Lewis Hamilton confused by race control in Australia

A third red flag was needed in Melbourne following several crashes as a result of a standing restart.

Seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton put on an excellent display at the Australian Grand Prix, after the Mercedes driver managed to convert a third-place start into a second-place finish at the Albert Park Circuit.

Sunday’s race in Australia was without a doubt Hamilton’s best of the 2023 F1 season, with the 38-year-old having shown consistent pace Down Under.

Hamilton pulled off a great move on Max Verstappen on the opening lap to move into second early on, before inheriting the race lead after George Russell pitted during an early Safety Car.

Russell ended up losing out badly, as the first of three red flags was flown moments later.

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It meant Hamilton restarted the race from pole position, with him having done well to fend off Verstappen for at least a few laps.

The reigning World Champion was soon past the Mercedes driver, though, as soon as DRS was activated.

Hamilton then settled into the race in second place, whilst dealing with some mild pressure from Fernando Alonso mid-race.

There was further drama in the race with just three laps remaining, as a second red flag was flown after Kevin Magnussen crashed on the exit of Turn Two.

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Hamilton lined-up second for the restart and made a good getaway, whilst behind it was complete carnage.

Six drivers were involved in collisions, including, Alonso, who was spun round by Carlos Sainz.

The race was almost immediately red flagged for a third time due to so much debris having been scattered across the opening two corners, resulting in confusion over how the race would be restarted.

After being spun, Alonso had dropped from third to outside the points; however, the FIA decided to restart the race on the final lap with the order from the initial restart.

As a result, Alonso was moved back into third, to the surprise of Hamilton.

“So who’s behind me?” Hamilton asked race engineer Peter Bonnington (Bono).

“Car behind you is Alonso,” responded Bono.

“How did he get back there?” Hamilton asked.

“Just a re-order,” Bono replied.

With the final lap having been completed behind the Safety Car, Hamilton held on for second.

The 103-time race winner was delighted with his podium and admitted that it was “really remarkable” to have finished on the rostrum, given that they have “a lot of work to do”.

“The car has been difficult and for us to be finishing on the podium is really remarkable, especially at this point when we haven’t actually changed the car. I feel so, so happy right now,” Hamilton said, as reported by Sky Sports F1.

“Clearly we have a lot of work to do to catch Red Bull because they came flying past and disappeared [but] I think this hopefully gives us a real hope and boost of energy.

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“I hope this is a message to everyone to dig deep and keep pushing, it is not that far away and it is relatively close to your reach. We can definitely fight the Ferraris and [Aston Martin].

“Max (Verstappen) is in another league, his car is so fast. He passed me half way down the straight and he was 10 metres ahead. I don’t know how they are so quick on the straight, it is insane. They are just in another league.

“Until we pick up speed on the straight like they have and have the crazy downforce they had in the corners, that is how it is going to continue.”