March 17, BBC News

Lewis Hamilton believes his victory in the opening Formula One race of the season in Australia was the best of his five career triumphs.

The British driver, 23, won by five seconds from BMW Sauber's Nick Heidfeld with only seven cars finishing.

"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 also said he was unconcerned by the pace shown by rivals Ferrari in an otherwise disastrous season opener for the Formula One world champions.

Kimi Raikkonen finished only eighth as Hamilton's McLaren won in Australia, but the Finn's Ferrari showed winning speed in an incident-packed afternoon.

"We could have gone quicker, so I'm not particularly bothered by Ferrari's pace," Hamilton, said.

"A lot of hype was put on them and they've obviously had a tough weekend, but you can't forget that they are a great team and they have a very good car and two great drivers."

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photo: Raikkonen (behind) was in contention by half-distance (Getty Images)