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Wolff impressed by Hamilton composure
Mercedes motorsport director Toto Wolff believes Lewis Hamilton underlined his World Championship pedigree on his debut for the team.
Hamilton finished fifth in Sunday's Australian Grand Prix, two places behind where he started after proving to be the best of the rest in qualifying as Red Bull ominously locked out the front row. It was naturally not the result Hamilton had been hoping for given his grid position, but there was still contentment overall in a job well done over the course of the weekend.
"He is great. He is intelligent, he asks the right questions, and in the race he kept his head down," said Wolff. "He had a very difficult race because there was no-one in front or behind him for long periods. And when we had to make a compromise with a third stop because we could see two wouldn't work, he kept calm, kept going - it was the hallmark of a world champion."
Wolff, making his own debut with Mercedes in a role he only took on two months ago, was relatively satisfied with how Mercedes fared.
It is likely, given the pace of the car, the team would have finished with both Hamilton and team-mate Nico Rosberg in the points only for the latter to retire with an electrical fault halfway through.
"Before the season started, if we'd been told we would finish the first race with one car in fifth then we would have taken that," added Wolff, ahead of this weekend's second round in Malaysia.
"But then expectations are high, and to have an electrical failure which led to one of our cars stopping is unacceptable.
"With the other car, it ran well. We had an interesting strategy at the beginning with the option (supersoft) tyre, but then on the medium compound the pace dropped.
"It's a bit of a shame, but the team are working flat out, and the car is a solid one, which is good, so we just have to keep our heads down and working hard."