Sunday’s race in Australia represents the first opportunity for drivers to make a proper start with the new cars, and go through all the procedures that build up to it.
Inevitably the focus will be on those at the front, and in particular how the two Mercedes drivers fare against the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo that splits them, and those behind, led by Kevin Magnussen.
“You can never really be totally confident about the starts,” said Lewis Hamilton when asked by this writer. “We practised, but you can always wish you had more practice. I think we’ve done as much as we can, and we’re hoping tomorrow starts off well, but whatever happens we’ll improve and learn from it. Generally the start procedure is very similar, it’s just the drive out phase there’s a lot more power, so wheelspin is going to be interesting.”
Meanwhile Rosberg stresseed how important it would be to get past Ricciardo.
“Of course it will be important to try and pass him,” he said. “And being on the clean side of the grid I have a good opportunity to do so, so I’ll try and do that. But even with the start with this new engine it’s still a learning process, and it’s going to take some time to optimise even that. I don’t know how optimised Red Bull are – hopefully not so optimised, and maybe we’ll have an advantage tomorrow at the start. If I could get him that would be a very important step, yes.”