LEWIS HAMILTON expects a close battle with Sebastian Vettel in the months ahead after losing the Australian Grand Prix to the German in Melbourne on Sunday in the first race of the new Formula One season.
The Mercedes driver finished second to Vettel, despite starting in pole position and leading for the opening laps. However, his pace was slow and after an early pit stop, he was held up by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, allowing Vettel to get ahead.
Hamilton never had a chance to get past Vettel’s Ferrari during the rest of the race and had to settle for second place. Afterwards he said: “I wouldn’t say I’m happy. But all things in perspective. To see where we have come from, with massive rule changes and to come here and be battling so close for a win and missing out marginally, there are a lot of things to be proud of.” adding “It is going to be a close race. I truly believe we can beat them. It’s great to see Ferrari there.”
Vettel remained cautious after his victory. He said “There is a long, long way ahead. We have a lot to prove still but for now we are just happy. It is March now. I know people start to get excited but it is our job to work and I am much happier if we are working now and not talking.”
Next up on the Formula One calendar is the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai on Sunday April 9.
Vettel takes the lead in the pivotal moment of last Sunday’s Australian Grand prix in Melbourne.