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2013 Formula 1 season kicks off in Australia

An exciting start to the season

Toni Avery
Mar 19, 2013 SHARE

Kimi Raikkonen finished the first race of the Formula 1 season in Melbourne with a first place victory for team Lotus. Even with a three-stop strategy being used by most teams, Kimi was able to keep his stops to just two.

Not only was he able to conserve his new compound Pirelli tires, but Kimi also held the fastest lap of the race with a 1:29:274.

His 20th career win, Kimi started the season back at the top and is now leading the 2013 F1 World Championship, with teammate Romain Grosjean finishing 10th, allowing the team to rack up another important point.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa collected a combined 30 points for the team at Melbourne. Both teammates used a three stop strategy, helping Alonso to finish second and Massa fourth.

F1_ferrari_aus Photo 2/5   |   2013 Formula 1 season kicks off in Australia

Sebastian Vettel finished third, holding the lead going into turn one after the start but losing the place to Alonso coming out of his second pitstop.

Mark Webber had problems throughout the race, starting in 2nd but dropping back to 7th. Technical issues with the telemetry and loss of KERS added to Webber's woes, but he was able to climb back up from 17th to his final 6th place.

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Mercedes AMG Petronas had mixed fortunes, with Lewis Hamilton putting in a fast drive to lead at one point, eventually finishing his first race with the team in 5th. Teammate Nico Rosberg was forced to retire lap 27 after experiencing technical problems.

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The second race of the season will take place in Malaysia next week.

Meanwhile, Pirelli was very pleased with the results of the race, even getting to use its new wet weather tires during a very wet first qualifying session.

Pirelli Motorsport Director Paul Hembery talked about the bold decision to bring its new supersoft tires "in order to spice up the action."
"We believe this worked very well, with a variety of two- and three-stop strategies as we expected and seven different leaders.
"Kimi Raikkonen and Lotus understood the tires perfectly, making a two-stop strategy work when many of their rivals couldn't. It was a masterclass in tire management. Although they were often in different places on the track, Raikkonen and Lotus were effectively racing Ferrari and Alonso throughout the second half of the race, who were on a three-stop 'sprint' strategy.
"Seeing how those different approaches played out at the end was the intriguing part of the strategy, which led to a spectacular finish and three very deserving world champions on the podium.
"It's also worth pointing out that Raikkonen drove the fastest lap of the race on lap 56: the penultimate lap, on medium tires that were 22 laps old.
"We are very happy with the performance and durability of both compounds, particularly as both track and ambient temperatures were very low, causing a bit of graining. The conditions next weekend in Malaysia will be very different however!" said Hembery.

FASTEST TIMES OF THE DAY BY COMPOUND:

First:
BIA - 1:30.454 (supersoft) RAI - 1:29.274 (medium)
Second:
SUT - 1:30.710 (supersoft) VER - 1:29.498 (medium)
Third:
RIC - 1:30.881 (supersoft) ALO - 1:29.560 (medium)
LONGEST STINT OF THE RACE:
Supersoft- 14 (Rosberg)
Medium- 30 (Gutierrez)

Start_finish_f1 Photo 5/5   |   2013 Formula 1 season kicks off in Australia
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By Toni Avery
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