Finnish Raikkonen starts on fire

The 2013 F1 season started with a surprise as Kimi Raikkonen claimed victory in Melbourne, Australia.

The Finnish driver tore up the record books as he came from seventh on the grid to take victory, his second since his return to F1 last year.

The Lotus driver managed to make his tyres last longer, doing only two stops, as he beat Fernando Alonso and triple world champion Sebastian Vettel, on a long day for F1.

With yesterday wiping out qualifying sessions two and three, this morning saw Vettel take pole from teammate Mark Webber.

With Lewis Hamilton taking third in his apparent inferior Mercedes it appeared normality would be restored with a comfortable win for Vettel.

But F1 has built a reputation in recent seasons to offer unpredictability and that it did.

A total of eight drivers, including the returning Force India driver Adrian Sutil, led the Grand Prix during the course of 58 laps.

Vettel took the lead but as Webber fell back, it was the Ferrari combo of Alonso and Felipe Massa that offered the greatest threat, with Raikkonen and Hamilton behind.

The tyres have become a talking point again and multiple racers came in early, with the three stop strategy an obvious choice.

Yet the Lotus under Raikkonen looked easy on their tyres and although he came in with the Ferrari’s his tyres were not shredded.

As the leading three moved away, Raikkonen’s careful driving was coming to the fore; he was on a two stopper.

The 2007 champion was able to keep his tyres and times consistent and although was at times not the fastest on the track, never more than half a second off the pace.

Behind him, Alonso got ahead of Vettel at the stops but it was Hamilton who, also on two stops, looked dangerous before his late unscheduled third stop put him back in fifth.

Mclaren will however want to put this race behind them as quick as possible with only Jenson Button’s ninth place consolation for an awful weekend.

But back to the winner who looked every bit a champion on today’s performance and will a lot of stopping as currently is a master of the tyres.

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