Hamilton promoted to podium

Eurosport

Britain’s Lewis Hamilton was promoted from fourth to third place at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix after Italian Jarno Trulli was penalised for overtaking while the safety car was on the track.

2009 Australian GP Lewis Hamilton - 0

Hamilton crossed the line in fourth place in his McLaren, less than three seconds behind the Brawn GP pair of Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello and Trulli.

Race stewards later ruled that Trulli, driving a Toyota, had overtaken Lewis while the safety car was on the course and handed him a 25-second penalty, which saw him relegated from third and out of the points.

“Lewis had to go past him because he went onto the grass, he was not on the circuit,” McLaren Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh said.

“Trulli then took back the place under the safety car, which ordinarily you wouldn’t do.”

Defending world champion Hamilton started from 18th on the grid after changing a broken gearbox, but claimed six championship points.

A superb weekend was further sweetened when the Ferraris of Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen both failed to finish.

A delighted Hamilton said: “We scored way more points than we could have realistically expected.

“I was looking to try and get one point, so to get six is a great achievement. We’ve definitely not forgotten how to win: our strategy was perfect and the team did a fantastic job.

“Considering the package we’ve got, I wrung every last ounce of pace out of the car, drove one of my best ever races and absolutely raced my heart out.

“I’m so satisfied. Also, my heartfelt congratulations to Jenson, he’s driven brilliantly all weekend and both he and his team really deserve this success.”

Alex Chick / Eurosport

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