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Page last updated at 14:05 GMT, Sunday, 29 March 2009 15:05 UK

Hamilton 'very happy' with result

Lewis Hamilton talks to BBC Sport's Lee McKenzie

Hamilton pleased with 'incredible' result

Lewis Hamilton was delighted to finish third in the Australian Grand Prix - having gone into the race expecting his underperforming McLaren to struggle.

The world champion finished fourth, but was promoted to third when Toyota's Jarno Trulli was given a time penalty.

"Considering the package we have got, I wrung every last ounce of pace out of the car. I am very happy," he said.

"We scored way more points than we could realistically have expected. I drove one of my best-ever races."

Hamilton started 18th on the grid after a gearbox failure meant he could not take part in the second qualifying session.

But he was up to 12 by the end of the first lap and was in the running for points following an early safety car period for a crash involving Kazuki Nakajima's Williams.

Hamilton said: "[I] absolutely raced my heart out - I am so satisfied.

"I was looking to try and get one point so to get six is a great achievement."

Trulli was penalised by the stewards for overtaking Hamilton during a second safety car period at the end of the race.

The McLaren star had spent much of the build-up talking down his chances following their poor form in pre-season testing.

606: DEBATE
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McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said in Australia that focusing on winning last year's championship had cost his team some competitiveness at the start of this season.

Hamilton struggled to 15th in qualifying on Saturday and he was then relegated even further down the grid when he had to replace his broken gearbox.

Against that background a podium finish looked wildly unrealistic, but Hamilton dug deep to move his way though the field.

"We've definitely not forgotten how to win", said Hamilton "Our strategy was perfect and the team did a fantastic job."

Whitmarsh was quick to praise Hamilton and suggested that the points Hamilton picked up could become invaluable later in the season.

"The points Lewis scored today are very welcome and when we regain our form we hope they will take on even greater significance.

"Today was one of those days when Lewis demonstrated what a fantastic racing driver he is.

"Throughout the race he showed great speed and tenacity tempered when necessary by commendable patience."

"The car we supplied him with wasn't as competitive as we would have liked but we're working flat out to improve it."



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see also
More to come from Brawn - Button
29 Mar 09 |  Formula 1
Red Bull considering new diffuser
29 Mar 09 |  Formula 1
Vettel gets 10-place grid penalty
29 Mar 09 |  Formula 1
Australian GP as it happened
29 Mar 09 |  Formula 1
Australian Grand Prix photos
29 Mar 09 |  Formula 1
McLaren blame form on title bid
28 Mar 09 |  Formula 1


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