Ferrari in better shape than 2018: Vettel


Ferrari unveiled the 90th-anniversary logo for Formula One's season-opening Australian Grand Prix on Wednesday after ditching branding by a tobacco giant's subsidiary over a potential breach of cigarette advertising laws.

Under different management and after a positive winter testing, Ferrari have arrived in Melbourne with a fast auto and plenty of buzz, raising expectation of a genuine challenge to five years of Mercedes dominance.

"Last year, we had to give it absolutely everything to come out on top".

"I hope that this year we get to have a lot of fun".

"Judging from the performance in Barcelona (testing), it looks like we will have a proper fight on our hands in Melbourne".

A day before arriving Down Under on Monday, the 34-year-old indulged his new sky-diving hobby, jumping out of a plane over the Qatar desert. He was on target to win at the Russian Grand Prix towards the end of the year, but with Hamilton fighting Sebastian Vettel for the title, Mercedes told him to move over and let his teammate take the lead.

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"The name of this year's auto, the SF90, is already a celebration of this anniversary and, on top of that (we have) chose to honour this achievement in an even more evident manner in Melbourne", Ferrari said in a statement.

After a series of unlucky races at the start of the 2018 season, Bottas finished the year with no wins to Hamilton's 11.

The Formula One circus has made its way Down Under for the start of the new season with final preparations underway at Melbourne's Albert Park.

His Ferrari arch-rival Sebastian Vettel swept home in an Australian thriller previous year, getting a jump on Hamilton after Mercedes miscalculated a pit stop under virtual safety vehicle conditions.

Red Bull will be entering their new Honda era with Dutch hopeful Max Verstappen and Frenchman Pierre Gasly at the helm. "It's something I've kind of also realised over the past years and especially last year that I definitely only have one career and I don't want to be in the situation that after the season where I should have done this or that". We have experience, it's no coincidence that we are world champions so we have to be diligent and stay balanced.' He added: 'But as a driver for sure I have to figure out how can I pull more out, which I don't have the current answer for'.

"I'm excited to see the pecking order", said Daniel Ricciardo ahead of his debut for Renault.