Get the FULL Australian Grand Prix race results HERE

Lewis Hamilton has warned the 2017 Formula 1 season won't necessarily see more overtaking than what occurred during a relatively processional Australian Grand Prix, revealing he stopped pushing after the single pit-stop because mounting an attack on-track was futile.

Hamilton led initially from pole position in the Mercedes W08 but an early pit-stop coupled to him being bottled up behind the yet-to-pit Max Verstappen would allow Sebastian Vettel the opportunity to 'overcut' him when he made his stop.

Indeed, Hamilton says he was surprised Vettel could follow him so easily early on - despite never getting close enough for an on-track pass - and admits he backed off after the single pit-stop because he knew it would be impossible to mount a rebuttal.

"If the roles were reversed, if he was ahead, he probably would have pulled away," he said. "They definitely had more pace on the ultra-soft tyre. And I think I had more pace in the second stint, but I stopped so much earlier that I really did not know how long the tyres were going to last.

"I didn't want to push to close the gap knowing that I could not overtake anyway. And then find that I had run out of tyres at the end and lose second place. So it was really once I came out behind the other car, behind Sebastian, it was really about damage limitation."

Tellingly, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff would demonstrate the potential difficulties in getting close to the car in front by saying Vettel was clearly the stronger driver from the start, even though he was 1.7secs adrift at one stage due to the dirty air generated by running behind a slower Hamilton.

"You can see at the beginning we didn't have the pace of the car. That is why Lewis wasn't able to pull away from Sebastian and why Valtteri wasn't able to hold onto to the train in front of him."

Seemingly a symptom of the revised 2017 cars which have prioritised giving cars additional downforce, more durable tyres for fewer pit-stops and faster cornering speed, Hamilton - who has long questioned the decision to adopt this policy - says this was always inevitable.

"It has been the fundamental way the cars have been since I have been in F1, but it is worse now than it has ever been. It definitely has not got any better. So it is going to be the same for the rest of the season for sure. We are going much faster through the corners.

"Last year we had to have a second advantage on the car in front, and it scatters from track to track. Sometimes it is a second and a half, sometimes it is two. The delta to be able to get past is bigger this year. If it was one second last year it is two seconds this year. This is going to continue all through the season."

Get the FULL Australian Grand Prix race results HERE