Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton is pleased that he managed to claim a second place finish in Australia after an awful start to the race.

Despite having led every practice and qualifying session up to the race, the Briton fell as far down as sixth on the first lap and at one point was struggling to pass cars.

“I’d had a perfect weekend in every way up until the lights went out and felt confident heading into the race,” Hamilton said. “I got a bit of wheelspin off the line then got pushed wide at the first corner, so from there it was just about recovering.”

“But these things happen and I’m grateful for the way I was able to fight back through. P2 isn’t bad in terms of damage limitation after a start like that. I spent a long time stuck behind one of the Toro Rossos and there wasn’t a lot I could do about it as he was on a quicker tyre.”

Mercedes spent a lot of pre-season testing focusing on running on medium tyres, and it seemed to pay off as others avoided using the tyre.

“I could just see the others pulling away, so the safety car [at the restart after the red flag] definitely helped by bunching us all up again,” he said. “I was already on a one-stop strategy and, to be honest, I don’t know why everyone else didn’t do the same on the medium. I’m happy they didn’t, as I probably would have finished a lot further back.”

However, Hamilton insists that he will not dwell on the start, and will come back strongly in Bahrain.

“In any case, the team did a great job to help us pull it back and there’s still 20 races to go, so I’m feeling pretty chilled. I’ve had far worse starts to the season, so I’ll take that today and head into the next one looking up.”

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