Hamilton on top as Ferrari struggle in season's first exchanges

Lewis Hamilton
Hamilton Mercedes had no idea dominant performance was possible

Lewis Hamilton Hamilton Mercedes had no idea dominant performance was possible

"The auto feels like it's in a similar place to where it was in Barcelona, which is positive coming to a different track", said Hamilton.

"I have a positive buzz from driving the auto today", said an upbeat Hamilton.

"By the time you finish the testing, the cars are ready to be shipped directly to Melbourne, so I think it's really by here that we start understanding who is the fastest".

"You get to a non-power sensitive track like Mexico past year or Monaco and they're right there, locking out the front row. There's plenty of things we can improve on, which is a positive, but it's absolutely not a bad start at all".

Hamilton is gunning for a third world crown in a row to close in on Michael Schumacher's all-time record of seven.

Following the regulation changes over the winter that affect the front and rear wings and the bargeboards, pre-season testing indicated that the so-called "Class B" outfits, whom Renault is hoping to pull clear of in 2019, had universally closed the gap to the leading trio.

Ferrari's new SF90 auto has been widely regarded as the early benchmark of the 2019 F1 field, and Hamilton suggested in Barcelona that Mercedes could be as much as half a second adrift.

"So far the atmosphere is good, the spirit is right within the team and we will try to carry that into the season". The forecast is for warmer conditions for Saturday's qualifying and Sunday's race.

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The Lakers (30-35) are in 10th place in the Western Conference heading into their rivalry meeting with Boston on Saturday night. Both were second overall picks by the Lakers, Ingram in 2016 and Ball in 2017.

Vettel was fifth overall following his own trip across the grass at Turn 1 early on, and there was a sense of deja vu as he was closely followed by his former teammate Kimi Raikkonen.

The Formula 1 season has begun again, with faster cars, new rules, and new line-ups. "It was a bit of a time delay, but I could tell that everyone was getting a bit frustrated". Feels quite odd. Seems to be something wrong.

The German said afterwards it had been "a tricky day".

"We are not yet where we would like to be, not in terms of lap time but more in terms of vehicle feel and handling".

"It's really nice to get back out on track", Hamilton said.

The other rookie, British-born Thai Alexander Albon, had a hard first day. This year also sees a number of new drivers at numerous teams, which makes this first race in Australia all the more interesting.

His best time of 1:26.655 for Williams was slowest on a day marred by the sudden death on Thursday of long-serving and well-respected Formula One race director Charlie Whiting.

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