Vettel disappointed – Mercedes flexes its muscles
Dampers for Sebastian Vettel: In the first practice session the Ferrari driver won’t get past fifth place. Mercedes around Lewis Hamilton, on the other hand, is strong.
Four-time Formula 1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel experienced a damper at the start of the season.
With his new Ferrari SF71H the vice world champion from Heppenheim did not exceed fifth place in the first free practice session at the Australian Grand Prix.
World champion Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes was the fastest of the unit with a best time of 1:24.026 minutes, 0.969 seconds faster his permanent rival from Hesse,
In general, Hamilton was in strong shape in summer conditions in the Albert Park in Melbourne. Even his team-mate Valtteri Bottas (Finland) was second only 0.551 seconds behind the Englishman, who like Vettel is decorated with four titles.
Vettel was preceded by the highly expected Red Bull driver Max Verstappen (Netherlands/+0.745) and his Finnish Ferrari stable mate Kimi Räikkönen (+0.849). Nico Hülkenberg from Emmerich took 13th place in the Renault. rank (+2,557).
At exactly 2.00 o’clock German time Vettel was the first driver on the track with his new Ferrari named “Loria”. Although the 30-year-old did his best lap on a harder compound than Hamilton, the Ferrari as a whole did not leave the impression of a clear contender for the championship.
Vettel has the chance to straighten things out in the second free practice session at 6:00 CET (ntv). This also takes place at a similar time as the qualifying on Saturday (7.00 CET) and the race on Sunday (7.10 CEST in the LIVETICKER). However, rain is predicted for Saturday, drops are also possible on Sunday.