Lewis Hamilton says the start of his Mercedes career has gone 'better than expected' as the Briton prepares for the third race of the season in China next weekend.

The 2008 title winner kick-started his time with the team with a solid fifth place in Australia and followed it up with a maiden podium last time out in Malaysia - leaving him fourth in the championship standings.

The Briton will seek to build on that start when the field arrives in Shanghai and he admitted to being surprised by how well his new relationship had gone through the first two races of the year.

Related Articles

"I'm looking forward to getting to China next week and going racing again; it feels like a long time since Malaysia!" he said. "My first two races with my new team have been a great experience and everyone has made me feel so welcome. We've had a better start than we expected and to have finished in fifth and third places so far is really positive.

"I know there is much more to come so we will keep working hard and pushing the development of the car. I'll be at the factory this weekend and look forward to hearing about the work that's gone on in the last couple of weeks and the upgrades that we will take to China."

Heading to a circuit where Mercedes won last year with Nico Rosberg, team boss Ross Brawn also shared surprise at the start the team had made to 2013 and said it was vital to build on the momentum generated from the results in Australia and Malaysia.

"The Chinese Grand Prix of course holds great memories following the first win for Nico and our Silver Arrows team in Shanghai last year," he said. "That win was an extremely proud occasion for us all and certainly one that we hope to emulate in the future.

"Our season has started well, perhaps better than we expected, however we're fully aware that there is still a gap to close and that we must keep up the pace of development. A lot of hard work has taken place at our factories over the last two weeks to do just that and I look forward to seeing how that translates to track performance."