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2013 Australian Grand Prix

Rolex Australian Grand Prix

Sunday, March 17, 2013
Hot, damp and overcast at the start, drying
Fastest Lap:
Raikkonen, 1m29.274
2013 season:

It was supposed to be a walk in Albert Park and so it proved… albeit not in the manner foreseen. Defending champion Sebastian Vettel blitzed to pole position for Red Bull during Sunday morning’s rain-delayed qualifying session, but controlled the race only briefly. Seven drivers led during the opening 23 laps, but it was the last of them – Kimi Räikkönen – who stuck around longest. In a Grand Prix dictated by tyre life, the Finn was in a league all his own. Only 21 drivers appeared on the grid, Sauber recruit Nico Hülkenberg having been sidelined with a malfunctioning fuel system, and Vettel swiftly pulled clear as team-mate Mark Webber made a poor start from second. The Australian was completely blameless: an ECU problem left him without telemetry during the formation lap, which prevented accurate pre-start preparations and also deprived him of KERS. It would take the team almost 20 laps to sort the glitch, by which time the Australian was well out of sequence with rivals. Vettel led the Ferraris of Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso initially, with Lewis Hamilton holding fourth only until Räikkönen passed him on lap two. Nico Rosberg ran sixth, from Webber, Paul di Resta, Jenson Button and Adrian Sutil.