There's an old adage in motor racing that says 'you're only as good as your last race'. And thankfully for Valtteri Bottas, he heads to Melbourne as the man in form, courtesy of victory in the previous grand prix, in the twilight desert of Abu Dhabi last November.
Earlier that month, Bottas was in the UK for a Monster Energy event at Mercedes-Benz World, on the site of the pre-war Brooklands race track. There he spoke at length about his first season at Mercedes and the work he was going to put in over the winter to be better prepared for 2018.
He agreed that Lewis Hamilton could "drive around" some of the trickier aspects of the now notorious W08 'diva' citing his team-mate's greater mechanical experience at "this family of car". Despite having competed in 18 grands prix for Mercedes up to this point, Bottas continued: "It's still new to me and I've been discovering different set-ups for various circuits and between us we've ended up going down quite different routes with the car."