Heading into the first race of the new season, we really didn’t know where we’d fit in the pecking order. While our pace had looked encouraging in testing, the conditions and track were a very different ball game in Australia and this sometimes shakes up the normal competitive sequence.
Practice was productive and promising on Friday, but obviously there were mixed fortunes on Saturday. Lewis put in an absolutely stunning pole position lap to go over six tenths clear of the Ferraris, but Valtteri crashed out in Q3, denying him a potential slot on the front row.
It was clear, though, that the Qualifying gap wasn’t truly representative of the margins to the Ferraris and Red Bulls. We suspected it’d be much closer in the race and while Lewis led away early on, the Ferraris kept him honest and the Red Bulls looked very quick - Daniel Ricciardo put in the fastest lap of the race, while hunting down Kimi Räikkönen.
There appear to be three teams capable of winning races and really fighting at the front and the gaps will change at each race - some tracks will suit cars better than others. So, we’ve definitely got a fight on our hands and that’s an exciting prospect for the season ahead.