Through Formula 1's hybrid era Lewis Hamilton has averaged 10 victories a season, and his imperious pole position in Melbourne suggested Sunday would tick off yet another. Not so, though: although Hamilton led from the start, a virtual safety car period, together with a miscalculation by Mercedes, left Sebastian Vettel in the lead, and - despite a recent visit from the Ministry of Silly Haircuts - the Ferrari driver won his second Australian Grand Prix on the trot.
"We were lucky today," Seb said, and he was right. One doesn't know what Lewis said to his team behind closed doors, but his outward post-race demeanour - calm and easy - did him credit: presumably he took comfort from the thought that yet again Mercedes starts a season with the car to beat.
The weekend before Melbourne, in the midst of a blizzard at Goodwood, I chatted to David Coulthard about the coming year, and his opening remark was on the money: "Based on testing, it's encouraging that Ferrari are quick - but I do have to believe that Mercedes have more up their sleeve.