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Raikkonen claims first win of 2013 season
Sunday 17th March 2013, 07:48 by TF1T Staff
Kimi Raikkonen claimed victory in the opening race of the 2013 season to give his and Lotus's title campaign the best possible start.
The Finn came from seventh on the grid and looked set for a podium finish after making up places at the start, but as the race progressed and his tyres held steady, it became clear that victory was possible thanks to a two-stop compared to those on three-stop strategies.
Fernando Alonso came in second ahead of pole position man Sebastian Vettel - all three having led the race at points. In fact, a total of seven drivers led at points.
Felipe Massa rounded off a strong day for Ferrari, a team which will be relieved they've started the season competitively compared to last year.
Mercedes couldn't match the lead pace, with Lewis Hamilton dropping two places to finish fifth after a two-stop strategy didn't play out and 'plan-B' had to come into effect. His team-mate looked set for sixth, but retired after his engine shutdown.
Mark Webber instead secured sixth ahead of the Force India duo of Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta respectively. Jenson Button managed ninth ahead of the final points scorer Romain Grosjean.
The race wasn't a straight forward affair as strategy played a dominant role and rain looked threatening but held off apart from a few drops.
Race Result - 2013 Australian Grand Prix:
# Driver Team Gap Pts 01. K. Raikkonen Lotus 25 02. F. Alonso Ferrari +12.4 18 03. S. Vettel Red Bull +22.3 15 04 F. Massa Ferrari +33.5 12 05. L. Hamilton Mercedes +45.5 10 06. M. Webber Red Bull +46.8 8 07. A. Sutil Force India +1:05.0 6 08. P. di Resta Force India +1:08.4 4 09. J. Button McLaren +1:21.6 2 10. R. Grosjean Lotus +1:22.7 1 11. S. Perez McLaren +1:23.3 12. J-E. Vergne Red Bull +1:23.8 13. E. Gutierrez Sauber +1 lap 14. V. Bottas Williams +1 lap 15. J. Bianchi Marussia +1 lap 16. C. Pic Caterham +2 laps 17. M. Chilton Marussia +2 laps 18. G. van der Garde Caterham +2 laps 19. D. Ricciardo Toro Rosso Retired 20. N. Rosberg Mercedes Retired 21. P. Maldonado Williams Retired 22. N. Hulkenberg Sauber DNS