Thursday, 21 March, 2019

Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc are 'free to race'

F1: 2019 Australian Grand Prix Preview Hamilton laps up crowd's cheers at F1 season launch party in Melbourne
Rita Gibson | 14 March, 2019, 12:57

'This turn out means it's probably going to be a good weekend!' Vettel and his Ferrari team-mate Charles Leclerc also took part in the glitzy event before they and the rest of the teams swapped the stage for the track.

Here, Press Association Sport takes a closer look at the major talking points ahead of the Australian Grand Prix, the season's curtain raiser. The race is on tap for Sunday, March 17th at 1:10 a.m. ET.

Mercedes vs Ferrari: What happened last season? Will anything change in 2019?

Buoyed by blistering speed at recent testing, Vettel sounded confident he could finally threaten Mercedes' five-time world champion Lewis Hamilton's dominance in 2019.

The Italian team had earlier agreed to remove all references to Mission Winnow, a research subsidiary of tobacco firm Philip Morris, from their SF90 cars and team uniforms over concerns they could breach Australian laws on tobacco advertising.

The next wave of serious changes is expected in 2021 but there will be subtle tweaks in 2019. We've seen a simplification of the front wing and so far, Mercedes seems - emphasis on seems - to have been challenged by this a little bit. Is this really an issue or not? The Aussie fans have great energy: they love F1 and we get a great welcome when we arrive at the circuit each morning.

Ferrari's impressive display in testing makes Valtteri Bottas believe Mercedes will have to fight to stay with their rivals in Australia.

1:30                                            Sky Sports F1's Martin Brundle Paul Di Resta and Johnny Herbert gave their verdict on F1 2019's first day
1:30 Sky Sports F1's Martin Brundle Paul Di Resta and Johnny Herbert gave their verdict on F1 2019's first day

Williams has endured an extremely tough pre-season after an equally hard 2018 campaign that saw previous drivers Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin score only seven points between them, but the Grove-based outfit are fielding an all-new line-up in Kubica and 2018 FIA Formula 2 champion George Russell. Over the past two years, the way they've been able to improve the auto during the year has been pretty rapid, so for sure they're going to be a threat as well. However, a slew of uncharacteristic mistakes by Vettel down the stretch cost the team. "Its always nice to kick off the season with a good result".

His team-mate Valtteri Bottas was forced to hand a race victory to the Briton in Russian Federation past year at a crucial phase of the season. He might need some time to get used to the vehicle.

Hamilton has a record 83 career poles, Vettel 55.

Starting off with the Australian Grand Prix history, either Mercedes or Ferrari has won in five straight years.

Vettel has won in Melbourne for the past two years, and three times in total.

"But as a driver for sure I have to figure out how can I pull more out, which I don't have the current answer for". "I'm curious to see how it goes at that time".

Texas Donut Shop Filled With Customers After Sad Tweet Goes Viral
According to By he was anxious about his father not attracting customers and didn't think the tweet would go viral. Billy's original tweet posted on Sunday already earned over 327,000 retweets and 732,000 likes, as of writing .

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