Hamilton dominates curtain raiser

Lewis Hamilton eased to victory in the Melbourne Grand Prix as the Formula One season got underway at Albert Park.

Hamilton cruised to victory despite the safety car being introduced three times, and hailed his performance as perhaps his best yet.

"It’s probably the best race I’ve had so far in terms of managing tyres, controlling my pace and confidence, and being comfortable in the car," he said.

"But it’s not the perfect win. There are a lot of areas I can improve."

Hamilton’s team-mate Heikki Kovalainen finished in fifth after a minor error cost him fourth.

Having brilliantly overtaken former McLaren driver Fernando Alonso in the closing stages, the Finn accidentally hit the pit lane speed limiter button to allow Alonso back past on the pit straight.

However, he was unlucky to be so far down the field having earlier been inconvenienced by the safety car after it was deployed following a crash involving Timo Glock.

Both Ferrari drivers, meanwhile, had disappointing days at the office – Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen had engine troubles, although the latter did win a point due to the high number of retirements.

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