Raikkonen eases to Australian victory

By on Sunday, March 17, 2013

Lotus F1 Team

Kimi Raikkonen took victory in the opening round of the 2013 season in Australia.

The Finn played a two stop strategy to perfection to beat Ferrari's Fernando Alonso by 12.4s.

World champion Sebastian Vettel finished in third place in his RB9.

Felipe Massa had run among the leading pack early on in the race but was usurped by Alonso during the second round of stops and slipped to fourth.

Adrian Sutil started the race on the medium tyres and quickly found himself among the leading group. The Force India racer twice led proceedings but slipped back to seventh late in the race after fitting the option tyres.

Lewis Hamilton was fifth on his Mercedes debut while Mark Webber never recovered from a poor start and wound up sixth.

Behind Sutil was team-mate Paul di Resta, who felt that his strategy cost him a shot at seventh place.

McLaren suffered a woeful start to the season as Jenson Button managed only ninth while Sergio Perez was a couple of seconds further back in eleventh. They were split by a fairly anonymous Romain Grosjean.

Jean Eric Vergne was twelfth for Toro Rosso, ahead of rookies Esteban Gutierrez, Valtteri Bottas and an impressive Jules Bianchi.

The race passed largely without incident, although Pastor Maldonado retired after spinning into the Turn 1 gravel. Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg also failed to finish after an electrical problem as did home driver Daniel Ricciardo. Sauber's Nico Hulkenberg didn't start the race after a fuel system problem.

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