Bottas’ Incredible Drive Highlights Exciting Australian Grand Prix

Australian Grand Prix 2019

Starts like this make motorsport an exciting spectacle to watch!

Plenty of Australian Grand Prix 2019 odds predicted Lewis Hamilton starting the year on a high after enjoying such a dominant qualifying run. However, the tone of the race changed when all of the lights went off to signal the start of the race.

No one thought that Valtteri Bottas would dominate the track as there were plenty of fast cars on the grid. However, a lightning start and a consistent attacking performance saw the Finn defy a lot of pre-race odds and finish at the top of the Australian Grand Prix.

This race got it all: action, drama, speed. If you’re not a fan of F1 after watching a race like this, you weren’t watching it properly!

Highlights of the game

Australian Grand Prix features a third place finish for Red Bull driver Max Verstappen

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen in action during the Australian F1 Grand Prix in Melbourne

Mercedes had a fantastic qualifying run, and their fans were more than delighted when two silver cars were holding the top spots in the starting grid. Max Verstappen got in the way of a Ferrari 3-4 by finishing fourth in Q3.

Both Mercedes cars made a blitzing start to the race to keep the Ferraris and the Red Bull at bay, but Valtteri Bottas had the best of starts as he made a flying start to the race. By the time the pack cleared Turn 1, the Finn was already clear by some distance from his Briton team-mate.

The drama didn’t end there as some notable names also had trouble trying to get out of the early-stage rumble. Daniel Ricciardo had a nightmare start in his home grand prix as his front wing was detached from the car. Charles Leclerc almost made contact with team-mate Sebastian Vettel in his debut as he tried to overtake both Vettel and Verstappen in Turn 1.

Ricciardo immediately pitted to reinstall the front wing of his car, but the race did not go well for him and the Australian audience as he pulled out of the race in the 31st lap. With no man to cheer for, the entire focus of the crowd went straight to the front.

Hamilton then raced his team-mate to try and reclaim the top spot. It was a great move for the Silver Arrows as they eventually got away from the rest of the pack in the process. However, Bottas’ lightning start did more than enough as he eventually drifted away from the 2018 Driver’s Champion. The distance between the two actually ballooned to more than 25 seconds at one point of the race.

Vettel was the first of the top six drivers to pit in and change his wheels. Hamilton didn’t take long to react and change his tyres early on as well. The early pits could be seen as an admission from both sides that they will not stand at the top of the podium in Australia this year.

There were also some fantastic racing done by drivers not in Mercedes cars. Kevin Magnussen faked out rookie driver Antonio Giovinazzi to cruise into the eighth spot. Verstappen showed more of his class in the 31st lap as he squeezed out an underpowered Ferrari car driven by Vettel to get to the podium.

From that point on, it was a race to get the extra point for the fastest lap time. Verstappen tried to pull a fast one as he got the fastest time in the dying embers of the race. However, Bottas was just too fast for everyone to catch up to as he finished the season opener with a 20+-second margin and the quickest lap out of the 20 drivers that started the race.

Key statistics

There are plenty of Australian Grand Prix 2019 highlights to sift through, but a lot of eyes are on the Scuderia at the moment. They started the season as heavy favourites, with Hamilton even concerned that the potential gap between them and the Prancing Horse was half a second.

However, the difference in performance level was as clear as the Aussie skies as Vettel was unable to defend his title and finished a position below his starting spot. Both Ferrari cars were behind Bottas by almost an entire minute, meaning that they were one second behind every lap they raced.

The win was all the sweeter for Bottas as he finally won a grand prix after a long barren spell. The last race he won was the 2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, so winning the race by a dominant 20.886 seconds is incredible. I don’t think people will forget how incredible Bottas started this year.

There is also a reason for celebration at the Red Bull pit as Verstappen managed to get his first podium down under. Things are boding well for the team’s era under the talented Dutch driver.

What’s next?

Ferrari fails to start the season with a victory in the Australian Grand Prix

Ferrari technicians attend to Charles Leclerc during the second practice session of the Australian Grand Prix

There will be a bit of a break before the Formula 1 season continues, and the fastest show on Earth will make its way to the sandy deserts of Bahrain.

There are plenty of opportunities for DRS and high-speed overtakes at the Bahrain International Circuit, and it is here where we should see Ferrari make a roaring comeback. They definitely did not like how their first race started and will be using this break to fine-tune the car back to fighting shape.

us fans have a lot to look forward to as both Mercedes drivers and Verstappen will make life difficult for the Scuderia. Keep your eyes posted here for the latest motorsport news and opinions.

 

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A Hot Start in Australia: A New-Look Formula 1 Will Heat Melbourne Up

Australian Grand Prix 2019

It’s been a long time since we saw any high-speed racing action, so it’s definitely a great feeling for many motorsport fans to finally see the return of the Formula 1 season this weekend. The Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit will once again roar to life as twenty drivers battle for the right to be called the fastest.

However, the return of the motorsport league we all know and love comes with several changes. While the usual suspects are still the favourites to win the competition, a reshuffle has changed the way the entire grid will look and feel.

Depending on which team or driver your support, you may see your chances improve or worsen during the preseason. We still don’t know what will happen until the chequered flag is waved, though, so it’s best to reconsider your Formula 1 2019 predictions as we take a look at the current F1 landscape.

Talking Points

Will this finally be Vettel’s year?

One of the most prevalent storylines of this year is Sebastian Vettel and his chase for another Formula 1 championship.

Many fans will look at the 2018 season and see a Ferrari team that went toe-to-toe with Mercedes in the early half of the season. Unfortunately, they faltered in the latter stages and had to bitterly look on as Lewis Hamilton and the Silver Arrows added another world championship under their belt.

The comedy of errors that plagued the Prancing Horse was not only limited to crashes and mechanical troubles. They didn’t give their star German the support they could have provided to improve his chances. Kimi Raikkonen was also a huge part of the problem for Vettel, and it was evident on the race track as the Flying Finn openly challenged team orders at times.

Fortunately for Vettel, things are looking better for the Scuderia. Mattia Binotto is the new team principal, an exciting upstart in Charles Leclerc is now the team’s second driver, and their machines outpaced their rivals in pre-season testing.

Vettel is confident of the team’s chances moving forward. Their shot at the title will now be up to them not messing up their races throughout the season.

Hamilton will be in for a tough test

Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton is focused ahead of the Australian Grand Prix

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton poses for a photo during an Australian Grand Prix pre-weekend event

Lewis Hamilton will always be a favourite among the many us tips made at this point of the season. The Brit has proven himself as a winner and will surely be able to compete with Ferrari and any other racing team.

The Mercedes star overturned a subpar start to 2018 and pulled off a series of wins that helped him win the Driver’s Championship in Mexico. He will be coming to this season as the most accomplished driver in the grid; he also knows that there will be a huge target on his back in every single race.

Hamilton should have enough to help with the pressure, though. Valtteri Bottas has shown a lot of chemistry with his co-driver, and we can expect more fantastic work from the two of them. Mercedes have also made structural changes in their chain of command to help the team perform better.

The Brit will always be a fast one on the tracks, and they will need something to catch off track in Melbourne.

Same faces, different places

Vettel and Hamilton may dominate a lot of Formula 1 2019 news circles, but they aren’t the only ones that have grabbed the attention. There are a number of stories that will shape how the season pans out.

The first race of the season will start on a somber note as long-time FIA race director Charlie Whiting passed away three days before the race began. There will most likely be a tribute for Whiting before the race begins.

A familiar name returns to the Formula 1 scene as Alfa Rome take Sauber’s place. There was also quite a shuffle as every team sans Mercedes and Haas made changes to their line-ups. The most notable swaps were Ricciardo’s move to Renault and Raikkonen becoming the lead driver at Alfa Romeo.

Ricciardo’s departure also gives Max Verstappen the keys to the kingdom that is Red Bull. This team is still far from catching up to the leaders, but they may reach places with Verstappen being the clear No 1 driver.

History

Of the 20 drivers participating in the starting grid, only three men have won in Melbourne. Raikkonen won twice in 2007 and 2013; Hamilton took the 2008 and 2015 races while Vettel finished first in the 2011, 2017, and 2018 races.

The 2018 race was an interesting spectacle in itself. Hamilton was actually ahead for much of the race, but a bit of luck saw Vettel make a quick pit stop that eventually helped him stay ahead of Hamilton and win the race. We may see a similar situation here, but the playing field is more even due to the roster changes.

What are the odds?

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel remains determined to challenge Lewis Hamilton in this year's Formula 1 season

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in action during the Formula 1 pre-season testing session at the Barcelona Catalunya racetrack

The usual suspects are booked as favourites to finish at the top of the podium, but there’s one name that is surprisingly included at the top.

Leclerc is tipped at 3.50 to win this race, and Hamilton and Vettel — who are both booked at 2.50 — are the only other drivers to have odds lower than the former Sauber driver. It will be intriguing to see how the Frenchman performs with Ferrari’s powerful engine.

Verstappen is the fourth-favourite to win at 11.00, and the ever-dependable Bottas is up at 13.00. However, I believe that Bottas should have what it takes to finish third in the podium and make life a living hell for Vettel.

Due to Ricciardo’s risky move to Renault, he dropped down to 201.00. Meanwhile, Pierre Gasly is upgraded to 41.00. Whether Red Bull manage to keep it up with the other two is up in the air, though: Honda-powered cars have been plagued by reliability issues, and it will be curious to see how they handle the engine throughout the season.

 

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Back-to-back: What a Big Opener for Fantastic Vettel!

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton was on his way to victory, but a lucky break gave Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel the advantage as he surprised the online gambling community by taking the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

Hamilton had the speed and pace all weekend, making him the favourite on betting websites to win the annual curtain-raiser at Albert Park. In fact, he even led by as much a three seconds in the early part of the race.

However, the Brit star’s pit stop on Lap 19 allowed Vettel to defy betting odds and take the lead—something which the German never relinquished since then.

It was a superb race for Ferrari whose drivers, Kimi Raikkonen and Vettel, started at second and third respectively. For Vettel, though, his decision to pit later and hold on his ultra-soft tyres played right into his hands.

After Raikkonen and Hamilton had stopped, Haas driver Romain Grosjean also came out of the pits with a loose wheel. He was forced to move to the side of the tracks, prompting the Virtual Safety Car (VSC) to be deployed.

With the VSC forcing cars to slow down, Vettel took the opportunity to go to the pits. The 30-year-old then quickly returned and stayed on the lead throughout, stopping any chance of a Hamilton comeback thanks to his relatively fresher set of tyres.

It didn’t help Hamilton that he locked up with only nine laps to go, giving Vettel more breathing space en route to his victory.

“We got a bit lucky with the safety car, but I really enjoyed it. I hoped my start would be a bit better so I had to settle third,” Vettel said after the race.

“I was praying for a safety car and then one stopped at the exit of turn two and I was full of adrenaline, coming into the pits. Then I came out ahead and knew it would be difficult to pass. The last few laps I could enjoy a little.”

The race for the third spot became the focus of the race as Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo unleashed a series of fastest laps to close the gap. Nonetheless, Raikkonen did well to keep the home hero at bay and break the hearts of Australian fans.

On the other hand, Fernando Alonso pipped Red Bull’s Max Verstappen for fifth, while Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas finished eighth—behind Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg—despite starting 15th from the grid.

Another highlight of the race, however, is the accident of the two Haas drivers. Besides Grosjean, his teammate Kevin Magnussen suffered an engine failure and failed to finish after a bright start that saw him defend the fourth place.

With the win, Vettel takes his third title in Australia and 100th career podium. It’s also back-to-back season-opening triumphs for the German who finished nine seconds ahead of Hamilton last year.

For Hamilton and Mercedes, they have another chasing to do especially with Ferrari establishing an 18-point lead in the constructors’ championship.

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Ready for Australia: It’s a New and Exciting F1 Season!

The 2018 Formula One campaign is set to start at Albert Park this week with millions of sports betting fans around the world anticipating an action-packed race.

Numerous rule changes have been put into effect this year that will certainly affect the betting odds on the drivers and constructors. Most notably, the number of power units allowed per driver was reduced from four to three, thereby emphasising the need for engine reliability.

Pre-season testing in Spain has also ended a couple of weeks ago, ensuring that both drivers and their cars are ready for the big live betting affair.

Australian Grand Prix

As expected, Mercedes and star man Lewis Hamilton are the favourites to win in Melbourne. The Silver Arrows have dominated F1 the past four years and are now aiming for an unprecedented feat of a fifth straight drivers’ and constructors’ championship double.

Also, Hamilton could become only the third driver in F1 history to win five titles—a result which would earn him motorsport immortality alongside Michael Schumacher and Juan Manuel Fangio.

The British star can make a statement in the Australian GP, and he is at odds of 1.70 to do just that.

However, it won’t be as easy as it sounds, especially with Mercedes boss Toto Wolff predicting a three-way battle between his team, Ferrari and Red Bull this campaign.

Hamilton’s biggest threat in Australia is Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who is the second favourite to win at 4.50. The German was neck and neck with the Brit last season and was even on the lead up until the second half of the campaign.

Vettel heads into Melbourne after a remarkable pre-season testing that saw him record the best time in Barcelona. And he’ll be high in confidence knowing that he won the opening race last year with a nine-second lead over Hamilton.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen (6.00) and Daniel Ricciardo (8.00), of course, shouldn’t be counted out. Not with their new Renault-powered RB14 that has been impressive so far.

Even Hamilton is cautious of the Red Bull driver as he cited that they thrive in a “high downforce circuit” like Albert Park.

There’s also the fact that home-hero Ricciardo, in his contract year, will be looking to impress.

Besides the four drivers, Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas (7.00), Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen (23.00) and McLaren’s Fernando Alonso (53.00) could well be in the running for a podium finish, especially if they get good results in the qualifying sessions.

The Australian race is still expected to be much closer, thanks to the track that features a mix of braking and quick sections as well as tighter parts that require good traction. With that said, drivers from Renault, Haas, Force India, Williams, Toro Rosso and Sauber could also find some opportunities to break into the top spots.

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