Lewis Hamilton reacts to Max Verstappen calling for him to get a penalty

Lewis Hamilton has spoken out amid criticism over his lap one overtake of Max Verstappen at the Australian Grand Prix.

Mercedes had an impressive start to the Australian Grand Prix, as both George Russell and Lewis Hamilton quickly passed Max Verstappen to give the team a 1-2.

The Dutchman was unimpressed by Hamilton’s overtake, complaining over the radio that he was not left enough racing room.

After the race, Verstappen continued his protestations, arguing the rules weren’t followed and must be taken into account in the coming races.

“I thought [the overtake] was pretty decent,” Hamilton said after the race.

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“I mean, he braked early and I braked late and I was fully up the inside and I think we both left space for each other.

“I didn’t run him off the road and he didn’t turn in on me.

“So we didn’t touch and that’s racing,” Hamilton added.

Verstappen’s criticism would ultimately prove to be unnecessary, as the leading position would be short lived for Mercedes, as they attempted to take advantage of an early safety car to get a cheap pitstop for Russell.

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However, a red flag moments later would leave Russell in a tough position on the race restart, dropped down the field. 

Hamilton’s lead would also end shortly after the race resumed, being overtaken by Verstappen on lap 12.

Despite the British driver’s best efforts, he couldn’t catch the Red Bull driver, as Verstappen’s pace saw him comfortable move into the distance.

Even a late red flag restart couldn’t help Hamilton, as a series of collisions off the line meant that the race never had a chance to properly begin again, ending under safety car procedures. 

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Hamilton’s grip on P2 meant that Mercedes picked up their first podium of the season, showing significant improvement from their performance in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

With Fernando Alonso picking up third place, Mercedes still finds itself in third place in the Constructors’ Championship, close behind Aston Martin.

Red Bull has a dominant lead over both teams, as it sits on 123 points after three races, compared to Aston Martin’s 65 and Mercedes’ 56.