2018 Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix – Friday
Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport shows promising pace in 2018 Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix Friday practice
- Lewis finished the first session of the year in P1 with Valtteri in P2
- Lewis ended the day in P1 with Valtteri in P3
- Lewis ran the UltraSoft compound tyres in FP1, Valtteri used the Soft (install) and UltraSoft
- In FP2, Lewis ran the SuperSoft and UltraSoft compound tyres with Valtteri using the Soft and UltraSoft
|Lewis Hamilton||F1 W09 EQ Power+/01||27 Laps||1:24.026||P1||35 Laps||1:23.931||P1|
|Valtteri Bottas||F1 W09 EQ Power+/03||29 Laps||1:24.577||P2||34 Laps||1:24.159||P3|
Coming to the first race, you really have no idea what it’s going to be like. You don’t how you’re going to feel physically, you don’t know how the tyres are going to react to the circuit. But we started on the right foot today, we got through everything we needed. It closed up a little bit in FP2 in terms of the gap between us all, but that’s exciting. It’s more challenging for me to try and eke out a little more from the car. It’s been such a nice day, Albert Park is a really beautiful place to be and work when the weather is like this. The tyres definitely didn’t seem to have the same issue that we had in Barcelona where they were blistering, so it felt a lot more normal. Obviously, the car is quicker here than it was last year, so it feels better everywhere. Turns 11 and 12 are crazy, we’re not even braking into that corner, it’s insane. It’s going to rain tomorrow and on Sunday as far as I’m aware. I’ve not driven in the rain yet on these tyres, so that’ll be interesting.
FP1 was tricky for me, we had a bit of an issue with the suspension and also with the fuel system, so it was difficult to get a good comparison. I don’t think these issues are something to worry about, just something we discovered in the session. In second practice the car felt a lot better but there’s still more to unlock. I have to say thank you to the team because we are looking strong at this point, so I think it’s a good start. It’s good to be back on track and go racing. It’s looking really close between us, Ferrari and Red Bull but that was more or less expected. Let’s see what tomorrow brings. We got some information for the long runs if it’s a dry race, we got some tyre data and we can see that a lot of things are behaving differently to testing in Barcelona because it’s much warmer and it’s a different tarmac. We’ve definitely learned a lot and we’ll keep on learning.
It was a good day. We had a programme of finding out how the tyres behaved and we’ve been able to work through that without any drama. It’s brilliant as always after the winter testing to actually be racing again and to be finding out for real where our car stands. If we were in any doubt before, we’re in no doubt now that it’s going to be a tight weekend with both Ferrari and Red Bull. But we’re looking forward to the fight tomorrow and again on Sunday.
Bob Aldons is the owner and founder of The Car Guy, reviewing cars, reporting on Car Industry Matters, Car Tech and the world at large. He’s spent the last forty years immersed in the automotive industry from salesman to the owner of a 7 brand multi-franchise dealership. Bob knows cars.
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My car reviews aren’t based on power performance or high-speed handling capacity. They’re not based on 0-100 Kim/hr times either, and they’re certainly not super luxury vehicles that many other “old timers” are feted on by the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Aston Martin.
Back when I started in the motor industry salespeople were schooled and skilled in a process called the road to the sale. Part of that process was a presentation of the car that the customer was ultimately considering the six position presentation showed the features, advantages, and benefits as it related to that specific car in the eyes and thought-process of that particular customer.
Those days of a true car sales professional seem to have gone.
Nowadays it seems that all salespeople want to do is accept that the customer knows everything about the car they’re interested in, crunch the customer as quickly as possible and get onto the next sale
In my opinion, this is one of the reasons that there’s such a high turnover in salespeople in this industry of ours. Now I think that I’m a car industry expert, not because I sell lots of cars, but, as I was taught over 40 years ago, time sells motor cars.
The more time you spend with a customer, the more information you provide them and the more you’re there for them. Even AFTER they take delivery of their new car, the more repeat and referral business you’ll get.
Typically second and subsequent sales only provide 10% of a car salespersons business. Referral business, where an existing customer refers a friend, relation or work colleague back to the selling salesperson as someone to trust and buy a car from, is even less – probably 5%
So, if you’re a young salesperson reading this article, let me tell you that you should be getting 40-50% of your business from repeat and referral business. And how do you get that much? Well, that’s a story for another article or an opportunity to join me in a training course.
For your interest, my motoring reviews are my opinion of the vehicle I’m testing. The manufacturer or distributor, doesn’t tell me what to write or ask for a ‘nice’ review. Nor am I paid for these reviews – I simply call it as I see it.
I often wonder about the ‘truth’ that I see from other motoring journalists. And I’m particularly referring to newspapers, online forums, and magazines where the company that owns the publication, receives substantial advertising support from the various manufacturers.
Do the owners or editors tell their journalists to go easy on the review? I’m not sure, never having been in that position. Would I turn to softer reviews if my company was being paid for good reviews? Not likely. My independence as a writer is not for sale. I’d rather say no than be bought.
In any case, If that ever happens, rest assured that I’ll be telling that story with interest.