Räikkönen storms to victory in Melbourne

Räikkönen storms to victory in Melbourne

17 March 2013 – Kimi Räikkönen claimed victory in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix on Sunday, marking his second triumph since returning to the sport. The Lotus driver took the chequered flag comfortably ahead of Fernando Alonso, while reigning World Champion and pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel had to settle for third.

The damp conditions witnessed in qualifying had passed as the grid convened for the start of the 58-lap race, with Vettel making a near perfect start as the lights went out. In contrast, team-mate Mark Webber slipped down the order and found himself in seventh after the opening sequence of corners. The first lap was also vital for Ferrari duo Alonso and Felipe Massa, who moved up to second and third, with Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton and race-winner Räikkönen in close company.

As the field found a rhythm, it was Vettel who held the advantage, but tyre issues soon hindered his afternoon. The German fell back into the clutches of Massa and Alonso, holding the pair up while Räikkönen surged past Hamilton and closed in. The positions remained the same after the opening pit-stop phase, but Räikkönen made progress when his rivals struggled with degradation. Adrian Sutil was another man to show strong pace in the first half of the Grand Prix, holding the lead on a number of occasions until a doomed final stint on the Super Soft rubber saw him fall back.

During the next round of pit-stops, Alonso was able to leapfrog both team-mate Massa and Vettel, but Räikkönen crucially stayed out in the Lotus to bring his differing strategy into play. Having made his second stop much later in the race, the Finn climbed back up the order as those around him pitted for a third and final time, paving the way for a comfortable route to victory in the final stages of the race.

Second place man Alonso looked like threatening for the win at times, but a near-collision with Caterham's Charles Pic put an end to his slim hopes. The Ferrari driver crossed the line over 12 seconds behind Räikkönen, with Vettel just under ten seconds further back in third. The latter's race was defined by his fears after qualifying, with Red Bull in particular struggling to make their tyres last the distance.

Massa and Hamilton, who have had their fair share of confrontations in the past, were next up in fourth and fifth, with the Briton pulling off a brave move on Adrian Sutil in the final few laps. The Mercedes driver's race was hindered when he locked up heavily defending from Alonso, forcing an early stop for fresh tyres. It was worse for team-mate Nico Rosberg, however, who retired with an electrical problem on Lap 32.

After a dreadful start, Webber was able to salvage seventh place, while a strong effort from Sutil saw him hold onto eighth after his tricky late run on the softer rubber. The German's Force India team-mate, Paul di Resta, finished eighth to give the team a double points finish for the first time since last year's Belgian Grand Prix, with Jenson Button and Romain Grosjean crossing the line to complete the top ten.

At the back of the field, Jules Bianchi drove incredibly well to finish a lap ahead of nearest Caterham rival Pic, with Max Chilton and Giedo van der Garde the last of the finishers. Daniel Ricciardo and Pastor Maldonado were the only other men to retire, enduring a technical problem and a race-ending spin respectively, while Sauber's Nico Hülkenberg failed to make the start due to an issue with his C32's fuel pump.

Heading to the Sepang International Circuit for the second round of the championship, Räikkönen holds a seven point lead over Alonso in the standings.

The opening practice session for next week's Malaysian Grand Prix begins at 10am local time (GMT +8) and can be tracked via the GPUpdate.net Live Report

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Friday 24 March 2017

  2. 00:42

    Follow first practice for the Australian GP!

    F1
  3. 00:34

    Latest F1 photos: Friday in Melbourne

    F1
  4. 'Confident' Viñales eyes race pace focus 00:22

    'Confident' Viñales eyes race pace focus

    Early Qatar Grand Prix pace-setter Maverick Viñales says he will focus on long-run speed after he bolted to the top of the…

    MotoGP
  5. Video of the Day: Ricciardo on Australia 00:12

    Video of the Day: Ricciardo on Australia

    Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo looks ahead to the Australian Grand Prix, his home event.

    F1
  6. Thursday 23 March 2017

  7. 18:14

    Latest MotoGP photos: Thursday at Losail

    MotoGP
  8. 18:12

    Qatar Grand Prix: Full first practice results

    MotoGP
  9. Viñales comfortably clear in first practice 17:54

    Viñales comfortably clear in first practice

    Yamaha's new recruit Maverick Viñales built on his pre-season form as he romped clear of his rivals during the opening practice…

    MotoGP
  10. Video: Dan Fallows on Red Bull's RB13 16:06

    Video: Dan Fallows on Red Bull's RB13

    Red Bull Racing's Chief Aero Engineer Dan Fallows discusses Formula 1's 2017 regulation changes, which include wider tyres…

    F1
  11. Lowe: Williams can win as customer team 14:32

    Lowe: Williams can win as customer team

    Paddy Lowe, newly-signed Chief Technical Officer at Williams, is adamant that the team can win races and titles as a customer…

    F1
  12. Hamilton plays down Rosberg absence 12:22

    Hamilton plays down Rosberg absence

    Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton says the absence of reigning World Champion and former team-mate Nico Rosberg on the grid this…

    F1
  13. Background: FIA drops 'Verstappen rule' 11:16

    Background: FIA drops 'Verstappen rule'

    FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting has outlined why Formula 1's so-called 'Verstappen rule', regarding moving under braking, has…

    F1
  14. FIA confident of protest-free season-opener 11:02

    FIA confident of protest-free season-opener

    Formula 1's governing body, the FIA, is confident that the Australian Grand Prix will not involve any protests over suspension…

    F1
  15. Lorenzo: Initial struggles were a 'shock' 10:42

    Lorenzo: Initial struggles were a 'shock'

    Jorge Lorenzo says his initial lack of pace upon his switch to Ducati came as a "shock", but is confident that he can continue…

    MotoGP
  16. 10:02

    Latest F1 photos: Thursday in Melbourne

    F1
  17. Force India's new livery breaks cover 09:49

    Force India's new livery breaks cover

    Force India's all-new matte pink livery has broken cover ahead of this weekend's season-opening Australian Grand Prix in…

    F1
  18. Video: Toro Rosso drivers in Casio time trial 08:02

    Video: Toro Rosso drivers in Casio time trial

    Toro Rosso drivers Carlos Sainz Jr. and Daniil Kvyat take part in a time trial with partner Casio at St. Kilda.

    F1
  19. GPUpdate readers back Vettel for victory 07:09

    GPUpdate readers back Vettel for victory

    GPUpdate.net readers have narrowly backed Sebastian Vettel to claim victory at this weekend's season-opening Australian Grand…

    F1
  20. Register for GPUpdate Manager 2017! 07:02

    Register for GPUpdate Manager 2017!

    Have you ever dreamed of owning a Formula 1 team with your ideal driver pairing and engine? GPUpdate.net readers can now sign up…

    F1
  21. Hamilton: Ferrari the favourite for 2017 05:13

    Hamilton: Ferrari the favourite for 2017

    Lewis Hamilton has reiterated his belief that Ferrari will be a genuine threat to Mercedes in 2017, going as far as to state…

    F1
  22. Pérez reveals post-Barcelona weight loss 04:43

    Pérez reveals post-Barcelona weight loss

    Sergio Pérez has revealed that he has lost around two to three kilos since the pre-season testing period in Barcelona, where…

    F1
  23. Nissany moves to RP Motorsport in 3.5 04:32

    Nissany moves to RP Motorsport in 3.5

    Roy Nissany has switched to RP Motorsport in World Series Formula V8 3.5, with Damiano Fioravanti in turn joining Barone…

    World Series
  24. Whiting: Cockpit protection call next month 03:41

    Whiting: Cockpit protection call next month

    F1 Race Director Charlie Whiting says a decision over whether extra cockpit protection – such as the halo – will be…

    F1
  25. Wehrlein officially cleared to race in Australia 03:23

    Wehrlein officially cleared to race in Australia

    Sauber driver Pascal Wehrlein has been officially cleared to take part in this weekend's Australian Grand Prix, following…

    F1
  26. Video of the Day: Australian GP track guide 03:12

    Video of the Day: Australian GP track guide

    Force India's Sergio Pérez talks you through a lap of Albert Park, home to the Australian Grand Prix.

    F1
  27. Wednesday 22 March 2017

  28. Video: Rossi visor cam footage at Barber 19:02

    Video: Rossi visor cam footage at Barber

    Ride onboard with Andretti Herta Autosport driver Alexander Rossi at Barber Motorsports Park.

    Indy
  29. 17:02

    Follow GPUpdate on Instagram in 2017!

    F1
  30. Dovizioso hopes for Qatar victory challenge 16:24

    Dovizioso hopes for Qatar victory challenge

    Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso is optimistic that he can fight for victory at this weekend's season-opening race in Qatar…

    MotoGP
  31. Sainz Jr. optimistic of points-scoring start 14:44

    Sainz Jr. optimistic of points-scoring start

    Carlos Sainz Jr. is confident he can take a strong haul of points from this weekend's Australian Grand Prix, as he bids to…

    F1
  32. Feature: How did class of 2017 fare on debuts? 11:02

    Feature: How did class of 2017 fare on debuts?

    Williams driver Lance Stroll will be the only full rookie on the 2017 Formula 1 grid when the season begins with the Australian…

    F1
  33. Gelael set for Formula 1 test runs with STR 10:47

    Gelael set for Formula 1 test runs with STR

    Formula 2 racer Sean Gelael is to make his Formula 1 test debut with Toro Rosso in Bahrain next month, and is also set for…

    F1
  34. Vettel settles on 'Gina' for 2017 car name 09:39

    Vettel settles on 'Gina' for 2017 car name

    Sebastian Vettel has named his 2017 car, the SF70H, 'Gina', according to reports. Vettel, who made his Formula 1 debut with…

    F1
  35. Video: Red Bull's 'Dinghy Dash' in Melbourne 09:12

    Video: Red Bull's 'Dinghy Dash' in Melbourne

    Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen get set for the Australian GP by tearing up the Yarra River.

    F1
  36. Abiteboul confirms Renault ERS issue fixed 08:13

    Abiteboul confirms Renault ERS issue fixed

    Renault Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul says the manufacturer has addressed the Energy Recovery System (ERS) issue which…

    F1
  37. Koiranen absent from opening GP3 test 07:53

    Koiranen absent from opening GP3 test

    Koiranen GP will miss this week's opening GP3 test of the campaign at Estoril, amid doubts over the team's participation in the…

    GP3
  38. Márquez starting 2017 'better' than 2016 07:32

    Márquez starting 2017 'better' than 2016

    Marc Márquez reckons he and Honda are in a "better" position to tackle the upcoming MotoGP season, compared to 2016, as he…

    MotoGP
  39. 06:46

    Latest F1 photos: Wednesday in Melbourne

    F1
  40. Video of the Day: Melbourne from above 05:36

    Video of the Day: Melbourne from above

    Fly with the Royal Australian Air Force and see Melbourne's Albert Park Street Circuit from above...

    F1
  41. Tuesday 21 March 2017

  42. Overview: Melbourne's wild F1 moments 17:32

    Overview: Melbourne's wild F1 moments

    Melbourne has played host to many dramatic races since joining the F1 calendar back in 1996. Ahead of this weekend's…

    F1
  43. Injured Barberá wary of uphill challenge 14:48

    Injured Barberá wary of uphill challenge

    Avintia rider Héctor Barberá says he will not be at his "best level" due to injury when the MotoGP season begins in Qatar this…

    MotoGP
  44. Preview: Formula 1 prepares to enter new era 13:02

    Preview: Formula 1 prepares to enter new era

    Formula 1 will burst back into life, and embark on a new technical era, with this weekend's Australian Grand Prix. GPUpdate.net…

    F1
more news