Wizard of Oz Lewis controls race
PUBLISHED: 10:32 16 March 2008 | UPDATED: 22:02 26 October 2009
AFTER securing pole position in yesterday s qualifying, Lewis Hamilton dominated the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne from start to finish. The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver produced another peerless performance around Albert Park to take the chequer
AFTER securing pole position in yesterday's qualifying, Lewis Hamilton dominated the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne from start to finish.
The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver produced another peerless performance around Albert Park to take the chequered flag following an incident-packed race.
Hamilton said: "It was a super race which I controlled from the beginning.
"I was able to drive at a steady pace without feeling any pressure, which is always the ideal situation when you are leading."
Stevenage-born superstar Hamilton, 23, made the stop-start nature of the opening grand prix of the season look easy as he drove to victory, while only five other cars reached the finish line.
The Herts racer took inspiration from his triumph in Montreal last season when he won the Canadian Grand Prix in similar circumstances.
"The three safety car periods meant that there was never time to relax, and the whole situation was a bit like Canada last year when I claimed my first victory," said Hamilton.
Both McLaren drivers were on two-stop strategies. Hamilton pitted on laps 18 and 43, while Heikki Kovalainen, who finished fifth, came in on laps 22 and 47.
"We constantly had to change our strategy and the strategists were on the ball throughout, which was super," said Hamilton, whose family home is in Tewin.
"The car is fantastic to drive and the team has done a superb job.
"I have prepared much better this year than last, and it's important that myself and the team continue to push hard in the months to come."
After the first of 18 grands prix, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes lead the Constructors' World Championship with 14 points ahead of BMW Sauber and Williams Toyota with eight points each.
Hamilton, runner-up last year, also leads the drivers' rankings with 10 points ahead of Nick Heidfeld on eight and Nico Rosberg with six.
Both Ferrari drivers, reigning world champion Kimi Räikkönen and Brazilian Felipe Massa, failed to finish.
Räikkönen, seen as Hamilton's main rival for the title, was eighth and collected just one point from the race.
The Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang takes place on Easter Sunday.