Lewis Hamilton has expressed his delight after he finished the Australian Grand Prix in 5th place on debut for Mercedes. However, the Briton admitted that the team still has a lot of work to do ahead of next week’s Malaysian GP.
“Malaysia is going to be tough but hopefully we can have a better result.
“It’s going to be tough with the tires but I had a longer stint than anyone else, but I just don’t know where we lost ground.”
Although he was pleased with his own pace, Hamilton was left scratching his head for reasons why his rivals managed to pass him so easily.
“I don’t really understand why other people were pulling away. We’re going to have back and take a look at why we were losing pace to other people.”
Hamilton was passed on track by Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel and Felipe Massa as he lost all chances of making the podium mid-way through the race.
For much of the pre-season, Hamilton insisted that Mercedes were not in a position to win in Melbourne, and he was pleased to have finished as high as fifth.
“I think it’s great, I’m very happy, it’s way better than we ever expected in the first race of the season. It’s a great place to start.”
Hamilton scored Mercedes’ only points in Australia after Nico Rosberg retired on lap 26 following an electrical failure.
Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.
Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it would seem right for Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — to spend some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.