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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80 comments on Kimi Raikkonen wins 2013 Australian Grand Prix

  1. 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.

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

    This might help Lotus get its big name-sponsor.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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?

  6. Brace (@brace) said on 17th March 2013, 8:40

    Why is everyone assuming Ferrari somehow tricked Massa. From all I could see it was Alonso and Andrea Stella calling their pitstop early in order to jump others. Massa would have been tricked if he pitted after Alonso, only if Alonso pitted after Vettel. But both Vettel and Massa pitted before Alonso in the first round, so Alonso pitting before Vettel means that he brought his own stop early, not that Massa’s stop was delayed. Massa pitted just as Vettel, which is in line with their first round of stops.

  7. Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 17th March 2013, 8:42

    Adrian Sutil showed he is too patriot like Shumacher in Brazil, a straight pass from Vettel in turn 2, while he was able to defend Massa’s attack which was more agressive for at least 3 consecutive laps and he made it hard for Fernando on a finished tyres,what’s wrong with these Germans !!!!!!!!!!!

    • Yoshisune (@yobo01) said on 17th March 2013, 8:50

      @tifoso1989 You clearly missed the part in which Sutil defended his position really well for a lot of laps on older tyres than Vettel’s.
      Vettel’s move after the pitstop was very good, he caught Sutil by surprise with an incredible braking. No patriotism involved there.

      • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 17th March 2013, 9:32

        You clearly missed the part in which Sutil defended his position really well for a lot of laps on older tyres than Vettel’s.

        Vettel putted him under pressure for a while but the gap was constant ,Vettel was not able to make any attack

        he caught Sutil by surprise

        I think there is mirrors on Sutil’s car, he didn’t try to cover the inside while after that when he was under pressure from the Ferrari’s he was weaving and to hold the racing linewhich is what he was suppose to do with Vettel
        if you watch again that was an easy pass, Sutil actually made it easy ,I think that maybe he was sleeping or he was too patriot

        • Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 17th March 2013, 13:39

          Anthony Davidson covered this move on Sky F1. Vettel braked incredibly late and shot up the inside corner. Vettel just caught Sutil out as he didn’t expect Vettel to come up the inside and brake so very late.

          I think you are completely wrong to claim that just because they’re both German there is something untoward about a genuinely brave overtaking move. This was not the same as Vettel-Schumacher in Brazil.

    • Jubameister said on 17th March 2013, 11:00

      Sour grapes?

  8. Kimi4WDC said on 17th March 2013, 8:44

    Following Raikkonen on live timing sector by sector is an experience. Talking about performance on demand.

    I can’t help of thinking he always kept 2 sec space in order to not damage the tyres and did not wreck the tyres right after pit stop as most other driver did.

    • 5150 (@) said on 17th March 2013, 10:57

      I’m with you on this one.
      Live timing really helps putting things into perspective. For instance; if I remember correctly Fernandos second to out lap was well under 1:31,000, meanwhile Kimi did first few laps in mid 1:31,s (after their last pitstops).

  9. jre_f1 (@jre_f1) said on 17th March 2013, 8:45

    Pleased with kimi’s win, he’s got to be the best shot at beating Alonso and Vettel this year. Nothing to chose between those teams in race trim, Malaysia will be interesting as its hotter, so it will be a better reflection of who’s going to have the legs this year.

    Merc; similar to last year, good qualifying pace but it’s not good enough on its tyres to be a effective race car, but at Least Hamilton can be happy he’s left McLaren at exactly the right moment as it appears they are about to descend into the doldrums. I still think Merc won’t be able to make any ground on the front running teams, their in-season development has never been up to much.

    I think Mclaren need to abandon that car, it’s so bad its untrue. Carrying on trying to sort it it out is full hardy surely? Admitting defeat, binning it and reverting to the 2012 car at least short term has got to be the best option as that will be in the top 6 at worst. I don’t buy development potential, if a car is that bad out of the box, it’s got some massive design flaws that they are not going to solve. A car that is good to start with has development potential!!!

  10. Klaas (@klaas) said on 17th March 2013, 8:47

    I have 3 questions:
    1. Whay did Lewis risked so much in holding back Alonso only to pit a few corners after?
    2. What’s wrong with Massa? He gets free air in front of him and the best he can do is ask Smedley what to do. And Smedley was strange too: “Show what you can do…” like it was an audition not a race.
    3. Does anyone know what did Ferrari told Alonso on the radio just after he nearly crashed into the Caterham?

    • For 3) I don’t speak Italian, but I thought I heard “Kimi” in the message so it may have been telling him to just bring it home. Also worth noting that the timing of the radio message may have been at any time in the lap or two prior to what we saw on video, as the messages are always on some sort of delay.

    • robfff said on 17th March 2013, 9:11

      Yeah I think Alonso was told that there was no point pushing any longer because they were not catching Kimi.

      2: I think it was a pure misjudgment from Massa. Clearly Massa misread the tyres and told the team he could go faster than Vettel if only he had clean air. So Ferrari kept him out so Massa could do as advertised, and as soon as they realised he had no speed in his pocket, they pulled him into the pits (two laps after Alonso and 1 after Vet).

      I think Massa’s strategists were too reactive, and so they lost out to the preemptive calls made by Alonso’s side of the garage.

  11. robfff said on 17th March 2013, 9:01

    I cant help but feel that had Sutil not held up the Vettel/Massa/Alonso train, his strategy might not have worked.

    All while those three were trying to get past Sutil, Kimi was hanging a few seconds back going at his targeted (slow on purpose) pace to look after the tyres. So when normally the 3 stoppers would dart off into the distance, they were stuck going at the same pace as Kimi, except in dirty air and pushing much hard and wasting more rubber.

    I dont think Kimi’s strategy would have worked half as well at a track where overtaking is much easier.

    • Pandaslap (@pandaslap) said on 17th March 2013, 9:22

      I agree with you but I also credit Kimi and Lotus for being opportunists – had Sutil not been holding up the 3 stoppers, Kimi could have switched to a three-stop strategy himself. In that case, he may not have won but he would have secured solid points.

      While the TV coverage celebrated Sutil, I can’t help but wonder if the blue flags weren’t really an error… rather a suggestion. Had he taken his medicine and run on the SS tires like everyone else, he would have been far from the leaders.

  12. Thomas (@smashnfanatic) said on 17th March 2013, 9:11

    Yaay! Iceman won! Too bad I didn’t get to see the race. :) Go Kimi! you deserve it.

  13. Tayyib (@m0nzaman) said on 17th March 2013, 9:49

    Great Race. What a start to the year! Kimi was brilliant today, made that two stop work. Ferrari were quick and Fernando took a solid podium and a good start to the year. Red Bull surprised most people with their performance today, no doubt they will still be quick possibly in hotter conditions. Lewis did well for his first race and Mark Webber struggled badly. But Kimi was class, how he popped the fastest lap in on lap 23 of a 24 lap stint was immense.

  14. amith (@amith-j) said on 17th March 2013, 9:54

    great start for kimi…hope to see a lot more like this and then the championship!!

  15. Howard (@howard) said on 17th March 2013, 10:30

    Magnum ice cream >>>>> Chorizo sausage

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