Five-time world champion Lewis Hamilton started from where he left off last season.
Closely followed by his team mate, the Finnish Valtteri Bottas, the British driver from Mercedes led a double victory on the first day of free practice for the Australian Grand Prix, which opens this weekend the 2019 championship of Formula 1.
Ferrari had the fastest car of the pre-season tests, but it was Hamilton who recorded the best lap on Friday at the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne, as he set the time of 1min22s600 in the second free practice of the day. Thus, the Briton, who had already led the first session, was even better in the second activity.
He had a 0.508 lead over Bottas but the Mercedes rider was 0.8 ahead of the rest of the competitors in an impressive start for a team that wants to earn the sixth consecutive constructors' title in 2019.