Valtteri Bottas made his debut with Mercedes-AMG Petronas during Sunday’s Formula One Australian Grand Prix, and it went about as well as it could have.
Bottas finished P3 at Albert Park Circuit less than 2 seconds adrift of his teammate Lewis Hamilton, after shrinking the gap to the three-time world champion in the closing laps. Scuderia Ferrari, though, simply couldn’t be stopped at the F1 season opener.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel drove an extremely measured race to finish 9.975 seconds ahead of Hamilton, and his teammate Kimi Raikkonen recorded the fastest lap of the race with a 1:26.538. Even though Bottas claimed his first podium with his new team in Melbourne, Australia, he couldn’t help but be impressed by Ferrari’s performance.
Bottas might have struggled on the ultrasoft tires, though not nearly as much as Hamilton, who also wasn’t happy to see Ferrari finish ahead of Mercedes. However, Mercedes and Ferrari probably are the two best teams in F1 right now, so it might not be long until Sunday’s roles are reversed.
Mercedes and the rest of the F1 field will look to match Ferrari’s blazing pace April 9 at the Chinese Grand Prix.
Thumbnail photo via Mercedes-AMG Petronas