Normally my trip into the office is pretty dull. Sitting on the circle line with the downtrodden masses. But today i had something to look forward to – two who articles on the practice sessions from the Australian Grand Prix. I could barely contain my excitement as i skipped out of my front door, careful not to announce what a geek I am being. So how is the line-up looking? Lets look at the evidence.
Relief for Lewis Hamilton fans. This season probably isn’t going to be a Mercedes walk over, but with eight tenths of a second in hand around Albert Park, Lewis Hamilton is set be to racing at the pointy end from the first race. The Mercedes Formula One team have clearly done a sterling effort since pre-season testing at the Barcelona Formula One Circuit at Catalunya. Ferrari on the other hand seemed a little slow and Sebastian Vettel came over the radio at one point complaining that the car was “a bit wobbly”. However, don’t be fooled, they were running the harder compound tyres and potentially greater fuel-load. It would have been nice to see Charles Leclerc a little closer to the front but a) this is only a practice session, and b) let’s give him a few months before expecting him to take the fight to his more experienced team mate.
Further own the order, the feel-good story of the year may have resulted in a rude awakening. Robert Kubica and George Russells Williams’s are not quick. Robert Kubica also commented that he’d intentionally had to steer clear of the kerbs as the team was so low on spares. How is this possible for a team that was a regular podium finisher in 2017? Lets hope the backing from new sponsor Rokit helps them back on the road to success.
Another fallen giant, McLaren were not as high up as i would have liked to see. I’ve always rated Carlos Sainz, doing such a great job against Max Verstappen in his rookie season, so it would be great to see what he can do in some front running machinery against Lando Norris. Unfortunately it feels like it could be another year of rebuilding for the McLaren Formula One Team.
Lets see what happens on Sunday, but i’m going to keep in mind that this is only the first race of a long season. I’ll do another driver/team review when we get to Monaco Grand Prix.