Lewis Hamilton was left frustrated by his disappointing performance in the Australian Grand Prix – although damage to the floor of his Mercedes may explain his slow pace.
Hamilton started on pole after a superb qualifying, but was overtaken by team-mate Valtteri Bottas on the first corner and never recovered.
The reigning champion was frustrated after being pitted on lap 10 while Bottas did not come in for another seven laps after, allowing him to build a huge lead.
Lewis Hamilton was left frustrated by his disappointing performance in the Australian GP
Hamilton started on pole but was overtaken by team mate Valtteri Bottas on the first corner
Eventually Hamilton finished more than 20 seconds behind his Mercedes team mate, who also claimed an extra point for the fastest lap of the race.
Hamilton said: ‘Valtteri did an exceptional job throughout the race so congratulations to him. After that it was just about bringing the car home.
‘I wasn’t entirely happy with the balance I had but it wasn’t the end of the world. It wasn’t a problem for me to finish second.’
Post race checks by Mercedes revealed Hamilton had suffered damage to the floor of his car
Post race checks by Mercedes revealed Hamilton had suffered damage to the floor of his car near the front left tyre.
This could have been caused by debris or by running over a curb. Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo lost his front wing at the start of the race after running over a gutter beside the track.
It would go some way to explaining why Hamilton never came close to his team mate, and had some trouble holding onto second under the challenge of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
However Hamilton held on to complete a Mercedes one-two on the podium, with Verstappen in third.