Tuesday, 19 November, 2019

Hamilton and Vettel in race to become five-times world champion

Lewis Hamilton leads the way after opening practice Lewis Hamilton leads the way after opening practice
Shannon Reynolds | 24 March, 2018, 10:56

There is one common DRS Detection point before Turn 14.The first DRS Activation point is before Turn 1 and second DRS Activation point is before Turn 3.

The tension of a rivalry that produced "road rage" and acrimony between Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel in 2017 was absent on Thursday as the four-times Formula One champions made nice before the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

Whether Hamilton can maintain that pace advantage in the race remains to be seen, and Mercedes are at a potential strategic disadvantage if the pace of the cars is closer in the race because he has two Ferraris right behind him and no protection from team-mate Bottas.

The four-time world champion, however, was in no mood to ignore his former teammate's comments when it was put to him during the pre-race press conference in Melbourne on Thursday.

Pole has produced the victor at Albert Park on nine occasions.

Hamilton, 33, is in front statistically with the most race wins (62 to 47) and pole positions (72 to 50) ahead of Sunday's 58-lap race.

Dutch wunderkind Max Verstappen was third in the standings for Red Bull ahead of Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen.

"This year, we obviously had a bit more so, from a team perspective, we're feeling much more prepared".

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Hamilton has 117 career podiums and is second on the all-time list behind Schumacher (155). Raikkonen is the ideal number two driver in that situation and Ricciardo going there would be a problem in the same way as Rosberg was a problem for Hamilton. He is joined by Ferrari-backed Formula 2 champion Charles Leclerc, who will race for Sauber.

Sauber kept its team from sinking as Italian vehicle manufacturer Alfa Romeo pumped money into the Swiss team during the off-season and retains Marcus Ericsson. Here are the major storylines heading into the Australian Grand Prix that you should follow.

'The Stewards examined telemetry, video, vehicle position data evidence and hard from Daniel Ricciardo, the driver of auto 3 and the team representative.

This flashpoint in Baku only steeled Hamilton's resolve to collect his fourth title previous year in a Mercedes, even as Vettel's-and Ferrari's-form nosedived due to unreliable engines. When the race moved from South Australia to Melbourne, the capital of Victoria, it became the opening race of the season.

The new arrangements will be tried out on Friday after the two practice sessions at Albert Park, with drivers allowed to rehearse starts on the grid. The victor in Melbourne has gone on to be world champion 13 out of 22 times.

The lowest starter to win was Britain's Eddie Irvine from 11th in 1999 for Ferrari.

Eight of the last 10 races in Australia have seen the safety vehicle deployed.

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