Valtteri Bottas best race ever to defeat Lewis Hamilton in season opener
Published: 17 March 2019 Image credit: Getty Images
Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas wins season-opening Australian GP defeating world champion Lewis Hamilton by 20 seconds!
Valtteri Bottas upsets Lewis Hamilton in the opening race of the Formula 1 season in Melbourne, Australia.
Bottas was truly untouchable on the track in the Melbourne sunshine and sailed home well ahead of fellow Mercedes driver, Hamilton, who failed to convert on an Albert Park pole position for the fifth time.
Emotional and lost for words Bottas was elated when he stepped out of the car, claiming it was his best ever race. Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton, finished 22 seconds behind his teammate giving him his 4th runner up trophy in Melbourne.
Red Bull racer Max Verstappen showed a consistent pace, passing Sebastian Vettel, and found himself on the lower step of the podium.
Hometown hopeful Daniel Ricciardo debut with Renault started disappointingly. As the lights changed at the start line, Ricciardo was nudged to the edge which caused the driver to lose the front wing of his car, resulting in a push to last place.
The Renault team worked quick and well in the Pitt to replace the wing but there was more damage to the side of the car which slowed the pace, making it impossible to move back up through the pack, and retiring on lap 38.
Bottas took the chequered flag in the opening race citing that "The car was perfect. It was truly enjoyable".
Final Top 10 Standings and Times
1. Valtteri Bottas MERCEDES 1:25:27.3250
2. Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES +20.886s0
3. Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING HONDA +22.520s0
4. Sebastian Vettel FERRARI +57.109s0
5. Charles Leclerc FERRARI +58.230s0
6. Kevin Magnussen HAAS FERRARI +87.156s0
7. Nico Hulkenberg RENAULT +1 lap0
8. Kimi Räikkönen ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI +1 lap0
9. Lance Stroll RACING POINT BWT MERCEDES +1 lap0
10. Daniil Kvyat SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA +1 lap0