Lewis Hamilton finished second behind Sebastian Vettel during the Australian Grand Prix
After dominating Friday's practice sessions, Lewis Hamilton impressed in qualifyin by claiming his 62nd career pole position by two tenths of a second.
And the Brit converted that into an early lead after a clean start.
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However, he failed to drive off into the distance as he did so many times in 2016.
Vettel remained within two seconds of the three-time world champion, who complained to his garage that his tyres were not working as he would have wanted.
Lewis Hamilton led the first 17 laps before being forced to pit
"We struggled with the tyres and had to stop much earlier than these guys as I was suffering with grip," Hamilton said.
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"I pitted and I got stuck behind one of the Red Bulls – that's sometimes the way it goes.
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"But overall a great race and some great points for the team."
Hamilton was briefly threatened from behind by his new team-mate Valtteri Bottas who closed to within two seconds at one point during the second stint.
However, the Finn encountered a worrying issue for the prospect of overtaking going forward.
"I was trying to get close but the problems is once you get within a couple of seconds you lose so much grip in the corners which is a shame," Bottas said.