Lewis Hamilton says he is confident he can close the 25-point gap to team-mate Nico Rosberg in the drivers' standings, saying he prefers to chase than be chased.

Having taken pole position in Australia, Hamilton had to retire in the opening laps due to a power unit issue, while Rosberg went on to take a comfortable victory. With his team-mate already a large margin ahead in the standings in identical machinery, Hamilton said he was hoping he wouldn't need the same fate to befall Rosberg in order to close the gap.

"It's good to know [the bookmakers] haven't counted me out yet!" Hamilton said, when told he is still championship favourite. "We still have 18 races left so that's a good thing. I don't think they usually change things just after one race. If there was a huge deficit like in previous years where you lost a few places in the race and you lost three, four or five points, you were worried, and when you lose 25 points that's a serious deficit to catch up.

"But as you can see from just one race, one DNF you can gain quite a large amount. So I hope for our team we don't have any more DNFs throughout the rest of the year and I'll just work as hard as I can to catch it back up."

And Hamilton said he had no fears of falling behind in the title race early on.

"It depends how you look at it, but for me I quite like to chase so I reckon they have done me a favour!"

Although confident in chasing down his team-mate, Hamilton admitted Mercedes needs to make the most of its early advantage.

"Everyone else is pushing massively hard to catch us up and we definitely can't sit back and relax. We've got to keep pushing, we've got to keep trying to develop the car as we do every year. I'm sure Renault and Ferrari will pick up their pace throughout the year so we've got to make sure we capitalise as much as we can. I was trying to do that in the last race and I will try to do that moving forward."



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