Australian GP: Is the three-way Mercedes-Ferrari-Red Bull title battle dream on?
Lewis Hamilton started the new Formula 1 season as the favourite to win a fifth world title and he remains so despite losing the first race to Sebastian Vettel on Saturday, 25th, March, 2018 in Melbourne.
The Mercedes driver would have won the race if his team had not miscalculated the gap he needed to ensure he kept the lead in case there was to be a virtual safety car period.
That is exactly what happened. Ferrari had delayed Vettel‘s stop in the hope of catching a VSC or safety car. Mercedes however thought Hamilton had enough time in hand, but were shocked with Vettel emerging from the pits in front.
The numbers in the Mercedes computers were wrong – and they left Australia still not sure why.
Had they been right, Hamilton would have taken a victory that would have looked comfortable. But exactly how easy it actually would have been for him in reality is another matter.