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Australian GP: Lewis Hamilton lauds 'incredible' Mercedes progress

Lewis HamiltonLewis Hamilton labelled his third place on the Australian Grand Prix grid as an incredible result for his Mercedes debut.

The Briton, moving from McLaren to Mercedes this year, will start from the second row of the grid after being beaten only by the Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber.

With Mercedes having struggled in the latter part of the 2012 season, Hamilton hailed his team's winter progress.

"It is incredible. Incredible," said Hamilton, who will start three places ahead of team-mate Nico Rosberg. "What an incredible job they have done from last year.

"We feel we can have a car we can really work with, it's a great foundation we can work on."

The 2008 world champion also praised his team's handling of the changeable weather in qualifying.

"The guys did fantastic job to get us out in time," he said. "It was tricky out there. I'm happy I could get the job done as these guys [Red Bull] are incredibly quick.

"I'm happy with the job we have done and to be this far up coming into the season."

While Hamilton starred with his new team, his former squad McLaren struggled for pace, with Jenson Button finishing down in 10th position and Sergio Perez knocked out in Q2.

Hamilton, who drove for McLaren for six years, believes the Woking team will be able to bounce back.

"I have never looked back once I made the choice and never had any regrets about it. I don't know what difficulties they are having but they had a fantastic car last year, no doubt they will pick it up.

"When I was there we had rough starts, but I believe they can pick it up together."

AUTOSPORT Australian GP coverage:

FP1 FP2 FP3 Qualifying Race Gallery Live commentary Official quotes

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