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Hamilton pleased with damage limitation

Lewis Hamilton elected to take the positives from his second place finish in the Australian Grand Prix.

The three-time Formula One World Champion, topped the time sheets during both Friday's rain affected practice sessions and Saturday mornings third practice before taking pole position in qualifying.

It was Hamilton's 50th pole position of his career and it should have meant that the Brit was best placed to start the 2016 Formula One World Championship in the best place.

But a poor start from Hamilton saw him lose places off the grid, team-mate Nico Rosberg and Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel got past him going into the first turn and then poor track positioning saw him lose out even further dropping down to sixth.

Discussing the start Hamilton told Will Dowell from Fox Sports: 'Getting off I just fell to maybe third or fourth. I was on the outside of Nico and Nico was forced wide or something maybe and I was on the outside of him so a little bit on the astroturf and the grass so I lost a little bit of ground. Got overtaken by quite a few people and after that did something to try and fight my way back which was hard work but I enjoyed it.

Despite being the class of the field, both as a driver and a car, he was unable to battle his way past the Toro Rosso's on track and could only get by them on tyre strategy.

After running a long first stint, he pitted for medium tyres to go the remainder of the race with no more pit-stops, dropping down to 7th, only for the red flag to come out moments later.

If Hamilton had stayed out on track a few minutes longer, he could have changed his tyres under the red flag and could have competed to win the race.

It was a weekend of 'what-if' for Hamilton, but it could have been a lot worse and that was the way Hamilton was looking at things post-race.

'I came back from quite far behind so I feel that I achieved quite a lot so I'm really happy I did damage limitation, the team did a great job. Hamilton told Sky Sports.

During the closing stages of the race Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel caught Hamilton on the quicker softer tyre, but was unable to get past Hamilton eventually making a mistake on the penultimate corner and going on the grass.

'What's difficult is knowing how long those tyres are going to go. I didn't think the tyres were going to last but then they had that drop and Sebastian was on my tail. After that it was so slippery.

'We thought Ferrari were going to be close. I knew they would be quicker in qualifying if they had another lap. Nico doesn't seem to think he had problems following them, so that's interesting. When Sebastian was following me I was excited because I was in a race. But unfortunately this track doesn't let you have serious battles.'








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The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday March 23 2016

Time: 10:00AM

 

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