Let’s just pretend he hasn’t binned it in Q3 of Australia. He’s got the fastest car and it would a great confidence boost to him tomorrow if he can trouble the Red Bull’s and maybe even the Ferrari’s towards the end of the race.
Valtteri is going to have to start the season strongly because with Daniel Ricciardo out of contract at Red Bill this year and Esteban Ocon waiting in the wings down at Force India, Mercedes will certainly have options for 2019 when looking for a teammate to the current World Champion and almost everyone’s favourite for this year’s title …
Lewis and Mercedes really turned it on after the summer break in 2017, taking 143 points from a possible 150 over the next six races and ultimately wrapping up the title with an underwhelming ninth place in Mexico. Lewis will surely hope that the characteristics of the W09 allow him to challenge on some of the tighter, twistier circuits where he struggled in Qualifying last season, notably Russia, Monaco and Hungary.
Ahead of the first race of the season, Lewis is going to have to watch for the two fast starting Ferrari’s behind him and who knows what sort of effect Max can have, starting on the Supersoft tyres and potentially running long into the first stint with a shorter stint on Ultrasofts at the end.
Despite all of the above, Lewis Hamilton does not have a contract for 2019, yet. Now while I’m not sure any of us can see Lewis anywhere else for next year, it’ll be interesting to see just how much Mercedes value their star man and if Lewis has (or wants) a say in the potential arrival of Ricciardo or Ocon.
Contrasting fortunes today, immense lap by Lewis and a shame for Valtteri.
Edited by MJB5990, 24 March 2018 - 07:54.