Australian Grand Prix – Race Results: 1st!
Kimi Raikkonen played a two-stop strategy to perfection to beat Fernando Alonso to victory in an enthralling Australian Grand Prix.
All predictions of tedious Red Bull domination proved way off the mark, as Sebastian Vettel finished third, overshadowed by the Lotus and Ferrari.
Classified: Pos Driver Team Time 1. Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1h30:03.225 2. Alonso Ferrari + 12.451 3. Vettel Red Bull-Renault + 22.346 4. Massa Ferrari + 33.577 5. Hamilton Mercedes + 45.561 6. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 46.800 7. Sutil Force India-Mercedes + 1:05.068 8. Di Resta Force India-Mercedes + 1:08.449 9. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 1:21.630 10. Grosjean Lotus-Renault + 1:22.759 11. Perez McLaren-Mercedes + 1:23.367 12. Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1:23.857 13. Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari + 1 lap 14. Bottas Williams-Renault + 1 lap 15. Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth + 1 lap 16. Pic Caterham-Renault + 2 laps 17. Chilton Marussia-Cosworth + 2 laps 18. van der Garde Caterham-Renault + 2 laps Fastest lap: Raikkonen, 1:29.274 Not classified/retirements: Driver Team On lap Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 40 Rosberg Mercedes 26 Maldonado Williams-Renault 25 Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1 World Championship standings, round 1: Drivers: Constructors: 1. Raikkonen 25 1. Ferrari 30 2. Alonso 18 2. Lotus-Renault 26 3. Vettel 15 3. Red Bull-Renault 23 4. Massa 12 4. Mercedes 10 5. Hamilton 10 5. Force India-Mercedes 10 6. Webber 8 6. McLaren-Mercedes 2 7. Sutil 6 8. Di Resta 4 9. Button 2 10. Grosjean 1
Videos: Winning, overtakes, interview
“Our plan was to do two stops and though it’s always difficult in the first races to know when to stop and not go too early, we got it exactly right. We followed the plan and it worked out perfectly for us. I could save the tyres and go fast if I needed. It was one of the easiest races I have done to win. Hopefully we can have many more of these races.”
“Fernando was catching me at some points when I was taking it a bit more easy and I had some traffic, so I just wanted to make sure that if the rain came or anything I had a bit more of a gap. It was a pretty nice race, not so difficult. It feels good but it’s only one race so it doesn’t really change our aim or our work.”
“We’re happy with the win and there’s a lot still to do to try to win the championship.”
Mark Slade on the radio after the race ”absolutely superb, well done mate.’
Fernando Alonso: “Obviously at the end it was a little bit sad not to be able to win the race, but Kimi was fantastic today, the Lotus car as well. We need to congratulate them for a fantastic race. Kimi was driving fantastically all through the race and he managed two stops.”
Sebastian Vettel: “Congratulations to Lotus and especially to Kimi, I think they did the best job today.”
Paul Hembery: “Kimi Raikkonen and Lotus understood the tyres perfectly, making a two-stop strategy work when many of their rivals couldn’t. It was a true masterclass in tyre management… It’s also worth pointing out that Raikkonen drove the fastest lap of the race on lap 56: the penultimate lap, on medium tyres that were 22 laps old.”
Martin Whitmarsh: “Kimi deserves this, he’s done a real great job.”
Eric Boullier : “Kimi drove impeccably all weekend and gave the team his all.”
Jeremy Clarkson: “I am extremely happy that Kimi and his Chipping Norton car won. Really extremely happy.”
David Coulthard: “His victory in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix on Sunday was Kimi at his very best.”
Kimi Raikkonen – 1st: “I’m happy for the team and for myself also. We’ve had a quick car all weekend and there were no issues with it either, so we could just focus on trying different things and getting the setup how we wanted. I had a good feeling that we would be ok with the tyres after practice and the team got the strategy perfect. I made a few places at the start and then had a good battle with Lewis [Hamilton] but after that it was quite simple; probably one of my easiest wins. You can’t start the season much better than winning the first race and of course we hope we can be fighting at the front of the Championship, but there’s a long way to go still and we need to keep pushing hard all the way.”
Romain Grosjean – 10th: “Something felt wrong with my car, so I have to sit down with the team and analyse where the issue came from. It felt so good all weekend until the race itself, but in the end the race was long and quite difficult for me. We know that Albert Park can be a tricky circuit and the weather has certainly not helped today. It’s been a great weekend for the team with Kimi’s win so it’s clear there’s pace in the car. Let’s hope I can unlock that pace too next weekend in Sepang.”
Eric Boullier, Team Principal: “I’m very happy. After Kimi’s great start we were hoping that we could achieve a podium finish, then as the race unfolded and we saw the other teams pitting – showing that they were on three-stop strategies – our position became stronger and stronger. It’s a fantastic feeling to open the season in this way. Kimi drove impeccably all weekend and gave the team his all. Romain had a difficult race and we have to analyse what went wrong for him. This win is a further testament to all the hard work which goes on at Enstone and we owe tremendous thanks to each and every employee. We head to Malaysia in the best position we could be. ”
James Allison, Technical Director: “It was a splendid thing we saw today. It’s a day like this which make everything about this job worthwhile and that will be true for everyone involved with the team. It’s great. We were a little deflated after qualifying, as we knew the car had better pace than our grid positions suggested. Nevertheless we were confident from the long run pace we’d seen on Friday that we could make a two-stop strategy work. It was lovely to see the lap times ticking off metronomically without any real fear that the tyres weren’t going to go the distance. Hopefully we can repeat Kimi’s fantastic performance again next weekend with both cars.”