But, at the second race in Bahrain, Ferrari definitively found their pace, and Hamilton is aware he only inherited his win there after an injection system fault scuppered Charles Leclerc's dominant lead.
"Certainly as a team, we need to give the priority to the team and try to maximize the team's points at the end of the race".
"We were just trying to follow the Ferrari in front of me and just trying to be nice".
It's probably not the 1000th Grand Prix or even the 1000th F1 race, despite what you may read this weekend.
Valtteri Bottas finds himself in the unusual position of leading the Formula One championship and the Mercedes driver has every intention of leaving this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix still at the top.
At the end of previous year it was calculated that 21% of the power unit lap time gain over the course of the 2018 season had come from the Shell fuels and lubricants - which Leclerc was keen to praise.
Mercedes felt they were on the back foot after Vettel headed the first practice session, but Bottas was able to usurp the German at the top of the times in the second session, when teams come close to simulating qualifying conditions.
As Britain's vehicle industry thrived during the latter 20 century added with the world's leading engineers, this was reflected on the grid as Tyrell, Lotus, Williams and McLaren took centre stage, to showpiece some of the most enthralling cars and title wins the sport has seen.
Kohli & Mandhana named Wisden's Leading Cricketers
On the tour of England this time around, Kohli scored 593 runs and eventually finished the year with five Test centuries. Her brilliant form also saw her clock 421 runs in the Women's Super League with an astonishing strike rate of 174.68.
In a nail-biting session, Bottas saw off the five-time world champion by just 0.023 seconds at the Shanghai International Circuit.
Hulkenberg, Ricciardo, Norris, Sainz and Kvyat are as a result likely to run into grid penalties later in the season as each driver is restricted to just three engines, turbos and MGU-Hs and two MGU-Ks and control electronics per season.
"I'm not happy about it but it will swing around and it will come back to others as well".
But the German heads into tomorrow's Chinese Grand Prix on a 231-day losing streak, while it is also uncertain whether he will continue to enjoy the backing of Ferrari as their number one driver.
Sebastian Vettel has a fourth- and fifth-place finish to his name, while Charles Leclerc claimed pole position in Bahrain but could only finish third after suffering engine issues.
Both Mercedes drivers also spun harmlessly on outlaps at the start of FP2. "This time it caught me out when I was overtaken at the end of the lap", Verstappen said in a Red Bull Racing statement. "It was ok previous year, and I need to change a bit the way I drive to get the maximum from the auto". A year ago's champ in Shanghai was Daniel Ricciardo driving for Red Bull.
Verstappen was more diplomatic after he had hopped out of his vehicle, insisting there's an unwritten rule amongst drivers when preparing for a qualifying lap.