Valtteri Bottas took his fourth career victory – his first in Australia and first of the 2019 season. Lewis Hamilton finished in second place, completing a perfect start to the season for the Mercedes team.
Bottas scored the fastest lap, his tenth with the team, gaining an extra Championship point. This result marks the 45th 1-2 finish for Mercedes in Formula One.
Bottas said it was his best race ever
This feels so good – I don’t think I’ve ever had a race like this! We could not have asked for a better start to the season – getting maximum points for the team is a perfect result and we couldn’t be happier. It’s also an important result for me personally, I’m really pleased with how the race went. These things don’t just happen – both the team and I have worked hard for this and it seems like the hard work paid off.
The key was the start; I think Lewis may have had a bit of wheel spin, so I was able to take the lead. My race pace was really strong, I could pull away and build a gap. In the end, I managed to get the fastest lap as well, which of course means an extra point this season, so I went for it. It can be a little risky with worn tyres, but I had it all under control. I’m very, very pleased with today, but it’s only the first race and we have another 20 races to go.
— Formula 1 (@F1) March 18, 2019
Hamilton said it was an incredible weekend for the team
We’re leaving Melbourne with maximum points. Valtteri did an exceptional job – congratulations to him. I had a pretty straightforward race; I lost position at the start and my race was pretty much done and dusted after the first corner. Afterwards, it was really about bringing the car home and bagging the points.
I had to pit early to cover the pit stop from Ferrari, so I had a long second stint and drove super carefully to make sure I had tyres left at the end of the race. I’ll bag the eighteen points I got, keep working and come back recharged for the next one. It was a really great weekend for the team and I’m really happy for everyone. We showed a great performance and we need to continue to build on this – we have a long season ahead of us.
Fantastic effort from the team this weekend to start with a 1-2. Super proud of everyone back home for their hard work over winter to provide us with a car that we can fight with. Great drive from Valtteri, well deserved. Let’s keep this up team @MercedesAMGF1 📷 @MSI_Images pic.twitter.com/GdeGTXEnyq
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) March 17, 2019