Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes arrive at the Australian Grand Prix hoping their 2023 season will finally lift off after a disappointing start to the campaign. But the Briton is facing more concerns over their pace after opening up about his struggles that no other team is facing. Max Verstappen’s Red Bull and even Fernando Alonso in the Aston Martin have shown more competitiveness on the track so far this season, while Ferrari’s true pace remains a mystery.
Hamilton has finished fifth in both races this season and is already 23 points behind Max Verstappen in the Drivers’ standings after a disastrous opening race for the W14. Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has attempted to keep the Briton encouraged by promising future updates to the car, but it seems Alonso will be best-placed to challenge Verstappen in Sunday’s race.
The Spaniard, 41, topped the timing charts in the second free practice session on Friday in a rain-hit session in Melbourne after setting the early pace on the medium tyres.
The teams were left struggling without the guidance of GPS technology after a failure in the system at the track, with a number of close calls in terms of drivers tripping over each other and it remains to be seen whether the issue can be fixed before FP3 on Saturday morning.
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