MELBOURNE, Australia, CMC – Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas overtook teammate and reigning Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton just seconds into the race to capture the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
Bottas took the lead from Hamilton in the opening moments of the race, who made a slow start from pole position.
Hamilton, whose grandfather hails from Grenada, never recovered and had to concentrate on holding off Red Bull’s Max Verstappen for second place after the latter passed Sebastian Vettel for third.
So dominating was Bottas’ performance, he was 20 seconds faster than the second-placed Hamilton.
It was a weekend which began in mourning following news of the death of F1 director Charlie Whiting – one of the most influential people in the sport.
Whiting, who was 66, was due to officiate this weekend’s race. He was the official race starter and oversaw all rules matters in F1.
Bottas dedicated the win to Whiting: “Thank you Charlie. This win is for Charlie and all his work in F1. He has done massive amounts, so thanks from all us drivers.”