After dominating qualifying and locking out the front row for the 2015 Australian Grand Prix, both Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS drivers were optimistic heading into the season opening race that they could claim victory on Sunday.
Lewis Hamilton was comfortably fastest in the final part of qualifying, with his two fastest laps both being easily good enough for top spot, and the Briton felt positive about how the 2015 Mercedes F1 W06 Hybrid was performing on track. He thanked his team for their efforts, and hoped to reward them with a victory on Sunday.
“It’s been a great start to the weekend,” revealed Hamilton. “It’s been a huge effort from all the guys and girls at the factories to have this kind of performance from our car and I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to drive it.
“I’ve worked hard with the engineers yesterday and today to find a good balance. Then, in the session, I just tried to push hard and put the pieces together. It’s so much fun when it works right, because this is the competition that I live for.
“I’m immensely grateful to everybody at Mercedes for the hard work that has gone into it so far. But there is still a lot to do tonight to study for the race tomorrow because it will be a huge challenge to try and fight for the win. We will be working as hard as we can to make sure we have a good race.”
Team-mate Nico Rosberg, who claimed victory in Australia in 2014 from third of the grid, praised Hamilton for his qualifying efforts, but insisted he was ready to take fight for race victory on Sunday after admitting errors during his own qualifying runs.
“Lewis did a good job today, he drove like a champ,” said Rosberg, praising his team-mate. “I also felt that I had the speed in the car but I didn’t get together the perfect lap.
“In general I’m happy that the team again gave us a great car. It’s fastest out there this year, too, so many thanks to the factories back home.
“Tomorrow I still can make it happen because it will be a long race. A lot can still happen and I will put on a great show. My long run pace on Friday was better than Lewis but he did quite a few set-up changes on his car, so there may be more to come from him.”