The Australian Grand Prix was one of mixed fortunes for Red Bull. In relative and absolute terms they were roughly where they were last season, albeit a little closer to Ferrari and a little further away from Mercedes. Given it was their first race with Honda the general feeling should be one of cautious optimism.
Verstappen’s race pace was better than the Ferraris and, but for a small mistake chasing Hamilton, he could have even claimed second place. That said, Pierre Gasly failed to make much of an impression, finishing 11th after starting 17th. Being closer to Ferrari is not much reason to celebrate if Mercedes are further away from them both.
4. Toro Rosso
Like Alfa, Toro Rosso are starting from a relatively low base in 2018. Also like Alfa, they have shown big improvements, and have possibly moved up a few places in the order in a very tight midfield. It was not a gigantic increase from last year’s average but maintaining their current place and pace will be critical. Whilst Pierre Gasly had some superb moments last season, points were often difficult to come by. The returning Daniil Kvyat (in his third stint at the team) is quick and could deliver regular points. 10th place (and a nice battle with the Red Bull of Gasly) shows he is still capable. Alexander Albon also looked at home in his first grand prix.