Lewis Hamilton admitted to being in “disbelief” after seeing victory in the Australian GP slip from his grasp, with Mercedes still unsure how Sebastian Vettel won F1’s season-opener.

But Hamilton, in philosophical mood on Sunday night despite the disappointment of seeing his great Ferrari rival overtake him in the pits under a mid-race Virtual Safety Car, stressed there was no “dark cloud” hanging over Mercedes after the world champions’ impressive pace at 2018’s curtain-raiser.

“I am in disbelief because l did everything l was supposed to do,” Hamilton said after finishing second.

“I drove as well as l could and l didn’t put a foot wrong.”

Silver Arrows chief Toto Wolff told Sky Sports F1 immediately after the race that Mercedes suspected a computer glitch had caused them to miscalculate Hamilton’s vulnerability to any Virtual Safety Car while Vettel extended his opening stint.

The VSC, which prescribes drivers’ speed on track but not in the pit lane, was deployed after the two Haas cars stopped on track in quick succession.

Hamilton said Mercedes’ engineers were still working out exactly how Vettel was able to leapfrog him having run only third up to the pit stops.

“I don’t fully understand at the moment, they don’t still fully understand it still,” Hamilton told reporters.

“They couldn’t give me an exact reason as to why it was the way it was. I can’t really say how I feel about it, but it’s never easy to lose a grand prix.”