If you didn't watch the 2013 Australian Grand Prix yet, you missed one hell of a race. And it all ended with The Iceman on the top step of the podium. The best part? He said the win was 'easy.'
The starting lineup was set just hours before the race as rain forced qualifying to be postponed. When qualy finally went off, there weren't all that many surprises. The Red Bulls started up front with Lewis Hamilton starting third. Raikkonen and teammate Romain Grosjean set off seventh and eighth.
But the start was all about Ferrari. Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso got the jump on Mark Webber, who always seems to find a way to screw up his home Grand Prix, and Hamilton to slot into second and third.
Raikkonen just kinda hung out in fifth and found his way by cute dog owner Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes with a brilliant outside move to then hang out in fourth. That was a lot of the Kimster's race: Hangin' out.
Hamilton had good pace, but as is the status quo for him, tire management became an issue. A late stop effectively removed him from the battle for a podium finish and he ended up fifth.
Pit stops started around lap eight as the super soft compound tires that the front runners were using degraded incredibly quickly. (In fact, as some commenters are pointing out, they're even worse than years past.) That's when Adrian "I didn't mean to break the champagne glass I swear" Sutil became the star of the first half of the race. He made those last longer than anyone else and looked like he was genuinely in with a shot at a podium.
It appeared that Sutil's Force India team was waiting for rain, which really would have worked in their favor. Other than a couple spritzes, the rain never really came. Sutil ended up seventh.
Raikkonen was just lurking, and made his final stop with about 23 laps to go. Not only did he make his tires last incredibly long, he was also very, very fast. He set the fast lap of the race right at the end.
Ferrari's Fernando Alonso ended up second in the race with a superb run and a couple close calls. Sebastian Vettel had a surprisingly quiet race to end up third. The race was also pretty clean. Maldonado had an off to continue his hate/hate relationship with the Aussie GP and Nico Rosberg had a substantial electronics meltdown that put his Merc out of the race.
Here is what Raikkonen said on his win:
One of the easiest races I’ve done to win the race. Hopefully, we can have many more of this kind of races.
There was passing on track, exciting strategy, and, on a personal note, my favorite driver and favorite team won the race. Great race.
Photo Credit: Getty Images