Mercedes, Bahrain, 2014

Drivers tip Mercedes to lead the way in Australia

2014 Australian Grand PrixPosted on Author Keith Collantine

Mercedes, Bahrain, 2014F1 drivers expect Mercedes to be the team to beat in the first race of the season in Melbourne.

Asked in the pre-race press conference who was favourite for the word championship, Daniel Ricciardo said it was too soon to judge:

“I think championship, as I said before, it’s a long way away,” said the Red Bull driver.

“I could probably say for this race, judging by testing, but I think we’re going to develop so much throughout the year, all the teams, with the new cars this year… To answer your question simply for this race I would put my money on Mercedes.

Team mate Sebastian Vettel agreed: “For this race, probably Mercedes based on winter testing. But for the season I think after three races, four races we’ll know a little bit more.”

Felipe Massa also tipped Mercedes to win but Lewis Hamilton played down his team’s chances, naming Williams as the favourites.

The drivers gave varying views on how many cars will finish the first race of the season. Vettel suggested it might be as low as 12, while Massa, Hamilton and Fernando Alonso picked 14, 15 and 16 respectively.

New McLaren driver Kevin Magnussen reckoned all 22 drivers would see the chequered flag but Ricciardo was by far the most pessimistic.

“No one,” he joked. “We’re all going to be running across the line…”

2014 Australian Grand Prix

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