0.664 seconds, it may not feel like a long time in many aspects of life, but in the world of Formula 1, it’s an absolute chasm. That was the distance that Lewis Hamilton put between himself and Sebastian Vettel in the final standings.
A lot of questions have been answered, but there will be many hoping that it was just one of those incredible laps that Lewis Hamilton produces and isn’t a true reflection of the utter dominance that Mercedes have for this season. We will surely find out tomorrow. One of the silver linings for Ferrari was the crash that Bottas had in Q3.
Haas were quick
Haas will be ecstatic, McLaren will be underwhelmed and so will Williams. Haas’ pace lived up to the excitement we saw in testing as they were the best of the rest behind the big three, Magnussen in 6th and Grosjean in 7th. There were many teams hoping to be the best of the rest, but Haas seem to have the greatest claim at the moment.
McLaren would have hoped to have been as fast as the Haas and they were comfortably behind, but they’ll take heart at being a lot better than last season. While Lance Stroll in his Williams qualified in 14th, his team mate Sergey Sirotkin finished disappointingly in 19th. There will be a lot of the focus on the Russian in the sport this season as he blocked the fairy tale return of Robert Kubica.
Bottas gives Mercedes Further Doubt
It’s a huge year for Bottas, he has to prove that he’s good enough for the Mercedes seat. His first opportunity to do that ended miserably. The crash was his entire fault and another reason for the team to look into another driver for the 2019 season, especially with Daniel Riccardo available. He will have to have an incredible drive tomorrow to regain faith, but you get the feeling that Toto Wolff is ready to look at his options.
Due to a grid penalty Riccardo will start in 8th and Red Bull would have been disappointed that they were behind the two Ferrari’s. It very much looks like it will be a repeat of last season with Mercedes leading the way with Ferrari and Red Bull in behind. The rest of the pack will be of more interest as there is will a lot up for grabs behind those teams.
Was it Just a Great Lap?
The headline is obviously Hamilton’s speed, it was electric. Everyone who isn’t a Hamilton or Mercedes fan will be hoping that the race can be a lot closer. Is that advantage is a true mark of the difference between Mercedes and the rest of the teams, then you might as well just give the Hamilton his 5th world title now.
Hopefully it’s less predictable this season, but the signs from qualifying weren’t great. Vettel managed to win the race last season, and it’ll take something special for him to repeat that this season. Hamilton was incredibly fast, was it the car or was it him? We’ll soon find out.