“Meanwhile, at the weekend: Raikkonen wins Australian GP”
Formula One Australian Grand Prix
Kimi Raikkonen stormed to victory for Lotus in the first World Championship Grand Prix of the season at Albert Park. Despite starting on the fourth row, the Finn drew to front of the pack during the opening stint, eventually taking the lead as tyre strategies evolved. Running one stop less than the chasing pack, Raikkonen managed a 12-second gap to Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) and early race leader Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull), who filled out the podium.
Felipe Massa also featured initially, but fell away when a very early second stop dropped him out of contention. Force India’s Adrian Sutil surprised on his return by leading twice thanks to long-running his medium Pirelli’s; however a change to super-softs with 11 laps remaining dropped him to 7th – a stellar drive regardless. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) assumed 5th, while Mark Webber (Red Bull) took an anonymous 6th, some way distant of Paul di Resta (Force India, 8th).
McLaren endured a nightmare with Jenson Button and Sergio Perez coming home 9th and 11th, sandwiching the second Lotus of Romain Grosjean. All five rookies saw the chequered flag.