Kimi Raikkonen wins 2013 Australian Grand Prix

2013 Australian Grand Prix summary

Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Melbourne, 2013Kimi Raikkonen came from seventh on the grid to win the Australian Grand Prix.

It was a strategic win for the Lotus team whose driver made just two pit stops while his closest rivals came in three times.

Fernando Alonso took second after making an early second stop to jump ahead of early leader Sebastian Vettel. Alonso gave chase of Raikkonen in the closing stages of the race but was unable to catch the Lotus.

Nor could Vettel, who took pole position in emphatic fashion earlier today, do anything to catch the Ferrari at the end of the race. It was a disappointing Grand Prix for Red Bull who locked out the front row of the grid but saw their cars come home third and sixth, Mark Webber losing several places at the start.

Felipe Massa kept Alonso behind at the start but was out-fumbled by his team mate in the pits and lost time behind Adrian Sutil later.

The Force India driver led several laps after starting the race on medium tyres. But he struggled for pace on the super-softs at the end of the race and came home seventh just ahead of team mate Paul di Resta.

Lewis Hamilton tried to do a two-stop strategy but had to convert to three after locking his tyres while battling with Alonso and needing an early second stop. Team mate Nico Rosberg retired with a technical problem.

Jenson Button and Romain Grosjean rounded out the points scorers, the latter making a poor start and struggling with his tyres late in the race. Sergio Perez was just outside the points on his McLaren debut after starting 15th.

A full race review will follow later.

2013 Australian Grand Prix

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Image ?? Lotus/LAT

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80 comments on Kimi Raikkonen wins 2013 Australian Grand Prix

  1. Andrew (@andrewsf1) said on 17th March 2013, 8:01

    What a race! I cannot recall the last time i didn’t wish for rain or a safety car to bring more excitement at the end of a race because there was so just much tension on every lap. I’m so happy for Kimi for such a nice win, seemed a bit unexpected until the last ~20 laps when I realized he wasn’t going to stop for a third time.
    A couple of things i didn’t like were the fact that Webber again had a very poor start (why does it seem to Me it only happens when he’s near Vettel?) and his first pit stop stationary time was 5.3s. When was the last time Vettel had a poor stop like that?
    Also it felt to me that once Massa got in front of Alonso and Massa successfully defended that he was actually faster and could have finished in front and maybe even overtake Vettel. But Alonso got ahead by performing a successful undercut. Very happy that there were no “Alonso is faster than You” messages and Ferrari gave Massa a fair chance to fight Alonso (all of Massa’s pit stops were just as fast as Alonso’s, unlike in Red Bull’s case), honestly wasn’t expecting that. Brilliant start to the season!

    • Aimal (@aimalkhan) said on 17th March 2013, 8:04

      I dont recall any races in the past where ferrari have sabotaged massa’s pit stops. Alonso needs massa to perform through out the season to take points off his rivals.

      • Cranberry said on 17th March 2013, 8:29

        Ferrari didn’t need to sabotage Massa in the pits, what they they did was keep him out on old tyres long enough to guarantee Alonso leapfrogging him.

        • robfff said on 17th March 2013, 8:56

          You clearly dont understand how decisions are made regarding strategy. Each side of the garage makes their own decisions and when one wants to pit, they ask if the other side is expecting to pit on the same lap. If they both want to pit on the same lap, then the lead car gets priority.

          As you would have seen, Alonoso’s side of the garage was risky in how they came in extra early, catching both Vettel and Massa off guard.

          If Massa’s side of the garage had been more on it, they could have done what Alonso had done, leaving Alonso out a lap longer. But they never.

          • clappy (@danielc) said on 17th March 2013, 10:17

            you’ve said this loads you are wrong my friend , so what if alo is p1 massa p2 its the car in front who gets first call. Back a few yrs ago it was better to stay out a lap longer but not on these tyre’s

  2. bosyber (@bosyber) said on 17th March 2013, 8:02

    Massa out-fumbled by Alonso, nicely put @keithcollantine. Red Bull have to work on tyres, and Webber’s side needs to sort those starts first, I think.

  3. Aditya (@adityafakhri) said on 17th March 2013, 8:04

    It could be more strategical season than last year.
    Shame on me, I was predicted Kimi’s win until Red Bull crush everybody on practice so I changed my mind :(

    • Droid Damudi (@droiddamudi) said on 17th March 2013, 9:19

      ya, same with me.

      after practice time i though its vettel to loose but i expected vet-kimi-alonso podium.

      next race i expect kimi to fight again, venue of his first win and he always goes well there.

  4. tmax (@tmax) said on 17th March 2013, 8:06

    A great Race….Kimi Sure Knows what he is doing…… Nice job Kimi…. again just feel short of my dream podium for the first race. Lewis instead of Alonso would have done it. Alonso drove a brilliant race. did not expect Kimi out there. I thought Alonso was going to win by a huge margin. I think if Sutil had not come into the way of Vettel in the first stint, he would have gotten close to Kimi.

    Over a great race to start with

  5. Webber… KERS problems again.

  6. DavidS (@davids) said on 17th March 2013, 8:06

    Does anybody else think the air intake for the Lotus looks somewhat like a baboons backside?

  7. bosyber (@bosyber) said on 17th March 2013, 8:07

    Bianchi a lap ahead of the next car, that’s the way to show your worth in a backmarker car.

  8. Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 17th March 2013, 8:08

    My armchair expert hypothesis:

    1. Red Bull and Mercedes are both quick at getting heat into the tyres, but wear them off quicker. That’s why they were better in qualy but slower in the race.

    2. Ferrari and Lotus are slower at getting the tyres up to temperature, but are much more gentle on them. That is why they were not so good in qualy but faster than anyone in the race.

    • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 17th March 2013, 8:10

      But Mercedes wasn’t bad, they stopped after ferrari for the first stop – but that may have been late for good strategy as they lost time from that.

      • Eggry (@eggry) said on 17th March 2013, 8:16

        I think Mercedes’ case is more about sensitive tyre operating window rather than just heating issue. as race went, temperature dropped and I think this is their weakness. Narrow operating window.

    • Eggry (@eggry) said on 17th March 2013, 8:12

      @kingshark I agree with your early verdict. with smoother tyre, I think Ferrari&Lotus’ way has upper hands.

    • ioannis (@ioannislalas) said on 17th March 2013, 8:14

      this is the case exactly, but lotus has a lot more to give in stable weather conditions during qualifying

  9. Yappy said on 17th March 2013, 8:09

    Fantastic to see Kimmi leading from the get go. I think this is the first time Ferrari are championship leaders in what feels like a generation. Early days yet.

  10. Eggry (@eggry) said on 17th March 2013, 8:10

    Great race. almost every drivers did very well except Grosjean and unlucky Hulk.

  11. Adam86 said on 17th March 2013, 8:11

    Not sure what to think of Mercedes; how much of the gap was a failed attempt at a 2 stop vs a lack of pace. Rosberg stopping was a big loss for Lewis – the fight with Alonso killed what was left of his strategy.

    Interesting to get a read in more normal temperatures next week.

  12. ioannis (@ioannislalas) said on 17th March 2013, 8:12

    and if we have stable conditions in qualifying sessions, then we will see a championship contender ……….Go KImi

  13. HUHHII (@huhhii) said on 17th March 2013, 8:14

    How is it even possible to dominate the race like that when starting from 7th place? Godlike drive from Kimi, well deserved win!
    Kiitos Kimi! (=Thank you Kimi in Finnish)

  14. Landes Berg (@landesberg) said on 17th March 2013, 8:14

    Well done Kimi. Now for the championship. ….again.

  15. Ginola14 (@ginola14) said on 17th March 2013, 8:20

    I assume this is a vastly popular win by Kimi Raikkonen with many F1 fans around.

    Would like to see this parlayed into a 2nd world championship for him which he deserves after the near-misses he had with McLaren before.

    • Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 18th March 2013, 7:44

      So very true. He won all the best driver awards in 05, despite Alonso taking the championship that year. If it weren’t for the McLaren’s horrible reliability that season he would have had the WDC too.

      03 was even closer, only the late season tire ruling against Michelin ended his chances. Without it he or Montoya in the Williams-BMW could have taken the title.

  16. Beto (@chebeto0) said on 17th March 2013, 8:26

    Great race! I loved it. A bit disappointed that my fellow nationals, Perez and Gutierrez, didn’t get in the points, but I enjoyed this race so much. I didn’t know what to expect of this season, but now I’m pretty excited about it. The tyres maybe the only thing I’m no so happy about, but you can’t have it all.
    The biggest winner for me is of course Raikkonen. What a race! He was absolutely perfect.
    On the other side I think the biggest loser was Sutil. That set of super-softs wrecked his world. Feel bad for him. He was driving so well.
    Another big loser in this race was McLaren. They came from Brazil having the fastest car, and now they showed they were clearly off-pace. I think it was a mistake to make such big changes on the car. They will be playing catch-up, but they are already way behind.

  17. Lauri (@f1lauri) said on 17th March 2013, 8:27

    This might help Lotus get its big name-sponsor.

  18. smokinjoe (@smokinjoe) said on 17th March 2013, 8:34

    Looks like ferrari made up there mind that massa wont finish ahead of alonso,when he was flying and want to stay on they just called him into the pits,I love to see the split strategy from ferrari where massa can run a 2 stopper but that didnt happen.Other thing i found strange was that blue flag being waved at sutil when he is in the mix ,a driver has every right to fight for his position no matter how big a driver is behind him

  19. wsrgo (@wsrgo) said on 17th March 2013, 8:35

    After today, people will surely cry out that Ferrari are already helping Alonso, right from the first race of the season, by giving him a better strategy. However, I don’t think Massa would have got the same pace as Alonso to jump Vettel, and then pass Sutil. Ferrari just favoured the quicker man.
    And if someone talks about this being ‘covert team orders’ I’ll simply point to Williams, who blatantly used team orders to let Maldonado through on Bottas.

    • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 17th March 2013, 8:43

      I agree that Alonso’s pass on Sutil was great and that Massa might not have pulled that off. But I do think Massa was on or better than Alonso’s pace @wsrgo, so it still was dossapointing they didn’t let him prove it. Followed by Alonso calling Massa “traffic” on podium. Brundle should have asked about that imo.

      • wsrgo (@wsrgo) said on 17th March 2013, 11:45

        @bosyber Alonso was quicker than Massa, he was constantly around or within a second of Massa. So I wouldn’t say that Massa was quicker. He was holding him up..several times Alonso tried to pass Massa, but Massa was resisting, so Alonso gave up and decided to sit in his wheeltracks and go for the undercut.

        As for ‘traffic’, well Alonso did not explicitly mention Massa. And even Vettel was ‘traffic’ at that stage.

    • robfff said on 17th March 2013, 11:02

      Massa’s strategists could have made the undercut like Alonso did, but chose not to. Each driver has his own team in the garage and they make their own calls. Massa would have been given preference if he had wanted to pit on the same lap as Alonso, but in all likelyhood Massa’s side of the garage probably didnt expect new tyres to offer such a big undercut. Alonso’s engineers made him pit as soon as they saw Ham (I think) put on the medium’s and set purple sectors.

      It seems a lot of people think Ferrari have a central strategist team who make calls for both drivers, but that is not the case. The info is presented to both sides of the garage and they make the calls independently according to their cars specific situation. Alonso’s team was better than Massa’s team when it came to that undercut.

  20. I was surprised how low the Lotus ride height was. Even at the end of the race with all the fuel burned off, Kimi was bottoming out at several points throughout the lap, sparks flying and I didn’t notice it with other cars. Is that just a bumpy section of track or have they set it up very low or come up with a fancy ride-height system?

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