Lewis Hamilton found himself in the rare position of playing second fiddle to his team-mate Nico Rosberg as Mercedes went one-two in the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday.
Rosberg, who didn`t have to pass anyone and led for 23 laps of the 57-lap Melbourne season-opener, won his fourth straight GP after claiming the final three races of last season.
Hamilton`s runner-up place means the world champion is not leading the world championship for the first time in 18 months with Germany`s Rosberg heading to the next race in Bahrain on top of the standings.
Hamilton was always trying to make up for lost ground from a tardy start off the pole and finding himself in sixth spot out of the notorious hairpin first turn as Rosberg largely enjoyed the rub of the green in the race.
“Honestly, it was a great race,” the 31-year-old said.
“I love the fact we had to come for far behind. It was very tricky out there. It was just trying to get through the traffic with these tyres on.
“I`m really happy to get second. It`s a good result for the team. I`ve had much worse in the first race. I take it as a real bonus to come back. Bag the points today.”
Hamilton did not exactly explain why he was slow off the grid and squandering his advantage from qualifying, but was proud of how he fought back from early adversity.
“My one (start) was quite eventful but fortunately I didn`t get any damage but obviously lost a lot of ground,” he said.
“Getting off (pole) I just fell to maybe third or fourth. I was on the outside of Nico and Nico was forced wide or something maybe and I was on the outside of him so a little bit on the grass so I lost a little bit of ground.