Lewis Hamilton has lauded the performance of his Mercedes team after a much-improved display saw the Silver Arrows secure their second podium finish of the season at the Australian Grand Prix.
Having qualified fifth yesterday, a place ahead of team-mate George Russell, Hamilton produced a steady and consistent display of old as the eight-time constructors’ champions continued their upward trajectory at Albert Park.
Russell capitalised on the sudden retirement of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen on lap 39 - his second of the season - to finish third overall and take his first podium in Mercedes colours, with Hamilton coming home one place and three seconds further adrift in fourth.
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The seven-time world champion admitted after yesterday’s qualifying that it was “nice to be back up there” after being blighted by porpoising issues in recent weeks, including the opening two races of in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
Despite their early-season turmoil, Hamilton was pleased with Sunday’s display in Melbourne as he backed up his third-placed finish in Bahrain with another positive outing.
The Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton, pictured at the Australian Grand Prix.
Image credit: Getty Images
“It’s a great result for us as a team, honestly,” he told Sky Sports.
“This weekend, we’ve had so many difficult moments with the car, so to get ourselves fifth and sixth in qualifying, to progress like we have and to have that reliability [feels great].
“We definitely didn’t expect to have a third and fourth. George did a great job today; I got to see a bit of the battle of him racing Perez.
“I wish I could have been in it, but nevertheless we’ll take these points and keep on pushing.”
Hamilton was also asked to clarify some of the in-race comments to his team, with the 37-year-old telling his pit wall that they had put him in a “difficult position”.
“I couldn’t fight for third because the engine was overheating, so I had to back off,” he admitted.
“I just had to sit behind, but like I said, we bagged as many points as we could as a team and it’s great.”
Formula 1 returns to action in Imola on April 22-24 for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
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