Hamilton shines while disaster strikes ex-team McLaren

© F1 Pulse, 16 March 2013
© Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton’s decision to leave McLaren suddenly seemed to be a well thought out move.

Speculated to have joined Mercedes for financial incentives, the Briton proved that he had joined the team for the promise it offered in terms of performance more than anything else after he lined up third on the grid for the Australian Grand Prix.

"I think our position and how the car's behaving and how I feel in the team just confirms to me that I feel like a made a good choice," Hamilton said. "I never looked back once I made the choice and I didn't have any regrets about it.

"I don't know what difficulties McLaren are having but they had a fantastic car last year so I have no doubts that they'll pick it up. Sometimes in the team, when I was there, we had rough starts but the team are very strong in putting it back together," he pointed out.

Hamilton will start behind the Red Bull pair of Sebastian Vettel, who claimed pole position, and Mark Webber.

"I’ve done a lap more than Sebastian on my tyres so I might struggle to go as long on the first stint but I’ll give it everything I can in the race this afternoon," he said.

What’s more encouraging for Hamilton was that he out-qualified teammate Nico Rosberg, whose run in Q3 admittedly "didn’t work out as well on the slicks" and had to settle for P6.

Rosberg, who consistently beat seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher in the last three years, is in his fourth season with Mercedes.

Hamilton’s former team McLaren, in contrast, has struggled this weekend with Jenson Button qualifying in tenth and Hamilton’s replacement Perez getting knocked out in Q2 to line up in a lowly 15th.

“We had a puncture with the first sets of supersofts, that's why at that point was difficult to make the call, we did the mistake as a team!” Perez mentioned on his Twitter page.

Button’s efforts were not enough particularly with the option tyres he ran Q3 with, suggesting that his Pirellis were “ready for the bin” suggesting that he had the damaged the rubber he was scheduled to start the race with.

"To be tenth and one second off ninth is a surprise," Button was quoted saying on journalist Adam Cooper's blog pointing out that that it would be a tough race. Everyone’s got graining in front, I just think mine’s worse, I’ve done more laps.”

McLaren has confessed that points in the season-opener is the most it could hope for.

 

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