• Australian Grand Prix

McLaren can be proud - Hamilton

ESPNF1 Staff
March 27, 2011 « Vettel insists win wasn't easy | »
Lewis Hamilton acknowledges the crowd after taking second place © Sutton Images
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A delighted Lewis Hamilton said McLaren could be proud of its performance after he took second place as the Australian Grand Prix. Team-mate Jenson Button finished sixth after being slapped with a drive-through penalty.

"I think we can definitely take this and be very proud of ourselves," Hamilton said. "The guys did a great job coming into this weekend. A week or two ago we were not expecting to be anywhere near top five, so to come away with second and the car more reliable is a great achievement for us guys.

"We were clearly catching Seb [Vettel] earlier in the race," he added. "Strategy is one for sure we can work on but we have a good pace and I am looking forward to the next race."

Hamilton had to ease his car through the final stages of the race after damage to the McLaren's floor. "The plank and the part of the floor is massively damaged," he said. "I don't know when it happened. I was losing quite a lot of downforce with that, so was trying to nurse the car home for points as we need them for later in the year."

And while Red Bull admitted after the race it had not used KERS, Hamilton said it had been key for him at the start after Mark Webber made a better start. "I got quite a bit of wheelspin, there was nothing I could do to catch Seb but with KERS I could hold second."