Kimi Raikkonen upstages big rivals to win Australian GP

Fernando Alonso of Ferrari was second, while pole sitter and three-time reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel was third in a Red Bull which struggled to preserve its tires. Force India pair Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta were seventh and eighth, ahead of McLaren's Jenson Button and Lotus' Romain Grosjean.

updated: March 17, 2013 15:05 IST
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Melbourne, Australia: Kimi Raikkonen cruised to victory at the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday while Formula One's title favorites labored behind him, announcing Lotus as a genuine championship contender in the season ahead.

Raikkonen took the lead for good on lap 43 of 58 in a race which had seven different leaders, and had the luxury of driving conservatively in the closing laps while Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel scrambled in vain to keep up. (See: The race in Pics)

The Finn needed only two pit stops compared to three stops for each of the six men who followed in his wake, and he became the 15th man in F1 history to record 20 grand prix wins.

"Our plan was to do two stops and though it's always difficult in the first races to know when to stop and not go too early, we got it exactly right," Raikkonen said.

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