Hamilton learned Aston Martin strengths in Alonso battle

Lewis Hamilton leads Fernando Alonso in Melbourne

Lewis Hamilton leads Fernando Alonso in Melbourne

Heading Fernando Alonso for much of the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix afforded Lewis Hamilton a chance to learn the strengths of the Aston Martin AMR23.

Hamilton finished second in Albert Park, one spot up from his former team-mate after the pair ran more or less together throughout the race.

Alonso said afterwards that he felt he was faster than the Mercedes ahead, but was unable to get close enough to launch an attack.

Hamilton also drove a near-inch perfect race, Alonso citing a locked brake at Turn 13 his only mistake.

“I think Fernando was a little bit quicker,” Hamilton conceded of their Australian GP pace.

“I think we were probably slightly quicker on the straight and he was quicker through all the corners.”

Mercedes has been spending the Easter break working to add downforce to the W14.

There is work ongoing on the suspension too in an effort to help improve the overall balance of the car.

Mercedes has known that its car has been lacking versus the likes of Red Bull since pre-season testing and has been openly self-critical.

For Hamilton, the time spent racing Alonso in Melbourne offered another peek into the W14’s weaknesses.

“It was really quite interesting just to see where we were lacking and where we were good,” he said following the Australian GP.

“There’s also a positive statement today but we do naturally need to add on some performance.

“They’ve [Aston Martin] been ahead the past two races but for us to somehow still finish ahead is pretty awesome, so I’ll definitely take it.”

Mercedes sits third in the constructors’ championship with Hamilton’s second in Albert Park its sole podium of the season.

It has a tally of 56 points from the three races thus far, nine down on Aston Martin and 67 back from championship leaders Red Bull.

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