• Australian Grand Prix

Hamilton unable to explain performance gap to Button

ESPNF1 Staff
March 18, 2012 « RB8 has 'a lot of potential' - Vettel | Webber expects Red Bull and McLaren battle »
Lewis Hamilton couldn't match Jenson Button on race day © Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton said he was at a loss to explain why he struggled for pace compared to team-mate Jenson Button at the Australian Grand Prix.

After starting from pole position, Hamilton finished third behind Button and Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel. He lost a place to Button at the start and then struggled to match the pace of his team-mate before losing another position to Vettel under the safety car.

He told Sky Sports "It just wasn't a good day", but when asked why, he admitted: "I really don't know. I just struggled out there and got a shocking start which was the beginning of it all."

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said he was not surprised his driver was unhappy with the result.

"He'll come away disappointed," Whitmarsh said. "He wanted to win and not winning and being beaten by your team-mate is never going to make Lewis happy. The day he becomes happy with being third and behind his team-mate, he won't be the Lewis that we know and love.

"He was very unlucky with the safety car and the start and the fact is he was utterly brilliant yesterday and knows he's got the pace as well. He'll be disappointed but he'll get over that by tomorrow morning, bounce back and by next weekend he'll be more determined to put it on pole and win that race, which is what we want him to be."

Hamilton said his focus is now on scoring consistent results over the rest of the season to mount a championship challenge.

"I'll just refocus and get my head down and there are lots of race ahead," he said. "These championships are all about consistency so that's what I'm going to focus on."