Third place in the sunshine of Melbourne felt like a let down and a missed opportunity, but the same result in the storm-hit Malaysian Grand Prix was frankly a bit of a relief for McLaren's Lewis Hamilton.

"I feel very fortunate, with the weather conditions and the way the track was today that I managed to finish in third today," said Hamilton. "It's good points and good points for the team and yeah I just have to look forward to the next one.

"I wouldn't say I was happy with third; I can never be happy with going backwards, but it's really just due to the conditions," he added. "Of course we would have liked to have more points this weekend but yeah, I guess I can't really complain.

"The goal is always to try and be on the podium and stay consistent and so far I'm doing that," he continued. "I'm on the podium for second week in a row so I'm pretty happy. I feel pretty fortunate that I was able to stay out of trouble with the conditions changing constantly."

In fact Hamilton went as far as to say "I think we did a great job" and that it had even turned out to be "a pretty straightforward day" despite the fearsome weather conditions at Sepang International Circuit. But when it came down to it, he simply couldn't find the same pace on Sunday as Fernando Alonso and Sergio Perez were able to.

"Fernando and Sergio did a fantastic job, so congratulations to them," he said. "I was just trying to hunt them down but they were both massively quick ... They were just very quick, equally as quick as me if not quicker."

Frustratingly, Hamilton wasn't entirely sure where the time was being lost each lap: "I was losing quite a lot of time in the mid sector. I'm not really sure exactly where I was losing the time and why but I had the option tyre on," he said.

"I was pushing as hard as I could in the conditions. I probably could have gone from extremes to inters and inters to slicks - on both the stops I probably could have come in a lap earlier. These two probably did a better job there," he conceded.

Pit stops were another source of potential lost time, with Hamilton losing critical track position to Alonso on his first stop, and then getting held up during the second as the team tried to remove some brake cooling tape before releasing him from the pit box.

"We lost quite a lot of time through a couple of the pit stops. I don't know what problems we had but I seemed to be sitting there for quite some time," Hamilton lamented. "In one of the pit stops I lost a good four or five seconds, just sitting there with some problem with the front right."

But it was the overall strategy that probably cost Hamilton and the team more time in the race as a whole. "We were a little bit unfortunate with the calls," he admitted. "I think we didn't make the right calls at the right time and lost a bit of ground there.

But the fact remains that this is twice that Hamilton has put his McLaren into pole position on Saturday, only to fail to convert it to a race win on the Sunday - and he knows that better than anyone.

"I'm going to try and focus on my race pace for the next race and see if I can convert a good position to a better result," he said, looking ahead to the mid-April race in Shanghai, China.

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