Lewis Hamilton admits he can’t wait to get his Mercedes AMG Petronas career started in this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix. The Briton has lit up pre-season testing with his pace in the W04 and is looking forward to his first competitive action in it in Melbourne.
“It’s the start of a new season and the beginning of a new adventure for me with MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS. I can’t wait to get to Melbourne, get out on track and find out where we stand. The Australian Grand Prix is always an exciting race: the teams don’t know how they compare in terms of performance, the fans are fantastic and, with big changes to the tyres again this year, we just don’t know what will happen in the race. I love the circuit. It’s a street track with a really bumpy surface so you try and put as much downforce on the car as possible and it really puts the drivers to the test. We had a good, reliable car during winter testing so that’s the positive we can take with us into the weekend but we know that in terms of performance, everything begins again from zero in Friday practice. So let’s get Down Under, get racing and see how things turn out.”
Teammate Nico Rosberg is expecting the weather to play a key role in the outcome of Sunday’s Grand Prix, particularly with Pirelli bringing the super-soft tyres into play here for the first time.
“Melbourne is a great place to kick off the new Formula One season. I really like the city and the Australian fans at the circuit are always fantastic and so supportive. The first Grand Prix is where everyone finds out where they really are and we can judge how well we have done against our competition as the times in winter testing just don’t tell the full story. The weather in Melbourne looks very hot at the moment which is going to be a tough challenge as we have no experience with the F1 W04 in those conditions. Tyre degradation will be the biggest issue for everyone so we need to look at that carefully and do a good job in managing it. I’m really looking forward to next weekend and getting the season underway.”