World champion Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes team have dominated the start of the new Formula 1 season, disillusioning the competition for Sebastian Vettel.
The Silver Arrows were in free training at the Australian Grand Prix in their own class, while Brit Hamilton set the fastest lap of the day in 1: 22,600. Only 48 thousandths behind his teammate Valtteri Bottas (Finland / 1: 22,648). (Formula 1: GP of Australia on Sunday from 6.10 a.m. in LIVETICKER)
Hamilton not only sees the fastest time: "The most important thing is that our two cars continued to drive for miles, none of us made a mistake and we left the cars in one piece – that makes a difference," said he confidently,
Vettel and Ferrari did not confirm the huge expectations in Melbourne's Albert Park after a strong pre-season preparation. The Heppenheimer (1: 23,473) finished fifth behind the Red Bull duo: Max Verstappen (the Netherlands / 1: 23,400) and Pierre Gasly (France / 1: 23,442) took place three and four, the gap on the peak was about eight tenths of a second.
"We are not where we want to be, not in terms of lap time, but in terms of feeling in the car," Vettel said. The four-champion hopes that Ferrari can build on the positive findings of the training during the weekend.
Raikkonen is celebrating a perfect debut
Vettel & # 39; s old teammate Kimi Raikkonen (1: 23,572) finished sixth in a very good debut for Alfa Romeo. The Fin was replaced this season by Charles Leclerc at Ferrari, the highly rated Monegasse continued to make a well-below-expectations debut on Friday for the Scuderia in the ninth (1: 23.754). Shortly before the end of the session, Leclerc also made a turn.
Better was the Renault duo with the places seven and eight, Nico Hülkenberg (Emmerich / 1: 23.574) was ahead of his new team rival Daniel Ricciardo (Australia / 1: 23.644). The German lost valuable time in the first free practice when he had to wait with electrical problems in the well. "I felt comfortable in the car from the start, which is important for a driver," Hülkenberg explained after training.