Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton couldn’t quite set the stage on fire in Australia, as both world champions struggled for pace all through the 58 laps of the opening grand prix.
Ferrari were supposed to be the fastest car, after what Barcelona testing had suggested, but Mercedes, once again managed to fool the grid, and came out with the fastest possible package for the 1st GP of the season.
Valtteri Bottas secured a comprehensive win, with Lewis Hamilton finishing in P2 and Sebastian Vettel in P4.
However, the gap between Bottas and Hamilton was a humongous one, something that Vettel did not quite understand.
Ahhhh this is everything that's wrong with the modern Ferrari team, it's the first race of the season; no need for team orders just to preserve Vettel's currently fragile ego. https://t.co/kcjDPolKEr
— Stephen J (@stephenj159) March 18, 2019
Sebastian Vettel feels Lewis Hamilton was 'playing' around
— Planet F1 (@Planet_F1) March 18, 2019
In the post race interview, the German admitted that he was baffled by how Lewis was driving and if he was too bored to challenge Bottas for the win.
“I don’t know what Lewis was doing,” the German claimed.
“I think he was probably bored and not happy because he lost the start.
“I think it’s not the first race where he’s doing something just to go round, he was just playing at that point.
“I was told also on the radio that he’s complaining about his tyres, but he made it quite safely to the end. Maybe he wasn’t too happy driving from that point onwards.” he added.
The surprising lack of pace in Hamilton’s car was due to a floor damage, as confirmed by Mercedes after the race.
Lewis Hamilton too addressed the issue, confirming that he was just trying to save his tyres for the entirety of the race, as he had understood that he wouldn’t be able to go for the win.
“I was planning to just stay close behind, two, three seconds,” Hamilton explained.
“Then obviously I had the issue with the car and the gap started to slowly increase. So it would have continued to increase.
“But then after that, I was trying to look after the tyres and then I got stopped super-early [for tyres] in reaction to the Ferraris.” he added.
Do you think Ferrari will be able to get their advantage back in Bahrain or will Mercedes continue to dominate?