QUIZ: Season-opening Formula 1 Grand Prix winners

Across the paddock Ferrari's pre-season pace has been the talk of the town, with the prancing horse seemingly the team to beat ahead of lights out in Melbourne on Sunday, though testing is not always the be-all and end-all of a teams' destiny.

"We are definitely in the fight and we know we have a strong team". We got a bit lucky during the race weekend (in Melbourne) with the safety auto to grab the win.

He added it was not just about "who comes out of the blocks quickest", but who could best develop the auto throughout the long, 21-race season.

"It means we both have a fair shot but it's been the same every single year and it's only to a point where one driver doesn't have the chance to win the champion any more if we're lucky enough to be in that position and things shift but generally we're always free to race so I think that's great".

Leclerc, who joins Ferrari in just his second season in F1 after impressing for Sauber past year, said: "I completely understand the decision".

"I'm really pleased to kind of start a new page, knowing at this point of the year that anything is possible". We've been trying to plan with the team all my sponsor events a bit more in advance so I can plan my calendar a bit more around it, all the details in terms of travel, logistics, hotels, everything to help my wellbeing and performance.

"We never sit still so we've got to evolve our track", Westacott said.

CHiQ, made a big splash at CES 2019, showcasing its new 8K and stylish televisions., it's still unknown whether we will be seeing their premium models in Australia.

"After a test, you always improve the next day as the auto gets older and older throughout the test", he added.!It wears and then you go away, you analyse where you've been.

"Our optimism is not unfounded", said Red Bull motorsport consultant Helmut Marko. Over the past two years, the way they've been able to improve the vehicle during the year has been pretty rapid, so for sure they're going to be a threat as well. [And] I think it's a case of adding pure performance, but even then we know we haven't unlocked the full potential of the vehicle.

Lewis Hamilton has reiterated that Mercedes "has work to do" on the eve of the 2019 Formula 1 season and that its testing form is "quite clear" to read.

And if Mercedes does emerge at the head of the pack through the course of the year then could Bottas be top dog?

While Mercedes have retained Valtteri Bottas as Hamilton's partner this year, one of only two unchanged driver line-ups, Vettel has a new teammate in Charles Leclerc who shifted from Sauber - now branded Alfa Romeo - in a swap for Kimi Raikkonen. Perhaps a little puppy love may well go a long way to proving his critics wrong...

  • Rosalie Stanley