Tweet from @lewishamilton: Today will be hard to beat the Bulls but will do all I can to fight. Sending out positive vibes to you all. Bless
Nico Hülkenberg is out of the race before it has begun. There is a "fuel systems issue" with the Sauber and he's out of the car, a disappointed man.
|1||S Vettel||Red Bull|
|2||M Webber||Red Bull|
|9||P Di Resta||Force India|
Martin Brundle fact: The safety car has been used in four of the last five races here.
Tweet from @GvanderGarde: Racing day..... After many years fighting , iam standing here and I will give everything to do well.. Proud To be Dutch!
Interview with Mark Webber: "Track's all dry, it's nice to have a bit of sun on our backs for once. It all feels good, we'll get her off the line and have a good race from there. I hope I can put a bit of heat on Vettel... tyres are the key of the day, obviously, strategy, see how long you can go sensibly without losing too much time."
Sauber's hopes will have to rest on Esteban Gutiérrez, who starts eighteenth after crashing during the first part of qualifying yesterday.
Stefano Domenicali also reiterates that understanding the tyres is going to be the most important point of the day. He doesn't think the supersoft tyres will last. "I don't think too many laps," he says.
Interview with Jenson Button: "We've just got to hope it rains for the start of the race. No, the tyres aren't pretty but what can you do? The rear tyres are completely grained which means you just don't get any grip from that tyre. Soon enough the ripples of rubber will fly off and there won't be anything left on the tyre. We'll see how many laps we can do, otherwise we'll be doing four stops."
On the grid, Sam Michael's having a good chat with Charlie Whiting.
Interview with Monisha Kaltenborn: "When we did the engine fire up, we saw we had an issue with the fuel systems and for safety reasons we decided not to drive the car. Disappointing for the driver, for us as well, because we were looking good here, I think we were in a good position, but safety is most important. We've not experienced the problem before, we've checked the other car."
It's looking pretty windy out there, the flags are flying strongly.
Giedo prepares for his debut race, via @MyCaterhamF1
The polls are closed, and 46% of readers think Vettel is going to win this race.
23% have gone for Mark Webber, the rest are slightly less significant. One of those front row boys for the win then!
85% have voted in favour of Kimi Räikkönen getting the better of Romain Grosjean, and 62% think there will be just one safety car over the next two hours.
Mechanics are poised by the tyre blankets, ready to whip them off and clear the grid.
The grid clears, the formation lap is about to begin.
Vettel leads the pack away, as one of the cars at the rear of the grid has their rain light on.
The top ten are all on supersoft tyres. Sutil, Pérez, Ricciardo and Maldonado are the only ones on the medium tyre.
Supersoft is the red sidewall, medium is the white.
Radio to various drivers discusses the weather, how cool it is and that there are showers fathering on the outskirts of the radar.
Vettel rounds the final corner, scaring off the seagulls as he goes, and he pulls to a halt in pole position.
The lights go out and we are go on the first race of 2013!!
Vettel has a scampy start, Webber gets bogged down by two Ferraris.
Massa is up into second, with Hamilton and Alonso right up there as well.
All the cars got away nice and cleanly, a great start by everyone!
Webber is down to seventh, he just went nowhere off the start.
Fernando Alonso pulled out a stunning move around the outside of Lewis Hamilton into turn three, to slip into third behind his teammate.
Alonso tries a move on Massa, but can't make it stick. Meanwhile, Hamilton is under pressure from Kimi Räikkönen.
The battling behind has allowed Vettel to pull out his traditional lead. Kimi gets past Hamilton to move up to fourth.
Grosjean had a poor start too, dropping back to 11th. That moves Button up to ninth, and he's sandwiched between two Force Indias.
Button pits. He's taken on the medium tyres early.
Webber also dives into the pitlane.
Grosjean and Gutiérrez also come in for some early stops. It's a slow stop for Webber.
Max Chilton reports on the radio he has front wing damage.
Vettel's lead is slowly being eaten away by the two Ferrari drivers, Massa is doing a great job keeping his teammate behind him, too.
Vettel comes in for a pit stop, which promotes Massa to the lead of the race. For now.
Race leader Massa comes in for his first stop, thus Alonso becomes the third leader of the day.
Alonso and Räikkönen take their turn in the pitlane, which leaves the two Mercedes out front.
Pastor Maldonado ran absolutely wide at the pitlane, leaving Alonso and Räikkönen to exit without pressure.
Most of the field have pitted now then, except the two Mercedes out front and Sutil in third. Sergio Pérez is also being light on his tyres in fifth. Ricciardo is the last of the runners yet to pit in ninth.
Massa and Alonso make their way past Pérez, the two Ferrari drivers in procession as they make their way through the field.
Pérez has been passed by four cars in two laps, he's going backwards and clearly struggling for grip.
Williams are not having a particularly good time of it, Bottas in 16th and Maldonado 17th. Behind them, a Marussia, two Caterhams, and another Marussia.
Hamilton pits from the lead.
Pic is told on the radio that Giedo is going to let him by. Team orders at the back of the field!
Rosberg now pits, which puts Adrian Sutil in the lead of the race - on his comeback! Vettel is hunting him down, though.
Rosberg came out of the pits right in the path of Jenson Button, 9th and 10th respectively.
Webber is also held up behind Button after his ridiculously poor start.
As ever, the engineers ask the impossible, Rosberg is told: "You need to look after these tyres, but keep Jenson behind you."
Bianchi is running well, the only one of the backmarkers that is keeping tabs on those in front.
Pérez finally comes in to the pit lane, clearly having enough of losing places out on track.
Van der Garde comes in for his second pit stop of the day.
There was a problem with the Caterham driver's tyre, he was called in after it was spotted on the pit wall.
|9||-7||P Di Resta||1|
Webber is back in the pit lane for his second stop, he's taken on medium tyres.
Bad day for Webber. A bad start, a bad pit stop, a second pit stop already, he's down fifteen places, currently 17th.
The Lotus mechanics head out into the garage with a fresh set of mediums, and it is Romain Grosjean who comes in to receive them.
In Rookie Watch, rethymno racer has spotted: Best rookie at the moment: Gutiérrez in P12
Button has also stopped for the second time, he's way down in 16th now as well.
Into the pit lane comes race leader Adrian Sutil, but Sebastian Vettel has followed him in.
Sutil is back out ahead of Vettel!
So, Massa is now leading the race, as Fernando Alonso sneaks past the exiting Sutil for fifth.
Vettel has now managed to get past Sutil, so he's up to fifth and now behind Alonso.
Felipe Massa comes in for his second stop, it's a super quick stop from Ferrari!
Incredible pit stop from Ferrari, but they left him out slightly too long and he's now stuck behind Sutil.
Looks like Sutil has set the fastest lap of the race so far. He's on it today!
Yellow flags as Pastor Maldonado is beached into the gravel, rear wheels spinning aimlessly.
Replays show he just hit the kerb, or the dirt, lost the back end and he was off into the gravel with no return.
The official F1 weather chaps say there may be rain expected as well.
Nico Rosberg pulled off track, slowing up his Mercedes and stopping, out of the race.
Rosberg climbs out of the car, the front of the Mercedes smoking gently.
Räikkönen is leading, as Massa lines up Sutil for a pass. There are spots of rain on the Ferrari's on-board camera.
Team radio to Räikkönen: "We're expecting a short light shower. If we can stay out, that'd be good."
Hamilton is left as the sole Mercedes representative, currently sitting in second place, with just the one stop so far.
Alonso is closing down Hamilton for second place. Lewis has to go defensive.
Hamilton locked up under pressure from Alonso, he comes into the pit lane for new tyres.
Ricciardo is the only man on the supersoft tyre at the moment, and he sets the fastest lap of the race so far.
Rosberg is back in the paddock, disappears into the hospitality unit, helmet on.
Kimi Räikkönen heads in for his second pit stop of the day, which puts Alonso into the lead of the race. Eric Boullier nods and claps on the pit wall, happy with the pit crew's work.
Hamilton gets on the radio, worrying about his tyres, he's not convinced they will last to the end of the race.
Massa comes into the pit lane, medium tyres going on the Ferrari.
Jean-Éric Vergne is currently sitting in tenth place, chasing down Romain Grosjean for more points.
Grosjean had a bad start, of course, but it wasn't as bad as some in his history!
Sebastian Vettel pits from fourth place, and he heads back out in fifth place as Hamilton speeds past.
Webber comes in for his third stop of the day, and drops down the order again.
Sutil is instructed not to waste time with Räikkönen. The Force India driver is still right up there, currently sitting second.
Alonso stops, promoting Sutil into the lead. The Spaniard is back out behind Kimi, in third place.
It looks like Kimi is doing a two-stop race, so both he and Alonso have stopped for the final time. If Fernando wants the win, he'll have to make the move on track.
Hamilton's concerns about his tyres have come to pass, and he can't defend from Massa as the Ferrari gets past.
Interview with Nico Rosberg: "There was some cuts before, so electronic problem. A lot of positives, massively quick in the wet, qualifying very quick. It's unusual conditions out there, dominated by graining on the tyre... we won't see that so much in the next races where it gets hot. I'm not really sure where Lewis is at the moment, we'll have to wait and see."
Daniel Ricciardo has pitted, and the Toro Rosso is pushed back in the garage, race seemingly over.
Webber gets aggressive and dives past Paul di Resta, moving up to eighth place.
Hamilton has switched to Plan B, which must be a three stop strategy, as he comes into the pit lane for another set of medium rubber.
Räikkönen has passed Sutil and moved into the lead of the race, and the Force India is falling into the clutches of Alonso as well.
Ricciardo retired with a broken exhaust, Ted Kravitz reports.
Fernando Alonso closes up to Sutil as they cross the line for another lap. Into turn three, the Ferrari moves past easily.
Thirteen laps to go, and Alonso has all the work to do to catch Räikkönen.
All remaining runners are on the medium compound, in various degrees of wear!
Sutil finally pits for the second time, takes on the supersofts, and he returns to the track in fifth place behind Felipe Massa.
Interview with Martin Whitmarsh: "I think we were hoping for a more chaotic race than we've had. The guys are doing a great job, I think there's a few cars ahead that will be struggling at the end... we may be able to catch them before the end of this race.
"They're both great drivers but Kimi deserves this, he's done a great job, but he's got a real challenge on his hands. Ten laps to go, it'll be quite tough for him.
"Force India have done a really excellent job on the tyres, Lotus looks very good as well. It's part of the challenge now of Formula One, lots of stops, lots of difficulties for all of us, but that's part of the show."
Bianchi told there is very light rain coming in on the radar.
Hamilton is right up behind Sutil now, the sometime friends fighting for fifth place. The Mercedes driver makes it stick, passing down the inside.
Pushed off line, Webber tries to head up the inside as well, but can't make it stick on the first attempt.
A couple more corners and the Red Bull is past as well. Sutil's dropped two places, but a closer look at his rear tyres show two clear back lines as the rubber is dropping off.
|8||1||P Di Resta||2|
Pérez instructed that the cars in front are starting to face tyre trouble, so if he keeps on keeping on, he might be able to pick up something in the next five laps. Pérez currently 12th.
Some super slo mo shots show epic graining on Kimi's tyres. Can he hold on for the final four laps?
The gap between Räikkönen and Alonso is still sitting at six seconds, the Ferrari not making any headway on the leader.
Di Resta is now closing the gap to his teammate Sutil, hoping to snatch 7th place from him in the final stages of the race.
Backmarker Charles Pic gets right in the way of Fernando Alonso, which doesn't help his challenge.
Pérez has closed up to hustle Grosjean for tenth place. Two laps to make the move.
Meanwhile, Kimi Räikkönen sets the fastest lap of the race.
Kimi crosses the line to lead the final lap of the race. He's unchallenged, but needs to hold on to his tyres.
Kimi Räikkönen wins the Australian Grand Prix!
Alonso crosses the line for second place, Vettel has to settle for third. Massa does a great job to come fourth.
Sutil managed to keep Di Resta behind him, and Grosjean also held off the late challenge from Pérez.
|N Hülkenberg||Fuel system||DNS|
All the rookies ended up at the back of the field (with bonus Pic): from 13th down, Gutiérrez, Bottas, Bianchi, Pic, Chilton and Van der Garde.
No Safety Car in the race today.
Alonso looks happy with the result today, as the drivers jog up the stairs to the podium. Alan Permane is the Lotus' representative.
The drivers emerge, step up onto the podium, and the Finnish national anthem rings out.
Alan Permane lifts the big round dish trophies into the air, big smiles all round.
Champaaaaaagne, and a lot of it goes straight in Kimi's face - from his own attempts to drink it, and from Vettel's onslaught.
Amazing scenes as all four chaps on the podium have beaming smiles. It's not often everyone is happy with their result like this!
Podium interview - Kimi Räikkönen: "That was our plan before the race, I was confident the tyres would be okay. I've had a good car all weekend, no issues with the tyres at all. I thought it should be easy to do it, I got a good start as well.
I had doubts because it's the first race, so you never know how it's going to go. I didn't do any long runs in the winter, really. I knew I had a good car so I had a feeling it would be a good race, but you have to get through the first laps and go from there.
Fernando was catching me at some point when I was taking it easy, then there was traffic, I just wanted to make sure if the rain comes or something happens, we had a bit more gap. The car has been very good all weekend, it was a nice race."
Podium interview - Fernando Alonso: "Fantastic! It was a fantastic race for us, fighting all through the race. Big thanks to all the fans all weekend. We felt sad when we postponed qualifying yesterday... today we had to put on a good show for everybody and I think we did it. It was action every lap, and I enjoyed it. At the end, I'm a bit sad not to win the race but Kimi was fantastic today, and we need to congratulate them for a fantastic race.
"It was not an easy race, at the beginning traffic... and then traffic with Sutil, some backmarkers as well, there were some tricky moments. But at the end, extremely happy. We had a difficult start to the season two years ago, last year as well, this year is different. We are optimistic."
Podium interview - Sebastian Vettel: "I think, first of all, we can be happy with today. Obviously we wanted more, when you start from pole you want to win. We could see after a very good start, the tyres were falling apart and we couldn't go as long as other people. Congratulations to Lotus.
"Little bit of a surprise that I was lacking one position, as Fernando passed us at the stop. We were third quickest in the race, I'm very happy to get third pace.
"I'm not worried. I think you have to admit sometimes that other people are faster. I think we have to be very happy today, we had a great qualifying session this morning. This afternoon didn't go quite the way we like, but it's a long season. Good points to start, we wanted a little bit more. There are always statistics that work for you and work against you. It was great fun today... it was a nice Grand Prix, looking forward to next week."
Vettel is getting booed up on the podium by the crowd. Bad form!
An eventful first of the year, with rain stopping play on Saturday, and a surprising change of leads during the race today.
Adrian Sutil took the gamble on the tyres, which propelled him forward for glory, but he was always going to have to take the cost later on in the race.
Red Bull were missing the pace they have so often shown here in Melbourne, but that by no means suggests they'll be off-form next week too. Webber needs to work on his starts... still.
A disappointing day for McLaren, as they only managed to squeeze Button into the points in ninth place. They're currently sixth in the constructor's standings.
Of the rookies, Bianchi appeared to do the best job of all, outclassing his teammate and his nearest rivals. It's hard to judge Gutiérrez as he had no benchmark, and Bottas deserves credit for not crashing out like his teammate.
Clearly there's some work to be done on Grosjean's side of the garage - he didn't cause a first lap pileup which is progress, but Kimi Räikkönen's confident win shows the performance he needs to find.
The Lotus victory came via a two-stop strategy, compared to all those around Räikkönen who came in three times. That could bode well for their tyre management in future races.
Thus, our attention starts to turn towards Malaysia, with back to back races meaning you don't have long to wait for more action.
Stay tuned to https://sidepodcast.com and http://f1minute.com for the news and reactions, plus build up to the next event. And join me then for more Factbyte Factboxing fun!
All content in the series Australia 2013
Filed under Lap by lap coverage
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