17/03/13 - 07:00
Finished
Australian Grand Prix
LIVE
Albert Park • Race
avant-match

Race

Follow the Australian Grand Prix live with Eurosport. The race starts at 07:00 on 17 March 2013. Find race results, standings, stats, scores and track info. Keep up with the top F1 drivers and teams including Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Valteri Bottas (Mercedes) and Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing).
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30
Toby Keel
Highlights 
 
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Many thanks for joining us this morning - Kimi Raikkonen was simply unbeatable today, and on this evidence will be a very strong contender for the title this season. We'll be back on Friday as free practice gets the weekend of the Malaysian Grand Prix under way. See you then!

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Fernando Alonso comes second, Sebastian Vettel comes third, with Massa, Hamilton and Webber making up the top six.

58/58

KIMI RAIKKONEN WINS THE AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX!

58/58 

Into the final lap now, and Kimi Raikkonen is about to announce himself as a serious title contender with an asbolutely magnificent drive in what appears to be an asbolutely magnificent F1 car.

57/58 

Alonso lost a full four seconds in that incident with Charles Pic - and Kimi Raikkonen will win this Grand Prix!

56/58 

Alonso's last chance of winning this race goes as back-marker Charles Pic swerves in front of him and almost takes him out. Ferrari's man avoids disaster, but almost comes to a complete stop.

55/58 

Raikkonen eases off a little on that last lap, but only because he now knows this one is in the bag - only a mistake can stop him now.

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A nice close-up slow-mo from the TV producers show Raikkonen's tyres are starting to crumble a bit, but nothing like as badly as most of his competitors have done at the end of a stint. This Lotus looks very light on its feet.

54/58 

Alonso takes over half a second out of Raikkonen in that last lap, but it's still 6.5 seconds between first and second. Sutil, meanwhilem is being caught by team-mate Di Resta at an incredible rate.

53/58 

Raikkonen driing smoothly, calmly, still 7.1 seconds ahead - only his tyres falling off a cliff could stop him now.

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Sutil's tyres looks totally wrecked now - he's pitched for a miracle this afternoon, in defiance of the blue flags flown by patronising stewards who assume a Force India must be a back marker.

52/58

Sutil loses track position to Hamilton and the former champion goes through - and now Mark Webber makes it past him as well.

51/58 

Hamilton denied a pass on Sutil and the end of the pit straight - up ahead, Alonso takes another 0.1 out of Raikkonen, but it's clear now that he does not have the pace to win this race.

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Lewis Hamilton enjoying a great battle with Adrian Sutil for fifth place -- the Mercedes man is going far quicker, and is almost up on Sutil's rear.

50/58 

Alonso closes the gap a little on that last lap, but he's still 7.55 seconds behind. Vettel looks certain to pick up third place - he's well behind Alonso, and three seconds ahead of Massa.

49/58 

A few more spots of rain falling now, but doesn't look like being more than light drizzle.

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Raikkonen is stretching his lead despite Alonso having clear track - the Finn simply has brilliant pace today, as well as superior strategy.

48/58 

Raikkonen is increasing that lead all the time - but that should change as Alonso finally gets past Chilton and van der Garde.

47/58 

Alonso being held up even more now as he gets stuck behind a fight for lower order spots between Giedo van der Garde and Max Chilton. Raikkonen now seven seconds clear!

46/58

Sutil gets given the blue flags - even though he should not let Alonso past, since he's well and truly in this race. Sutil knows to ignore them, but Alonso manages to get passt thanks to some well-timed DRS boost.

45/58 

This race is still in the balance - Raikkonen a slight favourite, and becoming more so as Sutil holds him up on this lap.

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Alonso gets past the back markers who had held him up a bit, and is back on a flyer - he's closing up to within a second of Sutil.

44/58 

Fernando has chopped a second out of Raikkonen in the first two-thirds of the current lap - but gives it all back and then some as he almost gets tangled with traffic! Raikkonen gets past Sutil at last, and all of a sudden his advantage is back up to 4.5 seconds.

43/58 

Lewis Hamilton gives up on that previous set of tyres and comes in for a fresh set.

42/58

Mark Webber is back trying to challenge Paul Di Resta for eighth place - and he takes him coming into the chicane with some nerveless braking.

41/58 

Alonso has trimmed two seconds out of Raikkonen in the last couple of laps - outstanding driving from the Ferrari star.

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Nico Rosberg reports that his race was ended by an electric problem - he also says that it's very hard driving in the comparative cool conditions of 17 degrees.

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Felipe Massa scythes past Lewis Hamilton, who is struggling slightly on this latest set of tyres.

40/58

Alonso comes into the pits - another blistering stop by the Ferrari crew! He comes out five seconds behind Raikkonen, and just ahead of Hamilton and Vettel... and just in time to see Vettel pass Hamilton in his rear view mirror.

39/58 

Force India's pit radio has just told Sutil "don't waste time with Raikkonen" - in other words, defending an artificial second place makes no sense when he needs to stop anyway, and will only cost him time... and a potential podium finish.

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With Massa coming in, Alonso now leads by 10.5 seconds from Sutil and 13 still from Raikkonen - but Sutil will need to stop again.

38/58 

Felipe Massa comes in for fresh tyres and rejoins the race in sixth.

37/78 

Fernando Alonso is away and clear - but his key statistic is that he's 13 seconds ahead of Raikkonen. With a pit stop costing 25 seconds or so, he really needs to increase that hugely...

36/58 

Lewis Hamilton comes onto the radio complaining about his new tyres - the low track temperatures are not good for the rubber, some drivers have said, and it seems all is not well with the Merc.

35/58 

Raikkonen must be favourite for this race now - he will certainly make it to the end of the race on these new tyres, while everyone ahead of him will need a stop.

34/58 

Kimi Raikkonnen comes into the pits - and comes back out in fifth place.

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Raikkonen still leads, Alonso second, Vettel third, Sutil fourth, Massa fifth and Paul Di Resta sixth as we stand - though Raikkonen is due a stop at any moment.

33/58 

27 laps left, and Lewis Hamilton managed 23 on his second set of tyres. With the lighter fuel load, he might well avoid having to stop again...

32/58 

Smooth driving from Alonso in executing that pass - while Hamilton, having lost his spot, limits the damage by coming into the pits immediately.

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Hamilton locks his brakes - but stays ahead of Alonso on the penultimate corner, only to lose out almost immediately as he was out of position.

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Lewis Hamilton asks his pit crew if Alonso is on a three stop - "yes, but we still want to keep him behind" comes the answer.

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Fernando Alonso has closed right up behind Lewis Hamilton - the former team-mates will go wheel-to-wheel here...

31/58

The rain is here - just enough to grease up the track a bit, not enough to justify a switch to intermediates.

30/58 

Raikkonen is warned to stay out for the brief shower that we're now getting - umbrellas and ponchos come out among the crowd. Lotus's star will be delighted that the rain will soothe his ageing tyres.

29/58 

Raikkonen has stretched his lead over Lewis Hamilton out to nearly 13 seconds - both drivers now seem certain to be going for a two-stop strategy, something which a bit of rain will only help them with.

28/58 

"Light drops of rain, but don't expect a lot" Red Bull tell their drivers over the pit radio.

27/58 

Nico Rosberg goes out! He was in third place, but the car shoots out a plume of thick white smoke - rather like the cardinals choosing a Pope - and grinds to a halt. Possible gearbox problem, given his niggles earlier in the weekend.

26/58 

Raikkonen currently leads from Hamilton, with Rosberg in third place - but all three have only stopped once so far.

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Pastor Maldonado goes out - the Williams spins off and gets stuck in the gravel on the last turn, just as he was about to come into the pits.

25/58

Rain expected in eight minutes!

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Poor stop for Massa he was looking in great shape earlier, but is now sevemth and seemingly an also-ran. Ahead of him Vettel is now right up behind Alonso.

24/58 

Felipe Massa comes into the pits now - aand he comes back out behind Alonso, Vettel and Sutil.

23/58

Sebastian Vettel goes past Adrian Sutil! Brilliant bit of driving round the outside followed by some late braking.

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Felipe Massa is our leader - but he is sure to come in to the pits soon.... unless he tries to make it with just two stops?

22/58 

Sutil beats Vettel out of the pits! But he loses the lead in any case as Fernando Alonso has stormed round since changing tyres, and now grabs the initiative.

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Sutil is coming in at last - and Vettel is coming in too!

21/58 

Alonso re-emerges in seventh place - and up ahead of him, Vettel almost loses it on turn 1. Looks like the world champion needs new tyres again already...

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Sutil is actually growing his lead - and now Fernando Alonso is in for his second stop.

20/58 

Sutil remains 1.5 seconds ahead of Vettel, and in the lead - he's simply not being caught, and he doesn't appear to be struggling for grip. Meanwhile, it looks like Raikkonen is coming in for a second stop.

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Mark Webber darts into the pits - he was going nowhere in bad traffic, seems like he just decided to take a punt on making an early change.

19/58 

Lewis Hamiton's pit crew tell him over the radio that he's "doing a great job" and that his "pace is just what you need". He's 10.5 seconds behind Raikkonen - so it seems likely Mercedes are trying a two-stop strategy as well.

18/58 

The leaders still stuck behind Sutil - the only reason he's not being blue flagged is because he is yet to stop, incidentally. He's still going strong - maybe Force India have hit upon some miraculous strategy?

17/58 

Latest weather reports suggest that this will be a dry race now - all the teams quickly making sure they're set up for dry tyres.

16/58 

Vettel has run into Adrian Sutil, and can't get past the Force India back marker - Sutil is actually keeping the world champion at bay quite easily, and the two Ferraris and Kimi Raikkonen are all closing right up on him in a line.

15/58 

Nico Rosberg comes into the pits now - and almost takes out Jenson Button as he emerges from the pits. Mark Webber is right behing them too, and we're looking at a three-way battle here for ninth place for the next few laps.

14/58 

Mercedes have their mechanics out to change tyres this time round - and Lewis Hamilton comes in for tyrres. He emerges down in eighth place, showing just how much time he lost after that decent start.

13/58 

It seems that Hamilton and Rosberg are definitely trying to run this race with one stop fewer - Hamilton just been told over the radio that his tyres are good, his pace is good, and he's free and clear.

12/58 

Massa and Alonso are both struggling their way through traffic, but Vettel has found some clear air after scything past Sergio Perez. That's Vettel up to fourth, with the three men ahead of him yet to pit.

11/58 

Hamilton is almost four seconds ahead of team-mate Rosberg, but it's a matter of time before he too must come in for tyres.

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Pastor Maldonado makes a big blunder and is off onto the turf - a big help to Kimi Raikkonen, who emerged from the pits with Maldonando between him and Alonso.

10/58 

Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen both come into the pits now as well - Lewis Hamilton becomes the race leader.

9/58 

Felipe Massa comes in for tyres - an incredible stop, so quick it looks like he merely bounced up and down before roaring away.

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Kimi Raikkonen is storming at the moment - his tyres seem to be lasting much better than anyone else's, and he's a second a quicker on that last lap than Alonso. Almost within range to make a move...

8/58 

Our leader Vettel comes into the pits - Felipe Massa is the new leader of the race.

7/58 

Massa has trimmed that gap on Vettel to 0.83, and he's also opened up some space on Alonso behind him. Raikkonen a further two seconds back, with Hamilton and the rest of the field not even in sight - there are two races already.

6/58 

Are Red Bull struggling with tyres already? Mark Webber has come into the pits for a new set of boots.

5/58 

Vettel's gap has been trimmed in the last lap - it's not the German slowing, it's Massa picking up the pace and reeling him in.

4/58 

Jenson Button is in 9th place in the troubled new McLaren - but he's had to stop already, after just four laps, thanks to the raggedy tyres he was starting on.

3/58 

Vettel is off and away already, a good three seconds clear - with the Ferraris about the same amount clear of Raikkonen in fourth. Hamilton fifth, Nico Rosberg sixth, and Mark Webber down in a terrible seventh.

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Hamilton simply isn't as quick as Raikkonen on the straights - and this time he gets overtaken! That Lotus is simply blistering in a straight line.

2/58 

They come around the first lap and Hamilton is literally wheel to wheel with Raikkonen - slight contact between their tyres, but Hamilton stays ahead.

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Hamilton fighting off Raikkonen for all he's worth - up ahead, Alonso tries unsuccessfully to get past Massa on turn 12.

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Hamilton gets overtaken by Alonso, leaving the two Ferraris second and third - while Vettel is already pulling away.

1/58

And they're away! Great start from Vettel, but Massa has flown off the line and up into second place. Hamilton right behind him, Alonso alongside too... Webber dropped right back!

05:55 

The grid is cleared, and the parade lap gets under way. Race just moments off....

05:45 

There are gloomy skies at Albert Park, but no rain - at least not yet. There's still a fair chance of a downpour at some point.

05:40 

Welcome to our LIVE coverage of the opening Grand Prix of the season in Melbourne.