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Sunday, 17 March 2013

Kimi knocks one out of the Park (Albert)

Time seemed to slow down last week. Every minute seemed to be extended. If you and I concur on this insight then its probably because you, just like me, eat, sleep and breathe F1!

Yes, its finally here! And it could not have taken any longer. The 2013 Formula1 season kicked-off at the Albert Park, Melbourne with the Australian Grand Prix. The weekend was an unconventional one with Q2 and Q3 session of qualifying held on the morning before the race, due to rain playing spoilsport (seems to  be the case every where; check out India Vs Australia test series). At the end of qualifying many would have already written off the 2013 season as 'another red bull season' with the complete Red-Bull front row, but Australia had much more in store. Lewis Hamilton pulled off a very impressive P3 for his new team and was followed by the two Ferraris of Massa and Alonso (Yes! in that order!). Qualifying, just like the rest of the weekend, for the McLaren team was despicable. For full qualifying results visit http://www.formula1.com/results/season/2013/893/7190/


The start was rather uneventful, except for Mark Webber losing 5 places before the first turn. Massa gave his critics a little something to talk about when he exploded in the first few laps of the race. However his 'moment' was short lived as he had to give away his 2nd place to Alonso. The race provided the audiences with top quality racing from some of the world champions and other drivers such as Sutil. Adrian Sutil shocked most of us when we found him leading the race in front of Vettel and holding the position for a considerable amount of time (even with highly degraded tyres). Sutil showed F1 what they missed out on in the previous season. Nico Rosberg retired early in the race due to electrical problems in the car, and Lewis Hamilton fought very hard to maintain his spot with the top-runners. He finished 5th. Overall the Mercedes team looked much stronger this season and were able to provide good results all weekend long but failed to deliver when it mattered most. They seemed to have learnt well from their mistakes in the previous season, all they need is some fine tuning (pretty sure Ross Brawn would have plugged the leaks by next weekend). Tyre strategy played the biggest role in choosing the winner today, and Lotus got it just right. Kimi Raikonnen (on a two-stop strategy) pitted for the final time in the 34th lap and went on to win the race after 24 laps. The Lotus treats its tyres like a goddess and like Karun Chandok said, it looks like the top car to drive at Malaysia too. Fernando Alonso made the best move of the race when he out-witted Hamilton to steal a position but was just not good enough for the Lotus. He was satisfied with 2nd place finish (its been a while since he was on the Australian podium) but I'm sure he will have a bigger appetite going into the next weekend. Vettel completed the podium with his 3rd place but seemed pretty optimistic at the post-race interview. We certainly didn't get to see the 'Red-Bull' speed as expected and this is definitely going to keep Horner and Newey up at nights. Its back to the drawing board for the 3 time consecutive world champion and his team.  

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