James Allison, Mercedes’ Technical Director, said he enjoyed a ‘perfect day’ on Sunday at the Australian GP. The Mercedes-AMG Motorsport team scored maximum points with a 1-2 finish and the extra point for the fastest lap.
The team did not finish on top of the timesheets in winter testing. Sebastian Vettel and Scuderia Ferrari came to the Australian GP with the favourites tag, but it was their main rivals at Mercedes who delivered.
Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas finished 1-2 in qualification. Bottas made a great start and sealed an easy victory in the race. Hamilton finished in second-place even as he was pushed hard by Max Verstappen.
James Allison Is Happy With The Perfect Weekend
Allison was happy about the perfect weekend for the team and said: “Days in motor racing do not come much sweeter than this. A 1-2 finish is a precious thing and to top it off with the cherry of the fastest lap point for the first time, makes it feel even nicer.
“I guess the main reason it feels so good is that it was unexpected. We came to Australia expecting a very tough fight against a car that had set the benchmark throughout winter testing.
“But we found ourselves in the happy position of being very competitive from the first time we turned a wheel – and almost spent our weekend waiting to wake up from that state of slight disbelief.”
When Mercedes topped the two free practice sessions on Friday it was unexpected, and Allison was surprised by the impressive start.
“However, we should have trusted what our numbers told us, because Sunday turned out almost exactly how an impressive Friday had promised, and it’s a fantastic feeling for all of us to achieve this result at the first race,” said Allison.
“That doesn’t mean we will do the same at the next race but it is a good start: it was fantastic to see Valtteri drive so flawlessly to answer some of his critics and remind everybody that he is a class act;
“Lewis on the other hand was punished for a poor start and had to contend with damage to the floor of his car, but nonetheless was able to drive a strong race to seal off the 1-2 finish for the team, which will see us heading to the next race with very happy spirits indeed.”
The next race is the Bahrain Grand Prix that starts in two week’s time (29-31 March 2019).