Hamilton had his solely pitstop of the race simply earlier than the emergence of the protection automotive, however Russell stayed out longer and his sole pitstop got here beneath the yellow flag, which means minimal time was misplaced because of the slowing of vehicles.
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It meant that Hamilton dropped from second to sixth and that, after the dramatic passage, Russell carried on in third.
“You guys put me in a really difficult position,” Hamilton mentioned over radio late within the race, resulting in many considering the Briton had taken exception to the ill-fated timing of his pitstop.
But Hamilton made it clear after the race that his remark wasn’t associated to the unlucky shifting of positions, quite the efficiency of his automotive.
“Basically, I couldn’t race for position because the car was overheating,” Hamilton mentioned.
“So I had to back off.”
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Russell completed third within the Melbourne race and Hamilton fourth.
Mercedes has been open about its struggles with its automotive early this season, however the powerhouse group is nonetheless sitting second within the constructors’ world championship, and each drivers registered factors in each one of many first three rounds.
“It’s an amazing result for us as a team,” Hamilton mentioned of Mercedes’ Australian Grand Prix.
“Honestly, it’s such a positive.
“We had been 1.2 seconds off, I believe, on Friday, and it wasn’t trying spectacular at that time.
“We did some great work overnight, qualifying on the third row and then great starts. I was up in third.
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“It felt wonderful to be combating, or really feel like we’re combating for a podium in that second.
“But obviously we couldn’t hold the pace of the Red Bulls.
“But while we’ve not essentially improved the automotive over these three races, I believe we have actually extracted essentially the most we might points-wise.
“… to come away with this result is great.”
Russell, previously of Williams, has had an distinctive begin to his time at Mercedes, and is sitting second on 37 factors.
Hamilton is sitting fifth on 28 factors.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc has collected 71 factors to be main the sector.
The world championship will resume with Italy’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in two weekends’ time.
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