Hamilton second as Ferrari dominates opener
MELBOURNE, Australia (CMC):
Lewis Hamilton's woes at the Australian Grand Prix continued yesterday when he finished second behind Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in the Formula One season-opener at Albert Park.
The 32-year-old Brit started on pole but failed to keep pace with the four-time former World champion, who proved his pace in pre-season testing was evidence Ferrari had the edge on Mercedes since the new cars were introduced for the 2017 season.
Hamilton finished almost 10 seconds behind Vettel, with new Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, third.
"A big congratulations to Ferrari and to Sebastian, they did an amazing job this weekend," Hamilton told media afterward.
"It's been a great weekend for us and the team, but just in the race, I struggled with the tyres at the end. I had to pit a lot earlier than these guys because I just ran out of grip.
"Pitted and I got stuck behind one of the Red Bulls, and sometimes that's just the way it goes. But overall, a great race and good points for the team."
There was similar disappointment for Hamilton last year after he also started on pole but was forced to finish second to now retired teammate Nico Rosberg.
Vettel stalked Hamilton in the early stages before grabbing the lead when the three-time World champion was forced into an early pit stop.
Things were further complicated for Hamilton when he found himself held up behind Red Bull's Max Verstappen on the restart and Vettel pulled away to open up a considerable lead and score his first win since Singapore in September 2015.