Mercedes wary of 'very strong' Ferrari starts

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Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes has prioritised race starts after both cars were jumped by Sebastian Vettel off the line at the Australian Grand Prix.

After locking out the front row both Hamilton and Nico Rosberg had slow getaways, while Vettel's Ferrari breezed between them and led into Turn 1. Kimi Raikkonen then capitalised on contact between the Mercedes drivers to get by at Turn 2, though the team was able to recover and record a Rosberg-Hamilton one-two.

There was speculation Hamilton's start was hurt by the need for a second formation lap, prompted when Red Bull's Daniil Kvyat stopped short of the grid on the initial lap.

Asked if he had clutch problems at the start, Hamilton said: "No, I just got wheel spin. No particular real issues ... Ferrari's [starts] are very, very strong. My initial phase was just the same as Nico's but the second part where you release the clutch fully I just had extra wheel spin and didn't recover from it so it wasn't a major issue.

"It's always an ongoing change, even when my starts have been amazing. It's always moving, targets are always shifting so it is something for sure ... We were just talking now and it's one of our priorities. The Ferrari's got an incredibly good start, so we're going to try and figure out how we can do better."

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admits the team had been struggling with practice starts over the weekend.

"[On Saturday] our practice starts weren't very good. To be honest I don't know what happened at the start, we need to analyse what it could have been and we are looking to fix it.

"[Hamilton's start] was a couple of metres worse than Nico's from what we measured and I'm not quite sure whether it was a hardware or software problem or just reaction. We will have to look."