Lewis Hamilton says the start to his Mercedes career has exceeded expectation after finishing fifth in Bahrain.
Hamilton sits in third place in the championship, having taken 50 points from the opening four races of the season.
“I’m really happy with our result today,” he said.
“It’s been a tough weekend for us but we got through it and finishing in fifth place was some good damage limitation. My race didn’t start well at all. I was looking after the tyres but I really struggled on the first two stints and was falling back”.
“But as the temperatures dropped, the car picked up and then I had the grip that I needed to push and close the gap. I had so much fun fighting with Mark [Webber] at the end.”
“We really needed that point and I was so determined to get by. It was good, clean wheel-to-wheel racing. I’m very proud of what we have achieved over the first four races and to be third in the Drivers’ Championship is beyond any of our expectations. But we’ve got to keep pushing and find more performance. We’re hanging on by the skin of our teeth at the moment and, if we can make that next step, then we can close the gap.”
Nico Rosberg was disappointed to slip from pole position to ninth place.
“As nice as it was to start from pole this afternoon, it was just as hard to finish in ninth place,” said Rosberg.
“I didn’t feel comfortable in the car today and it wasn’t much fun out there really. We switched to a four-stop strategy at the end of my third stint but it wasn’t enough. We were using the rear tyres too much and at the end, I was really struggling and wasn’t able to push hard enough.”