Five talking points ahead of the Australian Grand Prix

Five talking points ahead of the Australian Grand Prix

Five talking points ahead of the Australian Grand Prix

The Austrian said: "The most adaptable and agile team will come out on top this season. They're the real, true fighters within the team, and I know they're going to be giving absolutely everything to make sure that we continue to progress".

He added: "We are definitely in the fight and we know we have a strong team".

A day before arriving Down Under on Monday, the 34-year-old indulged his new sky-diving hobby, jumping out of a plane over the Qatar desert.

He was on target to win at the Russian Grand Prix towards the end of the year, but with Hamilton fighting Sebastian Vettel for the title, Mercedes told him to move over and let his teammate take the lead.

The pressure is arguably heavier on the shoulders of German rival Sebastian Vettel, who won just five races a year ago and saw his challenge evaporate with a string of mistakes on track. We got a bit lucky during the race weekend (in Melbourne) with the safety vehicle to grab the win.

The track is partially made up of public roads that wind through Albert Park and with the high-speed chicane in turn 11 and 12, this will be testing for the drivers who will need to get to grips with the immediate change of direction very quickly to avoid the nearby gravel trap.

Ferrari have endured a torrid decade, having not won the drivers' championship since Kimi Raikkonen lifted the trophy in 2007, or the constructors' since 2008.

"As in any team there has to be a number one and a number two in a 50-50 situation".

In eight of the last 19 seasons, the victor of the opening Grand Prix has not gone on to become champion.

The team said on Tuesday it had expedited an upgrade for the RB15 auto in time for Sunday's race, a month earlier than scheduled.

Bottas says the key to his new approach will be being more guarded with his time to ensure he is in the best possible position at the start of each race weekend to maximise results.

"I see us behind Ferrari over the race distance but ahead of Mercedes".

Five-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton feels that a tough battle awaits Mercedes in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix starting this weekend.

However, he also said, "I hope to enjoy the weekend and that everything will run smoothly without any big issues so I can concentrate on my driving and discover a new Formula 1".

At a bumpy street circuit where overtaking has been hard, F1 bosses will hope the introduction of new rules can inject spice.

Since he last raced in 2010, a lot has changed in Formula One, so it will be a massive learning curve for the Polish driver.

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