D this result would probably have been after the test drives in Barcelona only the most optimistic Mercedes fans expected. The world championship team made a surprisingly strong impression on Friday (March 15, 2019) in Melbourne. After Lewis Hamilton had already turned the fastest lap in the opening session, he went one better in the late afternoon. In 1: 22,600 minutes, the world champion secured the second best time of the new season.
While the gaps were relatively close at the first test of strength, the Silver Arrows made short work of the competition in the second exchange of blows. Only Valtteri Bottas in the second Mercedes was able to follow Hamilton to some extent. The Finn lost the duel against his team-mate by a tiny 48 thousandths. The rest of the Formula 1 world, on the other hand, was clearly outclassed.
Red Bull ahead of Ferrari
Best of the rest was Max Verstappen. However, the Dutchman was already eight tenths short of Hamilton's record. It should also be mentioned that Red Bull only put on the soft tires on the Verstappen RB15 in the last half hour of training. The asphalt already offered a good deal more grip than in the qualifying simulations of the competition, which were completed much earlier.
Seen in this way, the time of Pierre Gasly, who was only 0.042 seconds behind his team mate in 4th place, was to be estimated even higher. The newcomer to the team was the first of the three top teams to be sent on his fast run after just over half an hour. Even before the two Silver Arrows.
Ferrari also managed the Mercedes timesnot nearly endangered. Sebastian Vettel was just behind Gasly in fifth place, 0.873 seconds behind. After the good test impressions, the red cars actually traveled to Melbourne as favorites. Now you are suddenly back in the chase role. For the tension, one can only hope that Ferrari has left a few reserves for Saturday.
Raikkonen leads midfield
For the fact that Ferrari and Red Bull were beaten under value , says Kimi Räikkönen's time on position 6. The Finn was only a tenth behind his Ferrari team-mate from last year in the Sauber-Alfa-Romeo. The distance to the top teams of Nico Hülkenberg, who posted the seventh fastest time just behind the Iceman, should actually be greater.
Incidentally, Hülkenberg won the first team duel against Daniel Ricciardo with a seven hundredth lead. Both Renault works drivers were even ahead of Charles Leclerc in the second Ferrari, who was only ninth. A sign that things are not going smoothly at the Monegasque was a spin shortly before the end of the session in Turn 5. After all, the newcomer to the team managed to prevent his car from being damaged during the pirouette.
In the gallery we show the best pictures from training Friday.