QUIZ: Season-opening Formula 1 Grand Prix winners

QUIZ: Season-opening Formula 1 Grand Prix winners

"I feel for sure every year you learn more about yourself and how to prepare for a season", he explains. Starting with the year 2000, can you name the winners of each first Grand Prix of the season?

Williams has endured an extremely tough pre-season after an equally hard 2018 campaign that saw previous drivers Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin score only seven points between them, but the Grove-based outfit are fielding an all-new line-up in Kubica and 2018 FIA Formula 2 champion George Russell.

Mercedes have done that in the past, but there is a growing feeling in the paddock that Ferrari could have the edge this season, with a new team principal in place, after Mattia Binotto replaced Maurizio Arrivabene, and a faster auto.

"What we see from testing, we think so", said Bottas when the notion of Mercedes being the underdogs was suggested.

"I feel Melbourne is the ideal place to start the championship", said the 31-year-old German, now in his fifth season with the glamour team. "In qualifying I can try to go faster than him which won't be easy". His team-mate Valtteri Bottas was forced to hand a race victory to the Briton in Russian Federation previous year at a crucial phase of the season.

We're still quite unsure about how Red Bull will be. "It was said back at the factory and repeated [in a team meeting] today and that's how I like it". The driver, whose team will also score an extra point for the constructors' championship, must finish in the top 10.

Speaking ahead of this weekend's season opener in Melbourne, the Briton continues to insist that his Maranello rivals have the edge. "We have work to do".

"Usually, over the first few races is when you really start to get an idea of where everyone stands - but we said that we have work to do and we weren't talking BS". It's a long way. "From what we have learned so far, this year will be even tougher", he added.

Ferrari won the Australian GP in 2018 and they could be a bit quicker once again.

"Last year's winter testing did not go well with us and we had some issues with the auto to fix". [And] I think it's a case of adding pure performance, but even then we know we haven't unlocked the full potential of the auto. We've been trying to plan with the team all my sponsor events a bit more in advance so I can plan my calendar a bit more around it, all the details in terms of travel, logistics, hotels, everything to help my wellbeing and performance.

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