F1 – Australian GP – Race
Welcome to the first race recap of 2019! It’s finally time again for Formula One after a long winterbreak. It promises to be a very interesting season. As we have seen in qualifying, the teams seem even more closer to each other than last year, especially the midfielders. We also have a new addition to the race which is an extra point for the one who drives the fastest lap of the race. With all this information, we are ready for 58 laps around Albert Park in Melbourne.
We had a fairly good start at the front. Bottas overtook Hamilton for the first place. Meanwhile, Leclerc got next to Vettel, but was pushed off the track by his German teammate and as a result, he couldn’t hold that position anymore. The Monegasque fell back to his start position; P5. In the middle, we could see some chaos due to Ricciardo who drove over the grass and lost his front wing. Ricciardo and Kubica, who picked up some debris from the Aussie, were the first ones to pit for new tyres and front wings.
Leclerc went a couple of times off track and still has to get used to his Ferrari as it seems. Also Gasly had a difficult first weekend at Red Bull. After a 16th place on the grid, he was battling with the Kvyat. It was odd to see Red Bull hunting after Toro Rosso. And DarkMini did even more today. Smoke was coming out of Sainz car in lap 11. His debut for McLaren was quickly called to an end.
Around lap 15, it was pitstop time. Vettel and Hamilton got new tyres first, which made Verstappen move up to the second place. Grosjean had a horrible stop and fell back from P7 to P14. While Magnussen made an outstanding move on Giovinazzi after a long battle. Only a bit later, he could overtake two more drivers and ended up in P9. Gasly finally found his pace back and moved up to P8 after 21 laps. Max Verstappen was the new race leader after Bottas’ stop, though the Finn, who drove a marvellous race, could stay in front of Leclerc.
Verstappen went for his stop and came out the pits behind Vettel, though the time between the drivers in the top five was not that much. This meant that we could expect some battles at the front during the second half of the race. And only three laps later, we saw Verstappen already hunting for Vettel and that way, for that third position! He passed the German only a lap later, while Ricciardo had to call his debut too an end as well. Also Grosjean’s race had an early stop in lap 32. During his disastrous pitstop, the left front tyre wasn’t attached correctly and loosened during the next laps.
During the home stretch, we could see some amazing battles, although Bottas was already safe for his victory. The two Ferrari’s were closing up and Max Verstappen impressed everyone with a fastest lap and only a good second between him and Hamilton. It was the question if he could still overtake the Brit with only two laps to go! Mercedes was still too strong and the Dutchman couldn’t do it in the end, while Bottas also took the fastest lap back in the second last lap.
Valtteri Bottas is the winner of the Australian Grand Prix 2019 with Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen completing the podium. P4 is for Vettel, followed by Leclerc, Magnussen, Hulkenberg, Raikkonen, Stroll and Kvyat. Bottas was a double winner by winning the fastest lap point of this round!