Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen won the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday ahead of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and world champion Sebastian Vettel in a Red Bull.
It was the 20th Grand Prix win for Finland’s Raikkonen, the 2007 world champion.
Raikkonen made the most of a tactical race, in which teams followed different tyre strategies, taking the chequered flag at the Albert Park circuit 12.451 seconds ahead of Alonso.
Raikkonen made two pit stops instead of the three of his main rivals in a race, which proved difficult to read as the leadership continually changed hands and light rain at around the halfway stage threatened to be a factor.
“OK Kimi, an absolutely fantastic job,” his race engineer told him over the team radio, while Raikkonen replied: “Thanks everybody, I told you that the car is good. Thanks everybody, great job.”
Vettel, who began on pole after the delayed qualifying earlier in the day, could not dominate the race as he had in practice and qualifying, while teammate Mark Webber fell back after a poor start from second on the grid.
Alonso’s teammate Felipe Massa finished fourth in an encouraging performance by Ferrari while Lewis Hamilton in his first drive for Mercedes was fifth.
Webber was sixth ahead of Force India’s Adrian Sutil, back after a year’s absence, who had led for two spells.
Suiil’s teammate Paul di Resta, McLaren’s Jenson Button and Lotus driver Romain Grosjean completed the leading 10.
Hamilton’s teammate Nico Rosberg retired with an electronic problem close to the halfway stage.