Mar 17, 2013, 3:51 AM EST
Kimi Raikkonen has got his 2013 season off to a perfect start after winning the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.
The Lotus driver perfected a two stop strategy which saw him finish over ten seconds ahead of Fernando Alonso in second place. The Ferrari driver pitted three times, as did pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel who completed the podium in third.
Off the start, Mark Webber was swallowed up into the midfield following a poor getaway, and Lewis Hamilton lost out to both Ferrari drivers. Felipe Massa was Vettel’s closest challenger for the lead until the first round of stops, and the Red Bull driver failed to close the gap to Adrian Sutil who had assumed the lead of the race on the harder tire. When he did stop, Raikkonen and Hamilton were released, but the Mercedes was clearly struggling on its tires. Alonso managed to edge out his teammate and Vettel at the front, and he quickly set about opening up the gap to Raikkonen who was trying to make the two stop strategy work.
Alonso pitted for a final time to hand Sutil the lead, but the Force India was quickly passed by Raikkonen, but the gap to the Ferrari was diminishing. The Finn began to ease off in order to save his tires, but Alonso could not capitalize on this as he struggled to pass Sutil for P2. When the Ferrari did get past, the gap was over seven seconds, which turned out to be too great for Alonso. For good measure, Raikkonen posted the fastest lap time with three laps to go showing just how good the Lotus E21 is on its tires.
Sutil’s race was ruined when he moved onto the supersoft tire with twelve laps to go, and he eventually lost out to Massa, Hamilton and Webber. di Resta finished just behind his teammate in P8 ahead of a struggling Jenson Button. Romain Grosjean took the final point for Lotus in P10.
The opening race of the season saw four teams vying for the race win, and with Pirelli tires proving to be the deciding factor, Raikkonen will be pleased with how he managed the race from the front and got the undercut on his rivals. Ferrari have clearly banished their 2012 car troubles, whilst Red Bull will be questioning just what changed between qualifying and the race. For Mercedes, the race moved away from them as they struggled to manage their tires, whilst McLaren will know they have a lot of work to do after scoring just two points today.
2013 Australian Grand Prix – Classification
1 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault Winner
2 Fernando Alonso Ferrari +12.4 secs
3 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault +22.3 secs
4 Felipe Massa Ferrari +33.5 secs
5 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +45.5 secs
6 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault +46.8 secs
7 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes +65.0 secs
8 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes +68.4 secs
9 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes +81.6 secs
10 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault +82.7 secs
11 Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes +83.3 secs
12 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari +83.8 secs
13 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari +1 Lap
14 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault +1 Lap
15 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth +1 Lap
16 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault +2 Laps
17 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth +2 Laps
18 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault +2 Laps
Ret Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari
Ret Nico Rosberg Mercedes
Ret Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault
DNS Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari
You can follow Luke on Twitter @LukeSmithF1
Nov 22, 2014, 6:15 PM EST
Will Owen, who impressively won the 2014 USF2000 race as a rookie at Indianapolis Motor Speedway this past May, is moving up the racing ladder.
Nov 22, 2014, 5:52 PM EST
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Marco Andretti, Will Power, AJ Allmendinger go back to roots in big karting race this weekend in Las Vegas
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Nov 22, 2014, 4:45 PM EST
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Nov 22, 2014, 4:30 PM EST
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Nov 22, 2014, 3:50 PM EST
Mallya attacks Red Bull following its double exclusion from today’s qualifying session in Abu Dhabi.
Nov 22, 2014, 3:00 PM EST
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Nov 22, 2014, 2:30 PM EST
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Nov 22, 2014, 1:45 PM EST
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Nov 22, 2014, 1:30 PM EST
The new cancer center’s lobby will be named in honor of RHR’s late mother, who succumbed to colon cancer in 2009.
Nov 22, 2014, 1:15 PM EST
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Nov 22, 2014, 12:58 PM EST
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Nov 22, 2014, 12:30 PM EST
Ricciardo and Vettel to start from the back of the grid in Abu Dhabi.
Nov 22, 2014, 11:30 AM EST
The 22-year-old is not set to move up to F1 despite an incredible rookie season in GP2.
Nov 22, 2014, 11:15 AM EST
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Nov 22, 2014, 11:00 AM EST
The administrator put in charge of the ailing F1 team believes that a buyer can be found in the next couple of weeks.
Nov 22, 2014, 10:30 AM EST
“The technical people were panicking a little bit, being afraid that I would take some secrets.”
Nov 22, 2014, 10:13 AM EST
The Mexican driver will remain with Force India for 2015 alongside Nico Hulkenberg.
Nov 22, 2014, 10:00 AM EST
It was confirmed on Thursday that the four time F1 world champion would be joining Ferrari for the 2015 season, replacing Fernando Alonso.
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