Lewis Hamilton admitted that the Australian Grand Prix was “pretty much done” after the start in which he lost the lead from pole to Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas.
Mercedes sealed a one-two in the 2019 Formula 1 season-opener in Melbourne, with Bottas claiming a first win since 2017 after beating Hamilton off of the front row at the start.
Hamilton lost time to his team-mate throughout the race – at one point dropping to 25 seconds adrift – and was 21 seconds behind at the chequered flag.
“Good weekend for the team so I have to be happy for everyone,” Hamilton said.
“Valtteri drove an incredible race today so he truly deserved it – we’ve just got some work to do but it’s a great, great start to the year and more than we could have hoped as a team.
“We got a one-two and after the start it was pretty much done, so it was about bringing the car home in one piece and making sure we scored the one-two. It was pretty straightforward to be honest.”
Regarding the start, Hamilton said; “it’s a little bit frustrating when you have a good weekend up until that point, but that’s just how the game goes and I’ll just train and work hard to try to improve next time.
“It was a really solid weekend. I’ve just got to work on my starts more.”
After successfully defending against an undercut threat from Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, Hamilton’s biggest threat to his second place in the closing stages was a charging Max Verstappen.
Like Bottas, Verstappen was able to delay his one and only pitstop and had fresher tyres in the second half of the race.
Despite the Red Bull closing to within a second in the closing stages, Hamilton stated that Verstappen “was no problem.”