Fifth better than expected, says Hamilton
17 March 2013 – Lewis Hamilton says his fifth-place finish in Sunday's Australian Grand Prix was much better than Mercedes had been expecting after pre-season testing. The Briton, who completed a strong opening stint of 12 laps on the Super Soft tyres, lost out slightly with a change of strategy but believes Mercedes has plenty of reasons to be positive.
"I'm happy with our result today and it's much better than we expected for the first race of the season," said Hamilton. "The car felt really good out there; I had a strong first stint and was able to make the Super Softs 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."
As the season moves on to Malaysia, Hamilton is hopeful that he will be able to build on his promising start in Melbourne and challenge for a stronger result.
"We have a car that we can really work with and the team have done a fantastic job to get us to this position," Hamilton added. "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 and hopefully build on this positive start with an improved performance."
After a promising start to the weekend, team-mate Nico Rosberg suffered a cruel technical failure while running in third place, but also shared Hamilton's optimism.
"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," said Rosberg. "However,there are lots of positives. 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."