Reigning Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton is working hard to improve his race starts following a pair of sluggish getaways in the opening two rounds of 2019. 

Having taken pole position at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, Hamilton lost out to Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas off the line at and went on to finish second, while he also suffered a poor start at last weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix. 

The five-time world champion recovered strongly to repass Bottas and ultimately went on to claim an unlikely victory, though he insists he has improvements to make.

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“I can’t express how hard I’ve been working on my starts and it really wasn’t good,” Hamilton conceded following the race.

“I’m just going to keep working at it. basically you stumble, fall, get back up. Just keep pushing. 

“Fortunately I was still in the mix and got past Valtteri which I was happy with that manoeuvre, and had that battle with Sebastian which was awesome.”

Hamilton inherited his first win of 2019 when Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc encountered late engine issues having dominated the race. 

The Briton led home Mercedes’ second consecutive one-two finish but said his team cannot be “jumping around in excitement” after being comprehensively outperformed by its chief rival all weekend. 

“We came out of the first race incredibly surprised and really really happy to have had such a great result as it had been a hard winter for the team, as it is for everyone,” Hamilton explained. 

“We are happy, but we are also conscious and aware of how lucky we were to come away with a 1-2. We all worked so hard through the weekend, as we do every weekend, but we underperformed.

“I go away from here feeling we worked really hard and made some good steps with the set-up through the weekend, moving in the right direction,” he added. 

“As I said this is a track that I struggle [at], probably one of the most out of all of them, and so to come out ahead of Valtteri, who’s always really quick here and then to be in the mix, I was really happy with that.”

Hamilton sits one-point adrift of Bottas in the 2019 championship after securing matching results from the opening two races, with Bottas’ fastest lap point from Melbourne proving the only difference.  

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