The Mercedes driver was knocked out of Q2 in qualifying and started the Albert Park race in 11th, but after a solid start, he was forced to pull over after 15 laps due to a power unit problem.

The DNF caps a tough start to the 2024 F1 season, with Hamilton only seventh in Bahrain and ninth in Saudi Arabia, and led to the seven-time world champion labeling it his worst start to an F1 season in his career.

“This is the worst season start of the season I’ve ever had,” Hamilton said.

When asked if it was worse than both 2022 and 2023, he replied: “Oh yeah, for sure. And it’s worse than 2009, I think.”

Reflecting on his brief Australian GP run, he said: “I thought it was fine. I had a new soft because I didn’t get to Q3 and undercut some of the drivers. The pace was okay. It was nothing special, but I was catching, I was slightly quicker than the cars ahead. And then obviously the engine failed.”

Despite his poor results, leaving him ninth in the F1 drivers’ standings after three rounds, Hamilton is aiming to remain upbeat and fight back.

“Surprisingly, I feel pretty good. Really, I think I’m just trying to keep things in perspective. Could be so much worse,” he explained. “I’m really grateful to be here, I’ve really enjoyed my time here in Australia.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W15, Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR24, Valtteri Bottas, Kick Sauber C44

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W15, Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR24, Valtteri Bottas, Kick Sauber C44

Photo by: Sam Bagnall / Motorsport Images

“I’m still enjoying working with the team. Of course, I’d love to be fighting for wins and actually finishing races. That’s never a great feeling when you come over this way and you don’t see even half of the race .

“But what I know is that we will bounce back, we will eventually get there. We just have to continue to chip away at it.

“It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and be focused on this one thing. But the bigger picture is definitely the focus. Also just realizing that you can’t control everything. You get frustrated because you don’t have control.

“I’m not happy. But I’m going to have a great day tomorrow.”

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