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'Pleased with my perfomance'

Melbourne, March 19, 2013, IANS:  22:31 IST
Lewis Hamilton was happy with his fifth-place finish in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, in what was his first Formula1 outing with new team Mercedes.

The 28-year-old Hamilton, who started from second row on the grid, challenged throughout the contest at Albert Park but suffered as a result of high tyre wear and was forced to take a third pit stop.

“I’m happy with our result and it’s much better than we expected for the first race of the season. The car felt really good out there; I had a strong first stint and was able to make the supersofts last longer than most of the others,” said Hamilton.

“We’d planned for two stops but converted to a three-stop strategy during the race. I don’t quite know where we lost the ground to the cars ahead so we’ll have a look at the race again now and figure it out.”

Hamilton’s career since his youth days was spent at McLaren until last season when he inked a three-year deal with Mercedes.

The 2008 world champion, the British driver said he was now anxiously anticipating next week’s race at Sepang.

“Thanks to everyone here and back at base for their support over my first race weekend with Mercedes,” Hamilton said.

“Now we’ll look forward to Malaysia next weekend and hopefully build on this positive start with an improved performance.”

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