Valtteri Bottas bemused on the Spanish Grand Prix grid.

Valtteri Bottas isn’t secure at Mercedes as it might have seemed.

Valtteri Bottas on track at the 2019 British Grand Prix.

Bottas beat Hamilton by just 0.006 seconds to deny the Briton a seventh home pole.

Valtteri Bottas on track for practice at the 2018 British Grand Prix.

Valtteri Bottas has pipped Lewis Hamilton to the quickest time in a blustery Friday of practice at Silverstone.

It’s early days yet, but there could be trouble brewing at Mercedes — and if Ferrari can’t pull itself together, you’d better hope there is.

Okay, it’s far too early to definitively declare Valtteri Bottas as a serious threat to the runaway championship train that is Lewis Hamilton, but you’ve got to admit that a sporting story beginning with several nights of heavy Scandinavian drinking has a certain appeal.

Only the bravest of punters would’ve tipped Valtteri Bottas to romp into the setting Melbourne sun at such a convincing canter at the first race of the season.

Who were the standout drivers — good, bad or otherwise — of 2018?

Valtteri Bottas in his garage at the 2018 Brazilian Grand Prix.

Valtteri Bottas must lift against teammate Lewis Hamilton to extend his Mercedes contract beyond 2019.

Valtteri Bottas on the grid at the 2018 Brazilian Grand Prix.

With the seatless Esteban Ocon breathing down his neck, Valtteri Bottas needs a big 2019 to keep his Mercedes drive.

Lewis Hamilton an track during practice at the 2018 Mexican Grand Prix.

Mercedes needs to improve “lots of different things” to vie for pole at the Mexican Grand Prix.