Hamilton in 'disbelief' as Vettel steals victory

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel profited from a safety car and a well-timed pitstop on Sunday, leaving Lewis Hamilton stunned in Melbourne.

Lewis Hamilton at the Australian Grand Prix   -  Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton was in disbelief as he struggled to understand how Sebastian Vettel pipped him to victory in the Australian Grand Prix.

The Briton had been in chirpy mood earlier in the week and took pole in qualifying, but crucially lost the lead when Vettel pitted under the virtual safety car [VSC] on Sunday.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff blamed a glitch in the team's software, citing a miscalculation by the systems used to calculate the gaps between their drivers and those from other teams.

Reigning world champion Hamilton said: "I really still don't now understand what's happened. I did everything I believe that I was supposed to do.

"The safety car came out and then I was coming down the straight and, all of a sudden, really last minute, I was told the Ferrari was coming out. I didn't know the Ferrari was in.

"I think [I felt] just disbelief really from that moment until the end, just disbelief. I was hungry to try to recover from whatever the scenario, whether it was a mistake or not. I was risking it, but I could have lost all the points.

"Eventually I think I made the sensible choice [to settle for second]. It's a long, long way in the championship and it's not all won in one race. That's what I'm trying to focus on."

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