Despite losing out to Ferrari in preseason testing, Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes has pole position for the Australian Grand Prix, the first race of the 2019 F1 season.
The 2019 Formula One season begins in earnest at the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit for the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday. After extensive preseason testing and a new front-runner in Ferrari, it’s time to see whether or not Mercedes can keep up after dominating the championship over the past several years. The action will be broadcast by ESPN beginning at 1 a.m. ET (live streaming via WatchESPN, ESPN App, F1 TV Pro).
Throughout preseason testing, Ferrari held a consistent edge over Mercedes, though this was sometimes the case last year as well, and Lewis Hamilton still managed to secure his fifth world championship ahead of Sebastian Vettel.
Despite this edge, Hamilton managed to beat out Vettel for pole position for Sunday’s starting race, and his teammate, Valtteri Bottas, qualified second-fastest.
Vettel will start third on the grid. His teammate, Charles Leclerc, will start fifth, with the Red Bull of Max Verstappen splitting the Ferrari cars.
Vettel was surprised that the Ferrari lost out so badly to the Mercedes in the corners.
“I’m certainly surprised,” Vettel said. “I think everybody is, probably even themselves. I think yesterday we didn’t have a good day. Today felt better. But in terms of gap and pace it was very similar. So for sure there’s some homework for us to do to understand.
I still think we have a great car and we should be better than this.”
Below is all you need to watch the action on Sunday, including the full starting grid following Saturday’s qualifying session.
How to watch the 2019 F1 Australian Grand Prix
Date: Sunday, March 17
Location: Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit, Melbourne
Time: 1 a.m. ET
Online Streaming: WatchESPN, ESPN App, F1 TV Pro