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Sunday images from the 2018 Australian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton: the team is feeling pain right now but we will regroup

Mar 252018

Four-time F1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton got his title defence season up and running this weekend, with a second-place finish in the Australian Grand Prix.

Having scored pole position the previous day with a stunning new track record around the Albert Park Circuit, Lewis was unfortunately unable to convert it to a race win on Sunday after being leapfrogged by Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel during a Virtual Safety Car period.

Understandably he was disappointed not to win but still encouraged by the speed of his 2018 spec Mercedes W09 EQ Power+ car after the first race of this 21 Grand Prix season.

Lewis was asked about the incident that saw Vettel jump ahead when the VSC was deployed to recover another car on track that had come to a stop.

From my experience I never know how it's going to plan out. You don't really get an understanding until after four races.

Was it a software problem which cost the team to miscalculate the gap?

I don't fully understand at the moment. The team don't fully understand it still, so they couldn't give me the exact reason to why it was the way it was. I can't really say how I feel about it but it's never easy to lose a grand prix. But there were just so many positives to take away from this weekend. This weekend there was so much talk about party mode or if Ferrari would be quick enough. I don't think the gap was as big as it seemed yesterday; it's just that I had a good lap and maybe Sebastian didn't have a good lap. But today they were very, very quick. I put up a bit of a fight towards the end but they were within a tenth of us today. At least in my heart I know that I gave everything this weekend. I'm sure the team is feeling pain right now but we will regroup and we'll work on it.

How much further do you think you could have been ahead if you knew you were in danger?

Well I mean everyone's talking about our party mode and how much quicker we are. Sebastian was very quick in the first stint it was not easy at all to pull away from him. What I felt what I could have done is that I looked after my tyres really well and I could have gone further. Now I personally always like to go further, and in my mind I was racing Sebastian. The Ferraris are always going to play one off the other; there are two of them after all. They've got two aces or whatever, two jacks or whatever, jokers. You pit one guy which forces you to protect yourself on the undercut but the other guy's in the clear and in mind I was like just look out for number three as that's who I think I was racing. Kimi Raikkonen drove fantastically well; He was generally quick all weekend. I am not convinced Sebastian did a good lap yesterday. I think Ferrari's performance is better than what it looked. Everyone in the team is feeling it, but there's been so much great work, so much positivity to take forward with us. We still got second today, it feels like a dark cloud, but it's not. It's still a positive result, we got a great car and we are still the world champions and with a couple of adjustments we can win the next race, I believe that.

Would you sometimes to wish in times relying on instincts rather than software programs?

Definitely, definitely. I mean it's such a team effort but when you're relying on so much computers, so much data, so much technology to come up with the strategy or whatever it may be. I wish it was more in my hands because as I said I feel I was driving as good as ever today. Really, really happy with how I was driving. Anyways, I will take that onto the next race, apply it exactly the same as I have this weekend and try to grow within myself.

Is it time to make changes to Albert Park so we get more overtaking taking place?

One thing for sure I don't want to lose this track. I think it's such a great event; I love being here in Australia. I think it's a really fantastic city; I love driving around Albert Park. They definitely I am sure could make adjustments but it happens to be the second hardest track of all the 21 to overtake. Monaco must be the first with this being the second. I couldn't for the life of me with everything, all my might, all my abilities, all my tools, I just couldn't get close enough to be in fighting range. I was catching him in the corners but then he was quicker in the straights. Maybe the next races are going to be different.

Is this going to be a fantastic fight with Sebastian this year?

From my experience I never know how it's going to plan out. You don't really get an understanding until after four races. Right now, it's just the first race I mean I have no idea. We might go to Bahrain and going to be ups and downs. Ferrari are really quick on the straights, they're going to be rapid in the next race, they’re always good when it comes to hot circuits. Bahrain, even though it's a night race, it's still tough on the tyres. I really have no idea. I can tell you it's not going to be easy that's for sure and it's going to be close.

2018 Australian Grand Prix race result:


1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 58 1h29m33.283s
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 58 5.036s
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 58 6.309s
4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 58 7.069s
5 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Renault 58 27.886s
6 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 58 28.945s
7 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 58 32.671s
8 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 58 34.339s
9 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Renault 58 34.921s
10 Carlos Sainz Renault 58 45.722s
11 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 58 46.817s
12 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 58 1m00.278s
13 Charles Leclerc Sauber/Ferrari 58 1m15.759s
14 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 58 1m18.288s
15 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso/Honda 57 1 Lap
- Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 24 Wheel nut
- Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 22 Wheel nut
- Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Honda 13 Power Unit
- Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 5 Hydraulics
- Sergey Sirotkin Williams/Mercedes 4 Brakes