Lewis Hamilton: “I’ve had far worse starts to the season”


Lewis Hamilton was happy to claim second place in the Australian Grand Prix, especially after a lacklustre start saw him drop from pole position down to seventh.

The reigning World Champion was stuck behind one of the Scuderia Toro Rosso drivers for much of the first stint after his bad start, and admitted he was worried about his race after watching his rivals race off into the distance ahead of them.

The Mercedes AMG PETRONAS driver admitted that without the red flag period at Albert Park, caused by the crash between Fernando Alonso and Esteban Gutierrez, he could have struggled to secure such a good position in the race, but was confused why so few drivers made the same Medium tyre strategy after the red flag period as he did that ultimately proved to be the correct choice.

“I’d had a perfect weekend in every way up until the lights went out and felt confident heading into the race,” said Hamilton. “I got a bit of wheelspin off the line then got pushed wide at the first corner, so from there it was just about recovering.

“But these things happen and I’m grateful for the way I was able to fight back through. P2 isn’t bad in terms of damage limitation after a start like that. I spent a long time stuck behind one of the Toro Rossos and there wasn’t a lot I could do about it as he was on a quicker tyre.

“I could just see the others pulling away, so the safety car definitely helped by bunching us all up again. I was already on a one-stop strategy and, to be honest, I don’t know why everyone else didn’t do the same on the medium. I’m happy they didn’t, as I probably would have finished a lot further back.

“In any case, the team did a great job to help us pull it back and there’s still 20 races to go, so I’m feeling pretty chilled. I’ve had far worse starts to the season, so I’ll take that today and head into the next one looking up.”