Renault powered Lotus team saw Kimi Raikkonen win the 2013 Australian Grand Prix in style as the team made use of clever strategy to keep the Finn ahead of his rivals. The start of the race saw most of the drivers leave the starting position with super-softs on except for Adrian Sutil who started with medium compound tyres. After a good start which saw Raikkonen in the fifth position, the Finn decided to go in for an early tyre change on lap 9 after which a timely managed second pit stop on lap 34 saw him racing out in the front as Vettel, Hamilton, Massa and Alonso were forced to make another stop. Team mate, Romain Grosjean ended the race in 10th place.
Jenson Button was the first to go in and swap super-softs for medium compound as early as the fourth lap. The race saw Sebastian Vettle capitalize on his pole position start before he stopped to change tyres and was forced to race with Hamilton, Sutil and Massa before he came in third. Mark Webber had a tough time as his kinetic energy recovery system wasn’t working properly. However he did well to come in sixth. For the Williams F1 team, V. Bottas did quite well to come in 14th on his debut race. However, team mate Pastor Maldonado retired following a spin. A fuel system problem ruled out Hulkenberg from taking part in the Australian GP.
Rémi Taffin, Renault Sport F1 head of track operations had this to say, “After one of the quickest and busiest winter breaks in a long time, it’s good to open our account with a win. Congratulations to our teams and well done to the teams back at Viry and Mecachrome. The field is more competitive than even last year and getting every last detail correct makes a big difference, so we need to keep pushing even harder this season. We can take confidence from seeing two Renault-engined teams on the podium early in the year, and we would be delighted to see both Lotus and Red Bull fighting for wins in the races to come. We will also work as hard as ever with Williams and Caterham in the tight midfield. The Malaysian Grand Prix now comes up very quickly and presents a very different challenge to Albert Park so we will keep the hammer down and try to maintain the performance and reliability we’ve seen in this race.”