Teammate Comparison – Australia

Mercedes

Qualifying: Hamilton
Season to date: Hamilton 1-0 Bottas
Hamilton looked imperious during qualifying, hammering home his advantage over Bottas by nearly 3 tenths in Q3 and took pole position in front of Vettel. Saturdays have always been one of Hamilton’s greatest strengths though, so Bottas won’t find starting ahead on the grid easy.

Race: Hamilton
Season to date: Hamilton 1-0 Bottas
Hamilton and Vettel showed their class by stretching out an advantage over Bottas in 3rd up until the round of pit stops, Bottas then responded as Hamilton conserved his tyres, to pull a gap of 7 seconds down to 1.8. Hamilton finished ahead, but Bottas will certainly take heart from his performance.

Ferrari

Qualifying: Vettel
Season to date: Vettel 1-0 Raikkonen
Vettel was dominant over Raikkonen when it mattered in Q3 and took 2nd, five and a half tenths ahead of the Finn in 4th. Raikkonen will need to rediscover the pace he found at the back end of 2016 if he wants to challenge Vettel in qualifying.

Race: Vettel
Season to date: Vettel 1-0 Raikkonen
Vettel took the race to Hamilton and came out victorious for the first time since Singapore 2015, whilst Raikkonen was closer to Verstappen in 5th than even Bottas in 3rd, eventually finishing over 22 seconds behind his teammate.

Red Bull

Qualifying: Verstappen
Season to date: Ricciardo 0-1 Verstappen
It threatened to be tight battle between the Red Bull pair, with each edging a session over the other in Q1 and Q2 . However Ricciardo’s error from pushing too hard in Q3 resulted in an early ending in qualifying for the Australian, and a gear box change that should have left him 15th on the grid. With Ricciardo out Verstappen didn’t have much to play for, and almost perfectly split the one second gap between Raikkonen in front and Grosjean behind. Until Red Bull improve, it seems Ricciardo and Verstappen are only racing each other.

Race: Verstappen
Season to date: Ricciardo 0-1 Verstappen
The mistake by Ricciardo in qualifying spilled over to the race, as the resulting gear box issue caused him to start from the pits, and then by the time they got the car going, two laps down. Unsurprisingly Ricciardo retired by lap 25, with the Australian attempting to unlap himself through the field. Verstappen had a relatively uneventful race, nearly a minute ahead of Massa in 6th, and never quite close enough to Raikkonen to challenge for 4th.

Williams

Qualifying: Massa
Season to date: Massa 1-0 Stroll
Stroll’s inexperience showed on his first competitive outing, qualifying 19th to Massa’s 7th, and two seconds slower in Q1.

Race: Massa
Season to date: Massa 1-0 Stroll
Massa did what was required and grabbed important points for Williams. Stroll’s race was better than qualifying, but a brake disc failure caused the Canadian to stop. Hopefully he can get closer in China, for his and Williams sake.

Force India

Qualifying: Perez
Season to date: Perez 1-0 Ocon
Perez qualified 11th to Ocon’s 14th, but there was half a second between the pair in Q2. Perez isn’t renowned for his speed on Saturday either, so Ocon will need to improve and put pressure on his more experienced teammate.

Race: Perez
Season to date: Perez 1-0 Ocon
The reason Ocon will need to get close to his teammate on Saturdays is that Perez can maximise performance on race day. He once again managed this and jumped both Toro Rossos to take 7th, whilst Ocon was busy duelling with Alonso in the McLaren much further back.

Toro Rosso

 Qualifying: Sainz
Season to date: Sainz 1-0 Kvyat
Sainz 8th, Kvyat 9th, just two hundredths of a second between them. Easily the closest gap within the field, this will be one to watch.

Race: Sainz
Season to date: Sainz 1-0 Kvyat
Sainz held on to his advantage over Kvyat at the start, and the Toro Rosso drivers stayed fairly close throughout the opening laps. Kvyat was then able to jump his teammate with an overcut (a word we’ll perhaps hear a lot this year), but due to an technical issue that resulted in Kvyat having to fill his car with air (me neither),he was forced to pit for a second time which handed Sainz the advantage again.

Renault

Qualifying: Hulkenberg
Season to date: Hulkenberg 1-0 Palmer
Over 3 seconds between Hulkenberg and Palmer in qualifying. Clearly Palmer had a problem with the car, but it’s hard to see Palmer getting close to Hulkenberg this season.

Race: Hulkenberg
Season to date: Hulkenberg 1-0 Palmer
The Renault isn’t as quick as the team would have hoped, but Hulkenberg kept them in the hunt for points and finished. Palmer’s nightmare weekend meant he wasn’t able to do either.

Sauber

Qualifying: Ericsson
Season to date: Ericsson 1-0 Giovinazzi
The commentators on Sky declared that Giovinazzi was unlucky not to reach Q2 after a mistake towards the end of his lap left him just short of his teammate. I’m not sure how driver error can be classed as ‘unlucky’, but regardless of this, Giovinazzi performed admirably given his lack of experience. Ericsson takes the point though, as he did finish ahead.

Race: Giovianazzi
Season to date: Ericsson 0-1 Giovinazzi
Although Ericsson can feel unlucky, firstly with his collision with Magnussen which certainly wasn’t his fault, and then for the retirement that resulted from a hydraulic issue caused by the incident, Giovinazzi deserves something from his performance, and a point here is just that. Finishing 12th and ahead of a McLaren was a fine debut given the lack of preparation he would have had.

McLaren

Qualifying: Alonso
Season to date: Alonso 1-0 Vandoorne
Alonso got through to Q2 by setting a time a full second quicker than his Belgian teammate. Alonso, as you’d expect, got more out of the car than was surely there on Saturday, but this doesn’t help Vandoorne.

Race: Vandoorne
Season to date: Alonso 0-1 Vandoorne
A somewhat hollow victory, as Vandoorne wins by simply finishing. Alonso was somehow running in the points until he hit trouble, Stoffel Vandoorne’s fastest lap was almost four tenths slower than Giovinazzi’s in the Sauber. Must do better, as McLaren won’t use points on this page to judge performance.

Haas

 Qualifying: Grosjean
Season to date: Grosjean 1-0 Magnussen
In Q1, Grosjean finished a full 1.4 seconds ahead of his teammate, as Magnussen was dumped out of qualifying a disappointing 17th. Grosjean didn’t stop there though, getting through to Q1 with another excellent lap, he was able to then get ahead of both Toro Rossos and Felipe Massa to take 6th on the grid. 6th compared to 17th is a huge advantage, if Grosjean overachieves, Magnussen can’t continue to underperform.

Race: Magnussen
Season to date: Grosjean 0-1 Magnussen
Magnussen takes victory by driving a slightly more reliable Haas, one which lasted 33 extra laps. Had both finished, much like McLaren, it remains fairly obvious who would have taken the point, however.

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