Lewis Hamilton admits fifth place from the season opening Australian Grand Prix was a better result than he had expected before travelling to Melbourne. The Briton threatened the podium positions early on before a change to a three-stopper dropped him out of contention but the race has given him optimism for the season ahead.
“I’m happy with our result today and it’s much better than we expected for the first race of the season. The car felt really good out there; I had a strong first stint and was able to make the supersofts last longer than most of the others. We’d planned for two stops but converted to a three-stop strategy during the race. I don’t quite know where we lost the ground to the cars ahead so we’ll have a look at the race again now and figure it out. The important thing is that we have a car that we can really work with and the team have done a fantastic job to get us to this position. Thanks to everyone here and back at base for their support over my first race weekend with Mercedes. Now we’ll look forward to Malaysia next weekend and hopefully build on this positive start with an improved performance.”
Teammate Nico Rosberg was unable to join Hamilton in the top six after an electrical failure on his Mercedes. Despite a DNF, the German was also encouraged by the W04’s performance in both qualifying and race trim and looks forward to building on the strong start.
“An electric problem finished my race which was a shame as I was on a two-stop strategy and in a good position to score a decent result. There are lots of positives that we can take from the weekend however. The team have developed a solid car over the winter, I had a good qualifying pace and the car also ran well in the wet. It looks like we have started to close the gap to the front runners and we can build on that.”