Formula 1

Lewis Hamilton forced to settle for second best in Melbourne

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Lewis Hamilton finishes second at Australian Grand Prix 2019
Credit: Mercedes Benz Archive - Wolfgang Wilhelm

Five-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton had to settle for second best in Melbourne as he failed to keep pace with his Mercedes-AMG Petronas teammate Valtteri Bottas.

Mercedes revealed there was an issue with the floor of Hamilton’s car in a tweet shortly after the race in Melbourne ended.

The floor issue could explain Hamilton’s lack of pace which saw him lose pole position in the first few seconds of the race.

Hamilton’s second placed finish meant Mercedes bagged maximum points at the first race of the season and was the 45th 1-2 finish for the silver arrows outfit.

However, Hamilton appeared frustrated with his performance and explained his early pit stop on lap fifteen had him managing the tyres rather than attacking the race.

“I had a pretty straightforward race today; I lost position at the start and my race was pretty much done and dusted after the first corner,” he explained.

“Afterwards it was really about bringing the car home and bagging the points. I had to pit early to cover the pit stop from Ferrari, so I had a long second stint and drove super carefully to make sure I had tyres left at the end of the race.

“I’ll bag the eighteen points I got today, keep working and come back recharged for the next one.”

Last season saw Hamilton win eleven races whilst teammate Bottas was left without a victory throughout the season.

Hamilton’s fastest lap was 1:26:256 but he finished twenty seconds behind Bottas, who dominated the race and his teammate.

But, despite his own frustrations, Hamilton praised his Finnish counterpart and was thrilled for his opposite number after he won the first race of the season.

It was an incredible weekend for the team, we’re leaving Melbourne with maximum points. Valtteri did an exceptional job today – congratulations to him.

“It was a really great weekend for the team and I’m really happy for everyone. We showed a great performance today and we need to continue to build on this – we have a long season ahead of us.”

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