March 19, 2013

2013 F1 Australian Grand Prix Review

Kimi Räikkönen rounding turn in 2013 Australian Grand Prix win.
Photo © Paul Crock / Getty Images via

Formula One racing is back, as the 2013 Formula One season got started this past Sunday - March 17, 2013, with the 2013 Australian Grand Prix. The Albert Park area's Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit, in Melbourne, Australia, was the venue for the season opener, which brought a few surprises to F1 racing experts.

Surprising to probably everyone, was the lack of safety-car involvement in an incident free grand prix. It just doesn't happen very much. If there aren't even any minor crashes, there's usually at least one mechanical failure somewhere on the track, often in a fairly precarious location.

The biggest surprise, at least for the supposed experts, was who came out on top in the end. They couldn't seem to believe who won the race, even though he had been a GP champion, not really all that long ago. Then again, maybe it was the former champ's team organization that was the real surprise. Their name hasn't been anywhere near the top of the class for several years, though they did start to get some attention last season, with this driver's return to Formula One.

The top three finishers on the day, were: 2007 season World Champion Kimi Räikkönen (Finland), driving a Lotus-Renault, won the race; Fernando Alonso (Spain), another former champion, brought his Scuderia Ferrari in second; Third best, was the top guy of the past couple years, Red Bull-Renault driver Sebastian Vettel (Germany).

Who would have thought that a guy who had 69 previous career podium finishes, and who had already won 19 races over the course of his career, could've managed it? Who would possibly imagine former champion Kimi Räikkönen could manage to win one lousy season opening race? Well, me for one. I mean, why not? It's just one freaking race, anyway. Taking time off from Formula One to try a little WRC rally driving, didn't ruin you. Go Lotus! Go Kimi Räikkönen!

Links to Australian Grand Prix recap, press conference and analysis posts, as well as NBC Sports highlights videos, follow below.

Race - Raikkonen and Lotus triumph in Australia
Posted at on March 17, 2013

Kimi Raikkonen put himself on top Down Under with an emphatic and unexpected victory for Lotus in the 2013 Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix on Sunday...

FIA post-race press conference - Australia
Posted at on March 17, 2013

...Raikkonen: It’s the first race, so you don’t really know how it’s going to go, how the tyres are going to be. I didn’t really do any long runs in the winter. I knew that I had a good car, so I had a feeling that it was going to be a good race but you have to get through the first laps and then go from there...

Australia analysis - expect the unexpected
Posted at on March 18, 2013

F1 fans look set for a thrilling 2013 season, if Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix was anything to go by. After dominating qualifying, reigning champions Red Bull found themselves playing catch-up to Lotus and Ferrari in a race which saw Kimi Raikkonen ease his way to victory. The podium featured three champions, but there were scintillating battles throughout the field, including among 2013’s five rookie drivers, all of who finished their first Grand Prix...

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