Has Lewis Hamilton had a good or a bad start to the 2018 Formula 1 season? This is a far more difficult question to answer than it first seems, since he has many reasons to be delighted with what has happened so far despite his analogy about piecing together a golf round of pars and bogeys after winning the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
If you're not convinced, it's all a question of perspective, because from one angle it has been pretty poor. Aside from during the Australian GP - which he had in the bag before a coincidence of virtual safety car timing and Mercedes miscalculation handed victory to Sebastian Vettel - Hamilton has looked ill-at-ease with the 2018 Mercedes. The combination of Hamilton and W09 hardly looks like a world-beating one, and there are several clear reasons for this.
From another angle, it has been an outstanding start to the season. Why? Because he leads the points table and has finished on the podium three times in the four races to date. Even though you can legitimately argue that either Valtteri Bottas or Vettel should be up top, they aren't. What Hamilton has done here is live up to the old adage that you win world championships on your bad days.