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Vettel takes season opener

SECOND BEST: Hamilton contemplates missed opportunity in Australia

LEWIS HAMILTON paid homage to Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel following the German’s win in the first Grand Prix of the season in Australia last week.

Hamilton, 33, had looked the imperious driver during practise and when he qualified in pole position the result of the impending race looked a fore-gone conclusion.
However, technical difficulties in the Mercedes team, saw the lead Hamilton had built up wiped out when a virtual safety car was deployed in the 24th lap.

POSITION

Mercedes thought their race strategy had put them in a position to win the Grand Prix, however it was the Italian team that had calculated correctly. Despite having every reason to be upset with the kerfuffle, Hamilton praised Vettel and said there would be more battles to come between them over the season.

FIGHT

“A big congratulations to Sebastian and Ferrari. Today, obviously, they did the better job and we have to go back to the drawing board and work on it. We still have great pace, our qualifying was great, I think through the race I was able to apply some pressure towards the end.

This is one awesome circuit but it’s so hard to overtake, even with the extra DRS, obviously with the cars being as close as they were. At the end it was really trying to live to fight another day, save the engine and we’ll try to regain the point later on.”

Looking back at the incident Team boss Toto Wolff said: “Lewis did nothing wrong. It was down to a software bug or an algorithm that was simply wrong.”

Having thanked the crowd that turned out to see everyone race Hamilton added: “We had a really good start, which is fantastic; it’s good to have a good getaway.”

He added: “But a big congratulations to Sebastian and Ferrari. I know it’s been a long time coming for them to get a result like this. It shows we are going to have a race on our hands, which we are very happy to have, which is great for the fans.

"Unfortunately it’s harder than ever to get close to cars, which is a shame. We can’t even have a close battle but who knows, maybe in the future we will.”

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