Lewis Hamilton does not believe that Mercedes' chances of winning the Australian GP were affected by the retirement of teammate George Russell.
The Mercedes drivers made a stellar start in Melbourne by leapfrogging pole-sitter Max Verstappen in the opening three corners of the race to take a one-two lead.
Russell chances of a race win were hampered by the first red flag, with the Briton pitting prior to the red flags and losing the 'free pit stop' which comes from the race stoppage.
The Mercedes then retired several laps later to reduce Mercedes' chances of challenging for victory.
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Speaking after the race, Hamilton was asked if Mercedes stood a chance of challenging Verstappen and Red Bull with Russell staying in the race.
"I don't think we would have," replied Hamilton to media.
"Max is in another league, his car is so fast, he passed me halfway down the straight and he was several metres ahead, like 10 metres ahead.
"I don't know how they're so quick on the straight, it's just insane. They're just in another league, and until we pick up speed on the straights like they have, and have the crazy downforce that they have through corners, that's how it's gonna continue.
"For the others, I think if we continue to work together, we can definitely fight the Ferraris and the Red Bulls, and the battle's really with Fernando right now."