the race without any problems.
His advantage over Hamilton grew all the time, and there weren’t any questions about his triumph at all.
Additionally, Bottas had the fastest lap which added one extra point to his account.
On the other side, Hamilton had to fear for his position, because of Verstappen’s excellent drive. The young Dutchman showed his potential when he passed Sebastian Vettel, providing the fans with the most exciting moment of the race.
However, despite his superb drive, he couldn’t reach Hamilton because of a mistake he did ten laps before the end of the contest. Back then Verstappen lost control of the vehicle and had a minor blow, which could cost him more.
Still, his third position is a major success, especially for Honda who appeared at the podium for the first time since Brittish Grand Prix 11 years ago.
Sebastian Vettel will try to forget this race as soon as possible. The four-time champion couldn’t compete with Verstappen and his Ferrari was looking bad today.
His colleague who replaced Kimi Raikkonen this summer, Charles Leclerc, finished fifth, one place behind Vettel.
Though it is early to make any assessments, it seems that the famous Italian manufacturer has a lot of work to do in order to catch up with Mercedes. The way both machines behaved today is clearly suggesting that Ferrari still lacks consistency and power in some moments.
The championship will continue with the Bahrain Grand Prix, which will take place at the Bahrain International Circuit on 31st of the March. Two weeks after that the caravan is moving to Shanghai.