Valtteri Bottas wins the 2019 Australian GP


Speaking at the end of a shock, but nonetheless convincing win for the Finn, Wolff admitted that he was delighted to see that Bottas had essentially rediscovered his mojo.

Australian Grand Prix victor Valtteri Bottas went against a pre-race order from Mercedes boss Toto Wolff not to go for the new point on offer for the fastest lap of the race.

Later explaining what had prompted his reaction, Bottas said: "In sport there are always ups and downs, so you can really see the true support easily".

"We tried different set-up approaches during the weekend but I have to say we never concluded with the right balance".

'It just came, I just wanted to send my best regards, ' he said. There are people around me supporting me.

"During the hard times it's the other part which is a lot more negative and that is their weakness".

With world champion Lewis Hamilton second, it was a flawless start to the season for Mercedes while Ferrari were left puzzled by poor performance.

Ferrari opted against taking that risk with new signing Charles Leclerc, who had a significant advantage over sixth-placed Kevin Magnussen in the closing laps.

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Bottas, meanwhile, stayed out on his soft tyres and extended his lead. Just the vehicle was feeling so good today, it was truly enjoyable.

When asked how he saw the season panning out, he said: "I've been here a long, long time and I've never known after the first race".

Instead, it took an order from the team garage just to preserve his fourth placing, with new boy Leclerc warned off from overtaking the four-times champion in the final laps.

Bottas put an exclamation point on his dominant Sunday performance on the penultimate lap by beating Max Verstappen's previous best time, scoring a full 26 points.

Overall, Hamilton has converted only two of his eight poles into wins at Albert Park, in 2008 and 2015, a record which would frustrate the most tranquil of drivers. Once we got to the first corner, we held position, we had the front row still. We chose to bring the vehicle home. I was pulling back, with some cars behind, went to some other engine modes, and went for a quick lap.

"We don't know at the moment", came the reply from the pit wall.

With the Australian Grand Prix having been Mattia Binotto's first race as Ferrari's team principal, will the team's decision-making change at any point throughout the remainder of the 2019 Formula 1 season?

Verstappen qualified in fourth and managed to overtake Sebastian Vettel in his Ferrari to secure a podium finish in the opening grand prix of the season. Nico Hulkenberg (Renault) finished in seventh place ahead of Kimi Raikkonen in the Alfa Romeo.