Hamilton will be looking to draw first blood in his battle against the Ferraris of Vettel and Leclerc in Australia, but could his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas emerge from a torrid - and winless - 2018 and put the pressure on the reigning champion?
"We are immensely proud to announce this exciting partnership with the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, which shares numerous same values as St Hugo, a fine wine created to honour the love between a father and son to continue on his winemaking legacy", he said.
Aussie favourite Daniel Ricciardo announced previous year that he was joining Renault for the 2019 season, and he partners Nico Hulkenburg who will hope to prove his pace beside his new teammate.
"You don't know exactly where you are, you don't know what's going to happen", he said.
Lewis Hamilton has won four of those crowns and heads into the new season as a double-defending champion.
Despite having achieved five consecutive drivers' and constructors' titles, Mercedes appears to be behind chief rivals Ferrari entering the new season.
"I hope that this year we get to have a lot of fun". "But I think it's very clear and I think Mattia also made it very clear we are free to race each other".
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"I see us behind Ferrari over the race distance but ahead of Mercedes". "Most of it is going to be up to me if I make it or not, and that's a good feeling".
"We're free to race like every single year", Hamilton said.
"Obviously I completely understand the decision", said the Monegasque.
"Last year, we had to give it absolutely everything to come out on top", he said ahead of the opening race in Melbourne on Sunday. "I think it was quite clear, however it's hard to know what everyone's doing, so naturally we won't fully know until we get out in the auto tomorrow and, come qualifying you get a better picture, and usually, over the first few races is when you really start to get an idea of where everyone stands. but we said that we have work to do and we weren't talking BS. From what we have learned so far, this year will be even tougher", he added.
Asked if Ferrari are in a better situation now than they were 12 months ago, the 31-year-old told a press conference: "Yeah quite frankly because last year's winter testing didn't go well for us".
"In this regard we are more prepared". [And] I think it's a case of adding pure performance, but even then we know we haven't unlocked the full potential of the auto.