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Posted By: James Allen  |  18 Mar 2013   |  1:58 am GMT  |  366 comments

In a race which saw five different leaders, Kimi Raikkonen managed a two-stop strategy to perfection to come out on top and secure his 20th career victory in the Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne’s Albert Park.

Fernando Alonso was the best of the three-stoppers, maximising his strategy to take second while Sebastian Vettel could not match his qualifying pace but dug deep to rescue what could prove a crucial third place.

Felipe Massa is back with a bang, outqalifying team mate Alonso and challenging for a podium, while Lewis Hamilton failed to make a two-stop strategy work, but battled hard to secure a strong fifth place on his Mercedes debut – well clear of his former team McLaren.

And what about Adrian Sutil? He came back from a year on the sidelines and rose from 12th place to lead the race before dropping to seventh as he struggled to maintain his pace on the super-soft tyres – but who was your Driver of the Day?

Kimi Raikkonen

Set himself up for victory with a brilliant long second stint on the medium tyres. Made an electric start from seventh, passing a number of cars, including the Mercedes of Hamilton, to run fourth after two laps. Kept pace with the leading trio, while conserving his tyres. A long second stint on the medium tyre provided the foundation for victory as it allowed him to make a two-stop strategy work – the only one of the top six who was able to do so. Inherited the lead and then pulled away, resisting a challenge from Fernando Alonso and even setting the fastest lap of the race at the end to show he had more life left in his tyres. Secured his 20th career victory and second for Lotus after his triumph in Abu Dhabi last season to lead the drivers’ world championship.

Fernando Alonso

Used the under-cut at the second stop to pass three cars for second place. Made a good start from fifth, taking advantage of a slow starting Mark Webber and passing Hamilton to run third. Passed team-mate Massa on lap one, but was repassed before the end of the lap. Used the under-cut to pass Massa, Sutil and Vettel before putting the hammer down in a bid to catch Raikkonen. Initially started to catch the Finn, but faded in the closing stages and almost collided with a Caterham while trying to lap the backmarker. Eased off the pace to finish second for a solid start to his campaign.

Sebastian Vettel

Produced another faultless performance in qualifying but couldn’t replicate that form in the race. Made a clean getaway from pole position, but couldn’t pull away from the rest of the field as he has so often done. Hauled back in by the Ferraris, but lost out to Alonso and Sutil at the stops. Spent several laps behind Sutil before finally passing the German for third but didn’t have the pace to catch Alonso or Raikkonen and settled for damage limitation and third place.

Felipe Massa

Outqualified Ferrari team-mate Alonso and though the Brazilian lost out to the Spaniard in the race, he still finished a strong fourth. Made a great start to run second after the first lap and showed good pace to keep up and then close on leader Vettel. Kept his team-mate behind him for the first two stints but lost out to Alonso when the Spaniard gambled on coming in earlier on his third stop and successfully achieved the undercut. Overall showed good pace throughout the race and finished a solid fourth.

Lewis Hamilton

Declared himself happy with fifth place on his Mercedes debut despite failing to make a two-strategy work. Lost out to both Ferraris at the start and then tried to conserve his tyres in the opening two stints. Heavily locked his front right tyre when trying to defend against Alonso which forced an early second stop. As a result, he was unable to complete the final 27 laps on that set of tyres, forcing him to pit for a third time before crossing the line in fifth.

Adrian Sutil

Led the race on two occasions but finished seventh as he struggled in his final stint. Started12th on the medium tyres and showed good pace the first stint while looking after his tyres. That allowed him to go deep into the race and take the lead while his rivals pitted early. Another good middle stint allowed him to retake the lead, but pushed too hard after his second and final stop on the super-soft tyres and went backwards, eventually finishing seventh. Nonetheless, it was an impressive performance in his first race back after a year out.

So who was your Driver of the Day? Leave a comment at the bottom of this story. 

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366 Comments
  1. Kevin says:

    Kimi Raikkonen

      1. KRB says:

        Totally. An easy one.

        Not to say there weren’t a plethora of good drives throughout the grid on Sunday; there were. But Kimi’s was the best of all, hands down.

    1. Slueth says:

      Of the front runners Kimi has to get my vote. Kimi followed by Fernando and Seb. It looks like Button, Hulkenberg, Rosberg, and Perez all need to up their game.

      Of the middle order drivers, matters are a bit more complicated. Massa, Lewis and Sutil for sure. And I’d also include Vergne, Chiltern and Di Resta too. Excellent drives by all.

      Should be a good year for F1.

      1. Rayz says:

        Chilton and Di Resta too?????

        The pair of them pretty much had the entire testing program to themselves within their respective teams/ Bianchi and Sutil only got their 2013 seats at the last moment and yet still, outperformed the two brits.

        Take off the rose tinted glasses.
        It was Sutil and Bianchi that imprressed.

      2. Chris says:

        Hulkenberg didnt even race…

      3. Juho says:

        Why Rosberg? He was just behind Hamilton and having a strong race. He didn’t make any mistakes. His car let him down.

    2. Dan says:

      Definetely agree.

    3. Rayz says:

      1. Raikkonen
      2. Sutil
      3. Bianchi

      1. Daniel Spiller says:

        + 1

    4. Barry mc manus says:

      Think raikkonen for the front runners but what about bianchi, he finished a lap ahead of his team mate who has had far more time in the car

    5. Quercus says:

      Kimi.

  2. Charles says:

    Martin Whitmarsh and the McLaren technical team

    1. Pete_Nepal says:

      hihi. made me lol.

    2. I will says:

      1) Kimi ( by a mile)
      :
      :
      :
      2) Sutil
      3) Hamilton
      4) Alonso
      5) Massa

      1. Carlo_Carrera says:

        You must be joking. How is Hamilton your number 3? He start third a finished fifth. Five other drivers at least had better races than him.

  3. Mike from Colombia says:

    Sutil….great comeback

    1. Horno says:

      Agree!!
      Not my favorite driver, but the guy deserves credit for his race yesterday!

    2. Wayne says:

      Errrr…… Kimi Sutil all the way for me!

    3. **Paul** says:

      For me it’s a tough call between Jules and Adrian Sutil. Both put in awesome performances, with less testing mileage than their team mates and looked better drivers over the entire weekend. I also feel a superior strategy for both drivers (moving to supersoft with too many laps remaining) would have seen them both place higher in the final standings.

      Interesting to note on 1 lap pace the teams seem to be spread like so:
      1.) RBR
      2.) Mercedes/Ferrari
      4.) Lotus

      Yet on race pace, which as we know is far more important it’s more like:

      1.) Lotus
      2.) Ferrari
      3.) Red Bull
      4.) Mercedes

      If that pattern is repeated it’s looking very much like Ferrari have hit the sweet the spot with their car, and Alonso needn’t worry about not having the best car, as he perhaps currently does. That said, the temperature difference in Malaysia could be enough to swing things round again.

      1. **Paul** says:

        One final point, it’s worth noting that Grosjean didn’t have the same parts on his car as Kimi until Saturday morning, so only got a couple of laps to set his car up with the new parts on. I expect Romain to be much closer to Kimi in MAL.

      2. Candice says:

        Funny you should say…kimi had the least mileage among the stable drivers lineup, just briefly above sutil and bianchi that was emergency swapped in.

        kimi didnt had new rw and fw until Saturday.

        Ted Kravit just trying too hard to find the reasoning.

        Imo, it was due to setup differences, as Romain said after qualifying they opted for different setup direction as felt happy with it.

      3. Dren says:

        I think we need a few more races, but I think the Mercedes race pace is probaby a bit better. If they would have planned for the three stop from the get-go, I think they could have at least jumped Massa.

      4. Kimi4WDC says:

        Did you watch qualifying? How can you conclude a one lap pace from that? Interesting.

    4. Wheels says:

      Hey, Mike!

      Got to agree with you, there! Sutil’s first race after a year layoff–if he really had a car and strategy capable of winning, he’d have done it….

      But the next race at Malaysia will hip everyone to the early season pecking order. I have to say that, the Lotus of Räikkönen cornered on rails…. Otherwise, can’t really say until next weekend!

    5. Rishi says:

      Adrian Sutil for me as well. Still think Force India should have gone for Jules Bianchi on the basis of potential/giving a youngster a chance but got to hold my hand up and say Sutil did really well running at the front for so long in the race. That said, Bianchi also made an impressive debut though we didn’t see much of him, sadly.

      Fine start to the season for Raikkonen; can Lotus keep it up in Malaysia? Certainly looks like they’ll be up there this season but wary that the first race of any season tends to inspire knee-jerk reactions.

  4. vipsta says:

    Jules Bianchi. He drove a stellar race!

    1. Alanis Morrisette says:

      This Bianchi bandwagon is getting rather full now. You would think he was the second coming with all the plaudits he’s getting for his 11th place fastest lap/solid practice sessions. I can only attribute this to a media team that is clearly superb at getting his name mentioned at any opportunity – witness Johnny Herbert eulogising about him yesterday.

      That said – he is a fabulous prospect, and possibly the finest talent I’ve seen in motorsport since Senna.

    2. captainj84 says:

      +1 His fastest lap was 1:30.454 compared to Chiltons 1:32.210 … brilliant!

      1. Alanis Morrisette says:

        Not to be disparaging, but making comparisons using a Max Chilton lap time is similar to using a fork to eat soup. Pointless. I’m sure he’s a lovely guy – and very cute, but he’s not really F1 material.

      2. I fully agree that Jules was one of the stand out drivers of the day, but his lap time that was 2 seconds faster than his teammate was actually posted on 1 lap old super softs with 7 or so laps to go, while his teammates best time was set on 14 lap old mediums with 9 laps to go.

        The statistic is kinda skewed unless we look at the full picture.

        My drivers of the day were Alonso, Kimi and Jules.

    3. Mark J says:

      I’m with you Vipsta. Obviously the guys up front deserve credit, especially Kimi. But Bianchi drove well for his first race. Dominated his team mate and the lacklustre Caterham’s while staying in touch with the Williams for almost the whole race.

      1. Dren says:

        Right, he drove a good race, but he doesn’t have much competition at the back either. I’ll hold judgement off on him for a few more races.

  5. Basil says:

    Kimi Raikkonen!!!

  6. Andy R says:

    Hi James, Maybe you could introduce a Team of the day or a “strategy call/defining moment” of the day. Would be more interesting and insightful.

    For example, Alonso calling his second stop stop on and leap frogging Vettel and Massa.

    Or Raikonnen overtaking Sutil so that Alonso doesn’t catch him. I think that was masterclass.

  7. JSHT says:

    Massa for me. Outshone Alonso this weekend until a poor strategic ‘error’ by Ferrari.

    1. Offdutyrockstar says:

      Massa has already admitted that the error was his. Alonso made the call to come in early NOT the team and Massa declined the same strategy as he felt it was too early.

      1. ll says:

        PR talk by Massa. What you think he is going to sday “yeah Ferrari screwed me again to favor Alonso’s race while I was in front”?

        He got canned, as usual.

      2. Justin says:

        That call was all alonso. As a Ferrari fan i’ve been watching Massa for several years now and one of the most frustrating things about him is that he relies far too much on the the team to tell him when to and not to pit. Alonso worked out for himself that being stuck in a line behind Sutil, Massa, and Vettel was not going to allow his tires last for a 2 stop strategy. Once he realized this, he made his own call to switch to a three stop and undercut the others. Felipe waits for the team to tell him what to do, Fernando figures it out while he’s driving and decides for himself. I noticed this almost right away the first season they were together. Fernando has a much better strategical mind. He is able to work out the strategies for himself while he is driving. It’s quite amazing actually.

      3. Mike84 says:

        Thought I heard him ask Smedley, “What are we going to do?” and he was told to “get on with it, lad”. So that sounds like the wall was telling him to stay out. Did I miss something?

        TBH, Alonso seemed faster than him and might have been able to win if hadn’t been bottled up behind Massa for so long. I can see some logic in letting your team-mate by if he’s right on your tail for a long time, otherwise it hurts the team. If Ferrari did arrange it, that’s fair enough, it was putting the eggs in 2 baskets with slightly different strategies.

    2. hero_was_senna says:

      Yes, I agree, out qualified Alonso by 3/1000ths of a second. Qualifying being one of the disciplines that was never one of Alonso’s strong suits/
      Trulli and Hamilton regularly were ahead.
      Then in the race, from practically the first lap, his defence of his place against, an obviously quicker, Alonso was robust.
      Fair play to the little man from Brazil, but he’s not in Alonso’s league, no matter how many people suggest otherwise.
      Massa is similar to Rosberg, Barrichello, DC and the Webber’s of this world. Great 1.5 drivers. Better than a number 2 but not quite a number 1

      1. Justin says:

        Alonso’s DRS malfunction on his Quali lap and it wasn’t open for the entire start/finish straight. With his wing open probably picks up a tenth or two.

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        I didn’t watch qualifying. Now that gives it a new angle..

    3. Anil says:

      Really? He was awful in the race; unable to get close to the slower Red Bull and held Alonso up. Didn’t know why he didn’t gamble like Alonso did either as he was going nowhere and probably cost Ferrari and chance at a win.

      He’s much improved.

      1. Adriano says:

        I don’t know fella, Massa was quick this weekend and I think Ferrari threw away a double podium by not providing him a decent strategy. It’s almost like he’s left to run around on his own sometimes (or until he’s required for team strategy!).

      2. Justin says:

        Massa was trying for a two stop, hoping he could get in front of Sutil quickly and then make his tires last once out of his wake. He took too long and then had to switch to a non-optimal 3 stop. Alonso was behind 3 people and knew he wouldn’t even have a chance at making a 2 stopper work so he just changed to a 3 stop on his own.

  8. Hon Yian says:

    Alonso and Kimi!

    1. Justin says:

      Agreed: kimi won the race by driving faultlessly, but alonso made the key decision that put him second instead of 3rd or 4th.

  9. Garriel says:

    ALO did great, but RAI’s pace was really impressive and he neither made mistakes

  10. gudien says:

    My Star of the Race was Mark Webber. No other ‘top line’ F-1 driver has the ability to make poor starts race after race and maintain his job. My hat is off to him.

    1. Matthew Vennard says:

      He as is often the case had problems that were not of his making.

      1. gudien says:

        Right

    2. Mohammed Al-Momen says:

      Apparently is was due some electronic failure that also gave him issues with KERS at the start.

      1. Glennb says:

        It was his ECU apparently, supplied by McLaren.
        He was 17th at one stage. Ended up 6th. Not bad considering.

    3. Random 79 says:

      Sad but true

  11. tom in adelaide says:

    KR.

    One of the easier posts to make.

  12. C Lin says:

    Kimi. Win, fastest lap & nice overtakes.

  13. Vel says:

    Sorry, it was Alonso.

  14. MF1 says:

    Kimi by a mile

  15. Dario says:

    Adrian Sutil and Paul De Rista driving a customer McLaren finished in front of McLaren. I think that says it all for driver quality in that McLaren. I am just worried McLaren will go the same way as Williams employing second rate drivers to bring in funds. I have a feeling that McLaren would have been much faster car if it was driven by Nico Hulkenburg. Pastor Maldono must bring in heaps of money as the mistakes he is making are costing Williams dearly. It is a shame, such a proud team like Williams should have a star driver to lead and push the team forward, current situation will ruin the team reputation.

    1. FerrariFan says:

      +1

  16. Jomar says:

    Kimi was my driver of the day; with high marks to Sutil. Kimi had the best of starts and drove a perfect race. Sutil was unfortunate with the strategy, going on the super soft’s too early.

    What a great start to 2013!

  17. Eduardo Gutierrez says:

    Kimi Raikkone, I hope that Lotus can macht de upgrades

  18. Random 79 says:

    I reckon Massa, with Raikkonen a very close second.

  19. Eduardo Gutierrez says:

    Kimi Raikkonen, his drive was impecable,I hope tha Lotus can get the upgrades

  20. Anant Deboor says:

    7th on the starting grid.
    First to the flag.
    One less stop.
    Set fastest lap on worn tyres on the penultimate lap.
    Could up the pace at will.

    How can it be anyone by Kimi…

    1. Persi says:

      Great summary.

    2. unF1nnished business says:

      +1

    3. Justin Bieber says:

      I would agree, but after Kimi said it was one of his easiest win, I would say Alonso.

      1. Candice says:

        for his talent it was easy. For us spectator, it was clear that he was racing very intelligently by keeping a 2 sec gap to fernando on 2nd stint to kept him away from the sutil train and conserve tyre. While everyone were burning their tyre upfront, kimi made 2 pits strategy work.

        Superb race craft. And without a cracking start, it would be hard to fight for the top3.

      2. Doohan says:

        This is an underrated point I noticed trackside.
        He closed at a rapid rate of knots every lap until a clear 2-3 second window where you could see him taking it easy through 1&2.
        Saving the tyres expertly as what Alonso tried to do in Monaco last year.

      3. Elie says:

        When a driver does a perfect race and the team make the best possible strategy it alway seems easy- does it make him any less worthy ? – I very much doubt it- he passed two cars at the start and had to pass 2 more. He was super on Sunday & he is very under stated – that’s why he is the best

  21. Scuderia McLaren says:

    Drivers of the day:

    Raikkonen (won and made most places from grid pos to secure win. Made a hard strategy work. Classic Raikkonen.)

    Sutil (first drive back after 1 year with almost no testing. Out qualified Di Resta, who has had 2 continuous years and solid test program. Produced a strong drive, led for a bit, fought with Alonso, Hamilton etc strongly and respectfully and brought the most F-India pts home. He will only get better as he gets comfortable. His native pace is clearly faster than Di Resta, who is going to be finished in F1 after this year I think. 3 years of being beaten by team mates where 2 of those were a rookie team mate or returning rusty team mate wont endear him to any top teams.)

    Massa (Welcome back you fiery Brazilian.Excellent quali, excellent start, great mid race but need to maintain and push like Alonso till end. Welcome back anyway.

    1. Andrew M says:

      Sutil didn’t out qualify di Resta. In fact, his whole race strategy was based on the fact he qualified outside the top 10.

      1. Scuderia McLaren says:

        Point taken. I got mixed up with the quali. Was thinking of another team. Incidentally I think this point you mentioned makes Sutil’s race drive and the beating of Di Resta even more impressive.

    2. Offdutyrockstar says:

      Although I agree with you that Sutil is a quicker and more complete driver then DiResta, please get your facts right. DiResta qualified 9th, Sutil 12th.

      1. Scuderia McLaren says:

        Point taken. I got mixed up with the quali. Was thinking of another team. Incidentally I think this point you mentioned makes Sutil’s race drive and the beating of Di Resta even more impressive.

    3. hero_was_senna says:

      Hello my friend, at last a voice of reason regarding Massa.
      The most accurate description of Massa I have read for some time.
      That is the fundamental difference between him and Alonso.
      Or between an ordinary driver and a true champion.

      1. Scuderia McLaren says:

        Hiya HWS. Thanks for the kind words. Very impressed with Massa, his reinvention of himself. That takes strength of character. Alonso will be tested by a driver that I think is very fast. Alonso will likely hit a new level of competitiveness as a result. Happy days at Ferrari.

      2. Onko says:

        Hey there Scud McLaren,a fair crack of a whip
        as to your little HERO Massa,he wanted to
        prove the point,and in doing so depraved
        Alonso and his team of victory,when Alonso
        jumped him and Vettel, Alonso was quickest
        lap after lap reducing Raikkonen lead to 6 s
        if Massa allowed Alonso to pass when he was
        passed Alonso would have been ahead of Kimi
        not behind,as for all those that beat the
        drum saying Kimi the graetest, they don’t
        want to know that Kimi had a FULL 25+ second
        start from the entire field and as he says
        the easiest race he had won.
        Cheers.

      3. Scuderia McLaren says:

        I didnt know Kimi had a full 25+ sec head start?! Did Charlie Whiting see it! I thought they had to all start from behind the same start/finish line in their respective grid spots.

        Hopefully, Kimi’s unfair advantage will be investigated and his subsequent win stripped from the record. Though I suppose they didnt strip Alonso of Singapore a few years ago, so it’s unlikely that they will strip Kimi.

      4. Onko says:

        I meant A pit stop in Melboure F1 is a 25 s
        in the second stint everyone went for three
        stoper Kimi only done two,had Massa allow
        Alonso through with all the probability
        Alonso would only do two stops as well as
        he would not need to push hard.
        Good luck to Kimi, anyway its yesterday
        bread.
        Cheers

  22. Peter Dab says:

    Kimster, cool and measured, with a couple of aggressive passes when needed.
    His engineer didn’t even try to offer guidance….

  23. Tim says:

    Wow who would have guessed Alonso finishes ahead of his teammate. It is becoming rather tedious to watch this team, especially when they make it sound like it is all driver success. Ah well at least we can enjoy the Iceman’s return and wait and see the title battle this year.

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      …nice but dim

      1. albert says:

        ha ha

  24. Andy says:

    Adrian. For being out for a year and coming back fighting and smart.

  25. TDog says:

    A. Sutil

  26. mosar says:

    Kimi Raikkonen obviously :D

  27. Bobdredds says:

    Nico Hulkenberg, for his patience.

    1. Vasu says:

      Ha ha. It’s better he starts the next year from MAL.

      1. Prashant says:

        haha yeah!
        looks like he’s cursed

    2. Bobdredds says:

      I think in the race:

      1 Kimi
      2 Fernando
      3 Felipe

      Special mention:
      Adrian Sutil
      Jules Bianchi
      Max Chilton, he did better than I thought and shows glimpses of something.

      Seb lost 2 places, those 3 gained places. I wonder if this is a hiccup for Red Bull or a more fundemental issue with the car. Their philosophy of going for pole and controlling the race from the front won’t work if it costs them in tyre life against cars a couple of tenths behind with better tyres. They are going to have to change their tactics radically this season if they want to retain the championships IMHO. Either way it doesn’t look like anyone’s going to run aay with it anytime soon. Yippee!

  28. Raffles says:

    Kimi Raikkonen – the iceman drove a perfect

  29. Brace says:

    Alonso for me.

  30. Jackson says:

    Kimi was impressive but Sutil had to be driver of the race since he came back after a year to lead the race

  31. kev says:

    Why is sutil here.. he lead the Gp because he was out of position. The only reason he lead is because he had not used the super soft tyres at that point… baffled..

    Massa was robbed again by the reds ..

    1. Offdutyrockstar says:

      It was Massa’s own call not to follow Alonso’s risky but inspired call to come in early. The man himself has clarified as such;

      http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/106129

      1. Bobdredds says:

        Agreed, Fernando did nothing wrong. But annoyed that he missed the podium, I like that. What a difference a year makes, he believes he can beat Fernando but he will have to take the same risks as well as being fast. I for one would like to see Felipe as WDC 2013.

      2. Elie says:

        Yes but if Ferrari new Fernando was going to undercut- do you honestly believe Felipe or any driver would not have pitted first or demanded it ??.. Seriously people wake up !

  32. Bo Amato says:

    I think it’s a toss up between Kimi and Fernando. Give the edge to the current Ferrari driver. Some brave overtaking moves. Used his intelligence to jump some places on his second stop, then drove at 10/10ths to get the job done.

    1. Fernando
    2. Kimi
    3. Felipe

    1. Candice says:

      kimi made some ballsy move on lewis and sutil too . In fact, alonso was struggling to overtook sutil and losing time to kimi on the last stint.

    2. Elie says:

      and who won the race from 7th ? – your dreaming Ferrari head

      1. KRB says:

        Yeah, agree. Alonso drove well, but c’mon, it’s gotta be Kimi. That was the furthest back someone’s won in Melbourne in a SC-less GP for a long time (there was a story with the stat, but can’t find it now).

  33. Pete_Nepal says:

    Everyone was really at their best! But I think Sutil gets props for being out of the sport for a year and still driving to lead the GP twice. nicely done!

    1. Chris H says:

      I agree wholeheartedly. I can’t remember how long it’s been since I last thought that there was so much excellence up and down the grid. With the possible exception of Webber and Maldonado I think pretty much everyone was bang on.

      That said, Kimi was majestic :)

  34. DB says:

    Kimi Raikkonnen.

  35. Bullish says:

    Has to be Kimi

  36. F1Aficionado says:

    It’s a tie for me… Kimmi and Adrian did a fantastic job, I certainly don’t know why Sebastian is even considered this time.

  37. Fareed Ali says:

    Kimi
    Had the most complete drive: great start, excellent execution of strategy, good pace, some nice passing.

  38. Locky Martin says:

    Hi James
    I think Kimi has to be DOD. Good agressive start, measured laps, great strategy..but probably the fastest lap he banged in at the end sealed it – just to show the other teams, that not only did the Lotus only stop twice for tires, it did it easily – surely a worry for RedBull/Ferrari et al.

    Dill of the Day – I’m sorry James, you do some great work for Channel 10 – but surely you can’t condone some of the coverage.

    Imagine James, you are an average punter – watching the race with a few beers in the comfort of your own lounge room – looking forward to the race, when the broadcaster places an advertisment every 4 laps – that goes for 3 laps – except the last 8 laps were shown ‘uniterrupted’.

    I understand that advertisments pay for the coverage – but I was most disappointed, Australian viewers – despite being the Race hosts only saw about 60-65% of live racing – missing all the pit stops on lap 39 – Pastor binning it at turn 12 just to name a few.

    Just disappointed….The Channel 10 Facebook page is getting a barrage also – so I’m not alone…No coverage will ever be perfect – or meet every consumers expectations, however we as consumers shouldn’t be treated as imbeciles either.

    1. Persi says:

      I was annoyed by the ad breaks, too. But at the same time I am extremely, EXTREMELY grateful that F1 is on Ch10 + not pay tv. I’m also glad they chose to go with the Sky commentary.

    2. Michael says:

      The only place to watch every action without the interuption of advertisment is skyF1. They are simply the best!

    3. Richard says:

      Ditto…I actually relied on Sky Sports F1 live stream out of the UK to watch in between the multitude of breaks. Horrible coverage especially during the race…I think channel 10 aired the celebrity challenge races’ coverage more consistently :( …Come on Rusty! Speak to those above you

    4. Richard says:

      Ditto…I actually relied on Sky Sports F1 live stream out of the UK to watch in between the multitude of breaks. Horrible coverage especially during the race…I think channel 10 aired the celebrity challenge races’ coverage more consistently :( …Come on Rusty! Speak to those above you!

    5. john says:

      totally agree. And they’ve been doing it for years and its such a shame when compared to Sky UK.
      Loved seeing Allan Jones back on screen.
      But the amount of stupid ads they run OVER and OVER again are ridiculous. It ruins the race every week.
      I watched a race whilst on holiday in Spain once and the broadcast had an inscreen box of the race, when the ads were on. Why cant Ch. 10 do this??
      Agree you needs ads to pay the bills – but die hard fans miss the actual race.

    6. Brian says:

      In the US, NBC actually continued race coverage during some commercial breaks by using split screen. I’m surprised other broadcasters don’t do the same.

    7. Kimi4WDC says:

      That is why you watch it on internet. It’s beyond me why FOM still do not have world wide on demand subscribtions.

  39. Great article, very well written. Love it. Still who was your worst driver for the day. Mine for sure was Webber, I’m an Aussie and boy he looked cranky all week. Even at the presser’s I saw him at he was all corporate and cranky from day one. Bad Start, Bad Attitude, first time, I have seen him try and then shift the blame in the press conference at the end. Poor weekend Mark…..

    1. JC says:

      Agreed, he should change his name to Mark bog king Webber. Im Australian and so over it, the fact he was pointing at vettels car before the start makes it even more embarrassing.

      There is always next year i suppose

    2. Breezy says:

      Maldonado, third year in f1 and he still looks like an accident waiting to happen every time i see him.

  40. JB says:

    Has to be the Iceman!
    Came from 7th place to win the race, used one set less tires than others and yet able to set the fastest lap of the race.

    As a comparison, his teammate is 10th place at the finish and Grosjean is famed for his speed. After all, he did win ROC twice.

    All drivers did what they had to, no real stand outs at all.

    The biggest surprise has to be Mclaren this year, They are so slow!!!

  41. Randy_Torres says:

    I’m going with Sutil, he really showed something today…and with supposedly inferior equipment.

  42. Gos_speed says:

    Obvious choice but still Raikkonen for me. The differential to Grosjean showed that while the Renault is good on tyre conservation there was a clear pace difference between the two on the day. Good strategy and pit stop timing to allow him clear air helped, but his fastest lap 3-odd laps from the end was just the salt for the wounds of the other drivers.

  43. Aero.Racer says:

    Raikkonen – lots of great driving by several today, though. I’m not a Ferrari fan, but it’s good to see Massa back!

  44. Ihsan says:

    Easy, Alonso

  45. John Taylor says:

    Whilst the performance of Alonso and Sutil rate highly you can’t go past Kimi Raikkonen for driver of the day.

  46. Timmay says:

    Raikkonen without a doubt, altho at 2-3rds distance I eoul have said Sutil. Kimi’s was a perfect drive and perfect car and team strategy. Impressive.

  47. chris normal says:

    Is it really even debatable?

  48. it would have to sutil by a whisker. using rubbish tyres ruined a great drive. tens and tens of millions spent in assuring the very best engineering technology on the grid to be redered useless by a set of ‘low rent’ tyres is a charade.

    1. Erik says:

      Incorrect. Those tyres are worth millions in development, but clearly not in your preferred direction. The tyres are built to a predefined formula, just like the rear wing which was changed a few years back to be narrower, taller and less efficient, the Bargeboards which have been eliminated despite the fact that they helped the cars, and numerous other Rules that have been built into this formula, all done to make the cars less efficient. The tyres are engineered in the same vein but no one moans about the other changes yet they all play a part in creating a formula that isn’t perfection. You are wrong to blame pirelli, this formula is built to a Laptime so that races last a certain amount of time for television and so the cars don’tGet Too fast and dangerous. The pirellis are just one part of the same show. Kimi I’m sure would disagree with your point about the tyres making the engineering of the car useless . In fact l think he proved as much two laps from the end. Force India just need to work a bit harder.

  49. kfzmeister says:

    A little off topic, but did i read correctly that Alonso was the one that made the call to come in early, so that he could jump Massa and Vettel.
    Can you confirm that instead of the team preferring him to a potential winning strategy over Massa?

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      ive heard that too

      1. Pete_Nepal says:

        sadly, can’t believe everything we read…

        which means that in the end we probably will never know. just my 2cents.

      2. Elie says:

        Not that Im a Massa fan or anything. But I doubt Felipe would have been so filthy if he was asked to pit early and did not take it!- sounds like Ferrari strategy and politics again IMO- just when we thought Felipe would get a fair go- The team must have the say in this situation and the team Must be the team that let Felipe down yet again.. What a rubbish team and rubbish arrogance from their lead driver they can go rot

  50. aditya-now says:

    Kimi Raikkönen

  51. KenC says:

    I think there’s only one choice, Kimi. Maybe, Lewis is a far, far second. I think Sutil is an excellent driver and was shocked no one picked him up last year, but he got alot of attention for what? Being on the harder tire when everyone in front of him was on the softer one? The end result, he was barely in front of his teammate. So, those three, Kimi way ahead, and trailing far behind for driver of the day are Lewis and Sutil.

  52. JustAFan says:

    Hmmm… so all those fifth, sixth, or seventh places by Michael Schumacher doesn’t get him a nom for Driver of the Day, but Hamilton basically pulling the same kind of performance does?

    1. James Clayton says:

      Like Hamilton as I do, I have to agree with you.

      I don’t think anybody who goes backwards can really be considered for driver of the day. So Hamilton and Vettel, while both raced *decent* races, are not really contenders!

    2. Ahmed says:

      +1,
      and Everyone agrees that this years Mercedes is a big improvement on last years car. Just shows the special talent of Schumacher even at 43

    3. madmax says:

      Agree, Schumacher in his last race in Brazil in a much worse car gets a puncture and goes to the back then climbs to 6th only to give Seb the place. Never got a mention for driver of the day says it all.

    4. JustAFan says:

      Hamilton already did better than I expected anyway. But not “Driver of the Day” better.

      Judging MSC’s record-breaking ability, I figured the Merc must be so tricky that if MSC could only manage to qualify Top 5 in it and finish Top 7 in it… It must be so tricky to drive that I was so sure HAM would bin it in the wall… SO nearly came true within two laps of Q1!

      But he got lucky… And I guess he found the limit of the car and put in an “MSC the 2nd Coming” performance.

      And that “salvage job” gets “Driver of the Day”?

      Really, now.

  53. Matthew says:

    Bianchi!

  54. Cakes says:

    I would say Kimi. He controlled the race brilliantly, the right pace at the right time, no mistakes and mastered his tyres.
    Started 7th finished 1st ahead of what looks an incredibly quick Ferrari and Red Bull.
    His highly rated team mate started 8th and scraped a 10th place by the skin of his…lets say teeth.

    For the Kimster, it may have been one of the easiest but it wasnt as easy ad he made it look.

  55. frosty says:

    i) Kimi
    ii) Alonso
    iii) Sutil

  56. JohnBt says:

    KIMI gets my vote for his coolness.

    1. HRC says:

      And for his AWESOME PASSES especially since he did not waste time [and tires] closely following the cars he did pass for long periods of time.

  57. Jamie Ramsamy says:

    Kimi Raikkonen

  58. PM says:

    Kimi all the way, Sutil and Alonso close seconds.

  59. Josh Young says:

    Kimi!

  60. bacaro says:

    Massa!

  61. Mohammed Al-Momen says:

    I have to give it to Adrian Sutil, he gave all world champions behind him a tough time with a worst car.

  62. Marc says:

    Definitely The Iceman Kimi! then followed by Sutil! Excited already for the Malaysian GP. :)

  63. Millsy says:

    No question – Raikkonen. What a surprise packet when all the focus was elsewhere, and the icing on the cake was the fastest lap. Congrats, what a legend.

    1. HRC says:

      I especially loved, when Kimi passed Hamilton, the announcers not only missed it entirely but when they did see a black car ahead of the silver one, said “Did Something Happen” followed by a long space of dead air time.

  64. Erik says:

    Jenson Button. For succeeding in not pulling over half-way through the race and catching an early flight into retirement.

    Or maybe Sutil, for resisting the urge to turn into Hamilton as his ‘best’ mate passed him.

    :o)

  65. Jim says:

    Kimi! he made every right move and no mistakes.

  66. raffamuffin says:

    Has to be Kimi!!! Also impressed by Massa’s pace. Lewis’s day – not much to write home about. His qualifying performance was good, kudos to him for beating the 2nd Red Bull – but I don’t think he surpasses Kimi’s performance.

    On a slightly off topic note – James, any idea if the A Hamilton v di Resta situation has been sorted out yet?

  67. NCB USA says:

    I’ am a big fan of Kimi but the driver of the day would be Adrian Sutil for not loosing any of his race skills even after being on the side lines for a year.

  68. Kimi4WDC says:

    Kimi Raikkonen.

  69. AlexD says:

    Kimi for me. No voting this year?

  70. Holly says:

    Felipe Massa, really?.

    I don’t see the poll.

  71. Chiranjeev says:

    Sutil, most definitely

  72. Yuriy says:

    Hands down, it’s Kimi Raikkonen!

  73. dubdub says:

    Gotta be Kimi!
    Especially when you compare where Grosjean was at the end of the race…

  74. Brian says:

    Sutil for me, considering the man had a year away from the sport.

  75. Mart says:

    This time it’s close between Kimi and Sutil, but the winner takes it. Räikkönen it is.

  76. Sylvester says:

    Driver of the day – Sutil.
    Star of the day – Ice Man
    Super cool, Always feet to the ground, realistic.

    Imagine the same win for a Hammy, Vettel.

    Hi James, did they bring Sutil a bit too early for the last stop ?

    1. Jake says:

      Several drivers made the super soft tyres last 13+ laps at the start of the GP with full fuel load. The FI was going backwards very rapidly after only a few laps at the end of the race with a light fuel load.. Strange beasts are these super soft tyres.

  77. Kay says:

    Despite only coming in 4th, DOD goes to Massa IMO for matching Alonso’s performance and starting the season in great form.

    Congratulations to Kimi for winning the opener.

    1. Marian says:

      What about Q1??

  78. Arya says:

    I am really torn between Kimi and Sutil. But I guess Kimi gets it because he got the job done.

  79. Daninator says:

    No voting this year?

    1ST RAI – good car, good strat, and great driving to pull it all together and make it work.
    2ND MAS – competitive all weekend, even pulled away from ALO in 2nd stint to really pressure VET, unfortunately clearly isn’t the team leader at FER and therefore lost out to ALO on strat, but could’ve been 2nd if he got the preferred strat.
    = 3RD VET & ALO – both drove at their cars’ limit all race, did great overtaking moves to maximise their finishing places, and no mistakes.
    4TH SUT – drove well on his comeback, surprised me actually, shame for the strat of fitting super softs so early at the end (unless his mediums were actually finished) as he lost approx 1min to RAI on his last stint…
    5TH HAM – drove well, prob spent all day looking in his mirrors, kep out of trouble, best part of his performance this weekend was Quali (in the dry), be interesting to see how the MER races in the next few races.

  80. Daninator says:

    Oh and BTW James, really enjoyed your work this weekend with our (Australia’s) channel 10 hosts and commentators (Rusty, Beatie, Howie, A Jones, Clark, etc)! Was really great to hear from you as always, very professional, great insights, great presentation, etc. All the best with working with the other networks around the counties for the rest of the season! …and your own work as well obviously! :)

      1. Mark in Australia says:

        I second that!!! Great call. Very enjoyable to see you back on our screens here in Australia, James. We only wish you could be a permanent fixture on Channel 10 to bolster our coverage with Rusty and the boys

  81. dufus says:

    I’d have to say Kimi but was happy for Massa.

  82. stephan says:

    Kimi, or Bianchi great performance from the rookie all weekend team mate and caterham in the shade almost pulling an upset of beating a midfield team. INCREDIBLE

  83. JD says:

    Kimi is clearly the driver if the day. But I have to agree with a couple posters mentioning Bianchi. He had the Marussia up in the midfield on merit during parts of the race and was far superior over the other backmarkers. Reminds me of the performances of Alonso during his Minardi season. I’m anxious to see how Bianchi does next week because we could be witnessing the arrival of the next great driver in F1.

  84. Fahama says:

    Kimi obviously. How on earth can anybody say otherwise.

  85. Benjamin U says:

    Sutil, hands down.

    Strategy of course played a part, but what was interesting was his pace on the older tyre allowed him to not get completely annihilated by the drivers behind him on fresher rubber in (presumably) faster cars.

  86. Duke says:

    Kimi

    How can it be Alonso? Did not win but simply drove a solid race (something you would expect from antopnclass driver). He was again helped by the team at the expense of Massa.

    Sutil was amazing. 1 year break and didn’t even know that he will even be driving an F1 car 3 weeks ago

  87. Giorgio says:

    Kimi jawohl, but Felipe was great, I’m very proud of his current form, keep pushing Felipe!!

  88. Rachel says:

    Kimi. Just solid, flaw-free driving. And Bianchi at the back, we didn’t see a lot of it, but he was pulling some good times.

  89. Guy says:

    Kimi as per reasons laid out well in comment 22.

    But if you take Kimi’s word for it that it was “easy” and then in his opinion not a great drive then………..Sutil, as good a come back as Kimi’s

  90. Vahid says:

    Kimi of course, he made the strategy work, when Massa and Alonso were trying to overtake Vettel in 1st and 2nd stints he cleverly kept his distance and only pushed when had a clear air in front of him after opponents pitted and when was necessary (passing Hamilton and Sutil). he managed the tyres very well, kind of remind me of Alonso in Monaco last season. Also he did very good overtaking manoeuvres and fastest lap.

  91. Triangle says:

    Got to be Hamilton and Bianchi

  92. Kimi was in a class of his own, and Alonso was a close second in my mind. The Caterham in the way cosy him dearly. Lotus and Allison have obviously designed a good racer and I hope they remain competitive for the rest of the year despote the budget constraints.

    Bianchi deserves a special mention too. Outqualifying and finishing ahead of Chilton and both Caterham on only his fifth day in the car is pretty impressive.

  93. Andrew says:

    A tough choice, some amazing driving going on, and I think all the precious comments are completely justified, but for me it has to be Sutil for this race! Just a shame he struggled so much on the last few laps!

  94. clyde says:

    alonso

  95. LongRoadToHome says:

    Raikkonen. No one matched his consistent pace throughout and his ability to put down fastest laps at will was eerily reminiscent of the Kimi of old.
    Sutil and Alonso follow.
    Special mention to Jules Bianchi, best of the backmarkers, stayed out of trouble, and kept Bottas honest. He even put the 11th fastest lap of the race, impressive!!

  96. surya kumar says:

    HI James, I do believe that the drivers at the tail end also deserve mention here. we have 5 world champions and five rookies in this season and of all the Rookies I believe that Jules has been amazing. probably after the first three races you can have a poll on who is the best rookie.

  97. Vivek says:

    I am a Alonso fan, but DOD has to be Kimi.

    To manage the tires and to keep up the pace to win the GP from 7th place is nothing but impressive.

    I am also happy that Ferrari is on the pace and Massa is on the form too.

  98. Hrvoje says:

    Kimi.

    Excellent site, BTW :)

  99. DK says:

    Kimi, for a superb measured drive!

  100. the_sigman says:

    Jules Bianchi! Fast all weekend and miles ahead of Chilton.

  101. MelB says:

    Easy pick. Kimi Raikkonen.

  102. Easy – Alonso. From fifth to second, many overtakes, solid driving, lots of points.

    1. Kimi4WDC says:

      From seventh to first.

    2. roryfireplace says:

      how on earth does that beat Kimi’s “from 7th to FIRST!!, many overtakes, solid driving and even more points!” do your sums mate! :)

  103. F*ckYeah says:

    Kimi, clearly.

    Sutil had a great comeback race, impressive, Lewis drove a great tyre management race that almost came off.

    Webber was a sad joke as he is so often, Massa did really well, beating his teammate against all the odds and yet again, he, and we the fans got robbed by Ferrari’s culture of pandemic cheating, this time another take on the “Fernanado is [NOT] faster than you”

  104. BW says:

    Well.. I could give it to Kimi just for his clean win from P7, pace and tyre management, but I prefer to look for something special.
    All Top4 guys were overtaking Hamilton and it were in fact only overtakes between top contenders (Hamilton seemed to drive in another series today, even if it was due to bad strategy), the results were determined by strategy (with Alonso being most clever on track), not by direct fight.
    And the most entertainment came unexpectedly from a guy who also benefitted on strategy (and could get even more from that going later for his last option stint, or being less optimistic about option performance), gained five positions and grabbed nice points. Remembering he is just back after a year – well, DOTD title goes to Sutil this time (maybe for the last time this year).

  105. Arnie S says:

    Kimi
    I don’t believe Sutil, since what he did was mrely opt for a different strategy. Alonso? Don’t think so. Normally yeas, but not today

  106. Miha Bevc says:

    Kimi. Win from 7th on the grid. Had one stop less but still managed to pull fastest lap at the end of the race (great tire management). Plus he did some great overtaking (round the outside etc.)

    James, why do we have to vote in the comments section? What happened to the poll?

    1. James Allen says:

      There was a lot of negativity about the results, implying bias etc and I don’t like that

      So we can discuss who was driver of the day and air points of view, with no negativity

      1. Pete_Nepal says:

        I agree James. It was getting a bit ridiculous at the end of last season tbh. This is good, a quick scroll down gives us a fair view that most appreciated kimi as the DOD.

      2. BW says:

        Will anyone count the results?

  107. Feral says:

    KIMI – he did what he was paid to do with no fuss no dramas

  108. Soren says:

    Kimi, every day of the week. Masterful display of controlled speed and smooth inputs. Did not make a single mistake.

  109. Robert Lujan says:

    Sutil! He took an involuntary hiatus and came back fighting! Awesome! Kimi and Lotus were always going to be up front. Kimi did a great job of keeping it there. But, Adrian stole the show in my book.

  110. Alexis says:

    Anyone notice how low the Lotus was running? The opposite of McLaren it seems, who just bottomed out with their cars when trying to run low enough to generate maximum downforce.

  111. Chris Chong says:

    Definitely Kimi.

    Not only was he fast, he made sure he passed whoever he had to quickly so that it wouldn’t compromise his strategy at the end (Alonso wasn’t that far off at the finish line).

    1. Kimi4WDC says:

      Compare to last year, Alonso was actually very far off.

  112. Supervan says:

    Saw there is no further comments on Alonso using DRS under Yellow, he posted green sectors on very lap during yellow, hauling in the driver in front of him?

  113. prashanth says:

    Kimi :-)

  114. Søren Kühle says:

    Even an old Ferrari fan as me has to say Kimi.
    But nice to see the ferrari’s in the mix.

  115. J. Lopez says:

    Fernando Alonso

  116. Sam says:

    Kimi Raikkonen !!

  117. Andrew M says:

    Kimi for me. Sutil was flattered by qualifying outside the top 10 and putting off the super softs as long as possible, di Resta would have beaten him on a level playing field. I dislike the fact that divers are given so many advantages for getting out-qualified by their team mates.

  118. Richard says:

    I think we must give it to Kimi for making a two stop strategy work and winning the race, but Adrian Sutil to be commended for doing so well in an inferior car. Alonso excellent as always for making the most of his opportunities.

  119. Dan B says:

    Kimi i think, drove the perfect race and strategy, closely followed by Sutil, who lost out on the tyre choice at the end or it would have been him, making a great comeback.

  120. CarlH says:

    Weren’t there six different leaders?

    1. Vettel
    2. Massa
    3. Alonso
    4. Raikkonen
    5. Hamilton
    6. Sutil

    DOD – Raikkonen

  121. Paul says:

    I knew you’d ignore Bianchi

  122. Gul says:

    Kimi, Massa, Alonso, lewis…loved the fact they managed all those overtakes without an accident! bring on malaysia :)

  123. MISTER says:

    It will have to be Kimi by a very small margin over Alonso.
    Alonso had a great call over strategy and impressed me with his awareness of what’s happenening around him. He arguably avoided being crashed into by Hamilton.

    Well done Kimi!

  124. Geenimetsuri says:

    Gotta give it to Räikkönen. He commented on Finnish TV that it was the easiest win of his F1 career.

    If Sutil hadn’t faded in the last stint then he would have been most likely my pick.

  125. Matt Shea says:

    Sutil, followed buy Kimi.

  126. Toby Mathews says:

    Kimi!

  127. Diabolo says:

    I think we can say 3 drivers of the day:
    -Kimi of course for what he called “an easy race”
    -Sutil. What a come back! Di Resta should be in a bad position
    -Bianchi. Sometimes it could be interesting to look at the back oh the race. 11th best lap during the race and he just forgot the others caterham & teammate

    1. Pierre says:

      What a strange comment about di Resta… First let me say I’ve always looked Sutil as a good driver and I absolutely not underestimate his yesterday’s performance at all. But:
      - he did it because he started 11th and choosed his tires. He was beaten by di Resta who qualified for Q3
      - he only saw the checkered flag 3 secondes before di Resta who was on the same strategy as the leaders.
      I’m sure di Resta would have done the same if he’d been in the same position.

      1. Diabolo says:

        possibly right, but we’ll see in the futur races.

      2. tarun says:

        the quali result was flaky. it depended a lot on who went out at what time. all weekend sutil had more pace than di resta if you look through the practice results. sutil battled hard with front runners and would have achieved a worthy top 5 result if not for his tyres dying in the end. much much better performance than di resta. we should give credit where its due.

      3. Kevin Green says:

        +1

  128. Alric Kitson says:

    Fernando Alonso. To spot Hamilton locking up into him and avoid a silly dnf was top driving. As a racer myself these are the things that make you a complete driver rather than just being quick.

    1. krischar says:

      Yes mate

      Alonso was fantastic and drove a superb race

      Alonso showed hamilton the shimmy and powered past lewis. Lewis tried too much to defend and locked up the tyres.

      Alonso gave lewis the space and forced him to lock up the tyres. That’s some passing move.

      Lewis simply moved over when massa tried to pass him. Hamilton sensed the danger from massa and drove a matured race

  129. Ben says:

    Realistically Kimi should be out on his own… executed the strategy perfectly, had super pace on both compounds, gained most places in relation to his grid spot and looked composed and a viable winner at every point in the race.

    Alonso did his usual job of always been in the hunt and the Ferrari looks like a potential title winner from the outset so he deserves a mention.

    Nice to see Massa looking like the Massa of old again but ultimately Alonso beat him. Criteria for a driver of the day has to include strategy calls… Massa lost out to both Vettel and Alonso.

  130. Chad says:

    Captain Kimbo.

  131. Anup Kadam says:

    For me it has to be Fernando Alonso even though Kimi won the race…

    1. Rockie says:

      Based on? Both Alonso and Raikkonen had to use a strategy to perfection and Kimi made the most of his Alonso couldn’t

    2. Sebastian says:

      Starting in front and finishing behind hardly makes you driver of the day…

  132. Anne says:

    Kimi and Sutil

  133. IanP says:

    Kimi Raikkonen

  134. ashboy says:

    Kimi, I just hope that was genuine pace from the Lotus and Kimi can fight for the championship.

  135. Mickey78 says:

    Lewis.
    Why, Outpaced a RB, a Lotus and the two of McL.
    Who would have thought that two months ago!!

  136. Nick_F1 says:

    Kimi – number uno for this race.
    Then, I think, Massa and Sutil.

    It’s not clear for me what happened at Ferrari with the second Massa’s stop. From one hand – it could be one an old trick to swap the drivers, but from the other side – perhaps Massa and Rob S. tried to play around with 2 stops strategy ?

    James, any comments?

  137. Nick says:

    Kimmi, Sutil and Massa.

    Just glad Alonso didn’t win. Cannot stand him, really hope Massa takes it too him this year and shows Ferrari will do anything to ensure the Spaniard wins; rather than letting them go head to head and see who comes out on top.

    Also, Sutil takes a year out and completely shows up Paul DiResta….that says a lot.

    1. krischar says:

      You have not watched the race it seems

      Massa was blocking and holding up Alonso at all costs to prove he his good. Fact is as soon as alonso did the undercut he was simply flying whereas massa’s lap times were bad and turned worse in the last stint

      Feel happy as much as you can. Alonso will win the WDC and prove you doubters wrong for sure

      Ferrari have done nothing. They realised Alonso was quicker than massa after the First stint. Hence gave him the stratergy and alonso tried to make it work unfortunately lotus had too much pace and better tyre wear than Ferrari.

      “Massa takes it too him this year and shows Ferrari will do anything to ensure the Spaniard wins” ?

      What massa has to show ? He was the worst performer in the grid for past 36 months and he will continue to fill that slot going forward as well. Once competitive stint in a race means massa is not quicker nor he his a superman

      1. Elie says:

        & why do you think Felipe was filthy at the team for not suggesting the undercut. Many people suggesting Alonso called it – & indeed he might have but surely – the team would have allowed Felipe the choice and in fact should have given him preference cause he was in front – regardless !!- BS politics with Ferrari strikes again with absolutely no hope for the the Brazillian – not now & not ever- & Im certainly no Massa fan.

    2. Sebastian says:

      DiResta out qualified Sutil and was only 3.4 seconds behind him at the checkered flag. Good drive, but hardly dominating… he had the benefit of running a contrary tyre strategy.

  138. moxlox says:

    Well it’s between Kimi or Sutil. I give it to Sutil as it was a fabulous comeback after a year away.

    Kimi won me £90 though, so thanks!

  139. Haydn Lowe says:

    Alonso for me. Ferrari gave him a shot to win the race and he almost managed it. Kimi drove to the plan and executed it perfectly, but Alonso had to work that little bit harder with his strategy so I give it to him.

    1. Rockie says:

      This is hilarious as the claim of 2 seconds cant be made again this season it is down to working harder like others were not trying.

      1. Jannto says:

        @Rockie – Exactly!!1

    2. Sebastian says:

      Kimi worked pretty hard to get his strategy to work. Many really fine overtakes, on the outside at times, without cooking his tyres. Today it was without a doubt Kimi.

  140. DMyers says:

    Jules Bianchi, followed closely by Sutil.

  141. Stuart Harrison says:

    Sutil – the team messed up his final stop otherwise he could have been 5th, a great result.

    No Poll?

  142. Grabyrdy says:

    Have I missed a place to vote for Kimi ?

  143. Tim W says:

    Team effort. Kimi Räikkönen and Alan Permane

  144. Grant says:

    Sutil good comeback

    Kimi great

    Worst team of the day mclaren (MW and technical team)

  145. Dcierk says:

    I would say Massa. Had a great start, drove towards Vettel with Alonso in his back and setting the pace for him.

    That and considering this year might be his comeback since his accident made me the suprise of this GP. Hope he can continu this strong driving. Thereby it also was great to see the Ferrari’s both back in front; like where Ferrari is suposed to be!

    Raikkonen was rather invisible throuhout the race. None the less great performance and a nice statement setting fastest time just 2 laps before end with already 7,5 seconds to Alonso!

    To James: a voting would be nice, like last year :).

    1. Dcierk says:

      Forgetting Sutil: when at front, Vettel on new tyres couldn’t pass and just before his stop on ‘old’ tyres even made a gap!

  146. Alex says:

    Hands down, Kimi Raikkonnen. He was quick when he needed to be, saved his tyres and went out and ‘won’ the race. Showed his class and why he is one of the top drivers out there. Alonso is worried!

  147. ffcunha says:

    Kimi!!

    First race of the season , great pace , great tyre managment, great drive.

  148. DB4Tim says:

    Fernando….of all the drivers he had the toughest last two years a car that was horrible and the never stopped fighting ……and he starts off the new year the exact same way…

    1. Dave Aston says:

      Maybe he needs a hug.

    2. Kimi4WDC says:

      Considering luck Raikkonen enjoyed in 2005 and 2006. Fernando should keep it to him self and be happy with what he got.

  149. Charles R says:

    Jules Bianchi !!!
    He drove a dog of a car and gave the Williams a hard time. He is also a rookie so a very good performance to my mind

  150. Stefano says:

    Kimi raikonnen!
    Then massa, then alonso

  151. Jiri says:

    Jules Bianchi

  152. Simon Donald says:

    Both Kimi and Alonso were fantastic. Kimi gets the win – Kimi did the two stop – Kimi gets the driver of the day. Honourable mention for Massa and Sutil.

  153. Phil W says:

    Shouldn’t you have some voting buttons we can press?

    1. HRC says:

      What, and miss all this garble?

  154. Tyler says:

    No Bianchi nominated? James you really need to start looking past the first half of the grid. There are 22 cars out there, and not all of the drivers have the luxury of a front running car.

    1. James Allen says:

      We mentioned him in race report for his 11th fastest race lap

  155. Captain LeChuck says:

    No doubt about this one, Kimi was on another level completely.

  156. Simple says:

    Maldonado

  157. Mark in Australia says:

    If Sutil could of hung on for a podium he’d get the nod, but the tyres beat him. So.. Kimi gets my drive of the day

  158. Michael S says:

    Kimi was BRILLIANT! Kimi passed when he needed too and kept perfect pace… Pitted same lap as Alonso first time, but paced it perfect after that for a 2 stopper

  159. Alex says:

    Kimi, without a doubt.

    Honourable mention for Alan van der Merwe: those AMG Merc road cars can be lairy in the wet! 

  160. Baghetti says:

    Sutil, for him it wasn’t all that easy

  161. Richard T says:

    1. Kimi
    2. Alonso
    3. Sutil
    4. Vettel
    5. Massa

  162. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    SUTIL, not because he was one year off, but because he was fighting with the top teams when Force India is in the midfield.

    For Kimi was “easy”, that’s why I chose Sutil.

    1. Breezy says:

      But Sutil did finish in midfield. Once he went through the tire cycle like everyone else he finished pretty much where the Force India’s were expected to finish in midfield.

  163. Phil Shotton says:

    Kimi, at the top end of the field and Bianchi further down the field.

    :)

    It will be interesting to see if the iceman can do the same this weekend…

  164. Kurtis says:

    as much as I dislike him, I would say Kimi for this race. Everyone else was kind of ho hum and Sutil got lucky with slow wear on mediums then terrible wear on supersofts

  165. Quick Nick Rules says:

    Adrian Sutil for me – sublime display for someone who hadn’t raced in 15 months, he looked at home leading the race, although he is a convicted criminal so he was always going to prosper in Oz!

  166. Brian says:

    Kimi, Sutil

  167. Andrew Carter says:

    Kimi.

    Sutil looked great but once you realise you started and finished almost nose to tail with his team mate you realsie that it was only a more beneficial stratagy that had him at the fron for so long.

    1. Darren S says:

      Was just going to post the exact same about Sutil. He enjoyed the benefits of track position, and ended up in pretty much the exact same spot on the road as his team mate. Not saying he didn’t drive well (not tangling with any of the leaders but still defending robustly was good work), but I think his appearance up the front is adding extra shine to his performance, which is a little unfair on the other side of the garage and/or some people who finished further down.

      That said, running out the front can only be a good thing for the sponsors/team, and I hope we see more midfield teams leading at different stages. From that point of view, he did a great job.

  168. MR says:

    Kimi and Adrian both for great individual efforts. It was interesting to see how Vettel was not able to noticeably drop Sutil once he had finally got past………

    James can you do an analysis of the reported Red Bull garage issues that are to of caused Webbers woes at the start….why does this only seem to happen to the fast and likeable Ozzie. Why does he seem unable to get the car off the grid while everyone else has it down pat……..

  169. Bruce says:

    Kimi, without doubt!

  170. F12012 says:

    Kimi, very impressive race

  171. David Taylor says:

    Kimi. Let’s hope the team can keep this up throughout the year. Lewis in second place – I’m hoping the car can improve throughout the season.

  172. Andy says:

    Kimi for me. I don’t see how you can have drivers of the day who finished lower than they started, unless they had a puncture etc and made a remarkable recovery.

  173. Nick says:

    Bianchi for what was an awesome debut drive.

  174. Joseph says:

    Sutil gets my vote for driver of the day! For him to lead a GP and finish in the top 10 is stunning to say the least. Unlike Kimi, Sutil was not in any form of racing for the past 2 years. His performance was very impressive with race craft and tire management.

  175. Dhruv says:

    it has to be kimi..Comon who else can even close in todays race?

  176. yassin says:

    Kimi, but I feel empathy for him as most of us know Lotus will fall back by Barcelona.

    It’s a shame Kimi has not gone back to the Enstone that Alonso was in, the one that had money behind it.

    I hope if they do wind a few more races it will bring more sponsorship.

  177. Alonsona says:

    Alonso Alonso Alonso :-)

  178. Moog says:

    Hulkenburg didn’t put a wheel wrong all race…

  179. Justin says:

    Alonso gets my vote. Kimi drove faultlessly but described it as “easy”. Alonso made a crucial decision on his own that put him 2nd instead of 3rd or 4th.

  180. Glennb says:

    Wow, how the tides have changed. Last year Lewis was voted DOD regardless of results. Come on Lewis’ fan club, get voting.
    I vote for Vettel. The car was a pig in the cold, he made a few overtakes and from memory was only overtaken in the pits.

  181. oiio says:

    Kimi Raikkonen

    and a nod to Sutil,
    but -1 to Lewis Hamilton for defending against Alonso at the wrong time

  182. Simmo says:

    Kimi. ‘Nuf said :)

  183. Rich C says:

    Sutil.
    And btw, what the heck is Force India thinking, mixing it up at the front?

  184. Andrew Kirk says:

    Kimi for me! Ice cool playing the waiting game no the tyres while following the ferraris then a fastest lap with 1 lap to go showing everyone what he had in his pocket. High hopes for him this year.

    Just wondering James any driver you were slighty disapointed with on the day? Aware it is only the start of the year and any driver could turn it around but Mclaren and Jenson looked troubled… and he only finished a few seconds up the road of his younger less experienced team mate.

  185. Le Mister says:

    Lewis and Fernando !!!

  186. Dean G says:

    I don’t actually understand how anyone could vote for anyone BUT KIMI.

    He won. AND he managed the tires better than anyone else in the race… which in the first race is ALL about feel… given the teams know the least about the tires in this race than they will every race to come…

    He set fastest lap, and never looked in doubt. Sutil’s lack of quality showed up on the last stint when he was horrible on the SS… Honestly, he drove well, but his position for the first part of the race was about luck and tires. His teammate finished right behind him… Kimi’s finished 9 spots back.

    This might have been the easiest driver of the day vote ever.

  187. Elie says:

    What a wonderful weekend – despite the Sat rain / wind.
    Oh the joy i messaged Skysports F1 a week before saying they will be embarrassed for not even mentioning Raikkonen in their tipping comp.
    1.Kimi out drove everyone by a country mile. He his start was fantastic as we’ve come to expect. His pace in the middle was brilliant and his speed in the end on worn tyres made everybody look average- even Alonso acknowledged he was too good.
    2. Adrian Sutil for a brilliant return to F1 and coming to grips with very different tyres after only 3 days in testing
    3. Jules Bianci for showing us the pace of that Marrusia which is on the up & up. I’ve never doubted this kids ability and the race proved why it was such a difficult choice for Force India to pick Adrian for 2013.

    I don’t see h

  188. Somersetracer says:

    Kimi Raikkonen for me

  189. Elie says:

    Oh What a wonderful weekend – despite the Sat rain / wind that soaked us in Melb.!
    Oh the joy I messaged Skysports F1 a week before saying they will be embarrassed for not even mentioning Raikkonen in their tipping comp.i might quietly remind them.
    1.Kimi out drove everyone by a country mile. He his start was fantastic as we’ve come to expect. His pace in the middle was brilliant and his speed in the end on worn tyres made everybody look average- even Alonso said he was too good.
    2. Adrian Sutil for a brilliant return to F1 and coming to grips with very different tyres after only 3 days in testing and fighting at the very front.
    3. Jules Bianci for showing us the pace of that Marrusia which is on the up & up. I’ve never doubted this kids ability and the race proved why it was such a difficult choice for Force India to pick Adrian for 2013.

    I don’t see how anyone here could pick anyone other than Kimi. Raikkonen pulled away (6 seconds) from Fernando on tyres with twice the mileage & his passing was/is/will always be better than anyone. I just hope Lotus can keep up with the other teams development !
    Go Lotus – God speed Kimi !

  190. magic carpet says:

    After Kimi I am most impressed by the field as a whole for no “coming togethers” at turn one or throughout the race.
    These guys are the best drivers in the world.

  191. F1 Bobby says:

    Raik or Sooty. Why no poll?!

  192. Dren says:

    Kimi. I had him pegged to win the championship this year. It looks like he may be able to do it with an improved Lotus.

    Vettel as second. He qualified well and made the best of a car that wasn’t the quickest in the race.

    Hamilton a third for me. Qualified great, drove well. Good defensive driving and when overtaking/being overtaken. Had the 2 stopper worked, he might have ended up on the podium.

    This is going to be one hell of a good year.

  193. LUNA says:

    1. Kimi
    2. Sutil
    3. Lewis

  194. Gabe says:

    Kimi, winning with a great start and impressive pace through out the race

  195. Dave Aston says:

    Kimi – The Iceman sneaketh. Great drive from Sutil too. He’s always been underrated.

  196. Frank Dernie says:

    Raikkonen was my choice. Intelligent use of what he had available to take the win.
    I was surprised commentators raved about Sutil when his unusual track position was -only- due to his different strategy, not superior driving. One would have thought at least some of the commentators would have sussed this by now. Only Gary Anderson mentioned it, not surprisingly I suppose.
    Had he not been told to hold position his team mate would have overtaken him a few laps from the end. DiResta’s strategy was “normal” resulting in “normal” track position for the duration of the race. Sutil’s track position was only “normal” in the final stint when the differences of strategy cancel out.
    It is nice to see Sutil back, and he drove a fine race, but nothing special it just looked good to the inexperienced because his pit stops were so far out of step with the others.

  197. binhost says:

    Massa

  198. Philippe H. says:

    Kimi, because he simply delivered. He had the best package, but he showed that he can do it if he’s given a car to do it.

    2. Alonso was good, but he looks like he has the best car (so far, things could change).

    3. Hamilton delivered as well, there was no chance of a top 4 finish, his performance was flawless (just like Kimi & Alonso).

    Sutil was great as well. Not because he was in front (he had the car and the strategy do it), but because he has shown that he can be strong even though he’s just coming back. I think he will outshine Di Resta pretty easily.

    1. Elie says:

      He still only qualified 7th so its not the fastest car and yet his overtakes were fantastic . I think it’s still too soon to say he has the best package but obviously it’s very good in tyres- the other thing is his team mate finished 10th- so anyone doubting Raikkonens pace needs to get a reality check

  199. BurgerF1 says:

    Leave me alone! I know how to vote…

  200. James Nicholson says:

    Kimi – absolutely dominated the race and strolled away on worn tyres. If they could sort qualifying pace out they could be a real danger this season

  201. GT says:

    Kimi

    Been an iceman fan since his first drive in f1…great race..lots of sparking…reminds me of late 80s..quality overtakes…great leans on turns 1 and 3…a bit like alain prost..though it was altogether different..

    last time he won the first race..he went on to win the championship
    20 wins 70 podiums..keep em’ coming…

  202. P says:

    I wanted to have a look at hulkenberg’s face after the race ended…after seeing SFI’s strong performance :-P
    anyway..this was just the first race…sauber might still be better..

    well done di resta & sutil (geez! di resta needs some support too…it’s sad to see force india fans so against him on the facebook page and everywhere else even when he was the only confirmed driver in the team…not his fault that his team-mate is always awesome :-P …his performances have been pretty good too )

    1. P says:

      ooo and i was pretty worried about what was gonna happen when hamilton was right behind sutil…

  203. anokh v says:

    Bianchi, narrowly ahead of Raikkonen. He set a fastest lap quicker than 11 other cars! In a MARUSSIA!

    1. Elie says:

      Wrong ! Kimi was by far the best on older tyres than everyone too:
      Fastest laps were
      1 Kimi Räikkönen 56 1:29.274
      2 Jean-Eric Vergne 50 1:29.498
      3 Fernando Alonso 53 1:29.560
      4 Mark Webber 45 1:29.732
      5 Lewis Hamilton 45 1:29.759
      6 Sergio Perez 46 1:29.926
      7 Jenson Button 41 1:30.198
      8 Felipe Massa 38 1:30.239
      9 Romain Grosjean 41 1:30.395
      10 Sebastian Vettel 42 1:30.409

  204. Dan says:

    Kimi all day.

  205. Chromatic says:

    KIMI.

  206. James says:

    Hi James. Missing the online pole function…? Definitely Kimi. Solid form start to finish, but I wonder whether the Lotus’ tyres will last on a hotter circuit – remember last yr, promising at some races and not so at others.

    1. James says:

      Also, did you notice how the Redbull struggled behind other cars. Perhaps a weakness in their aero package…?

  207. Val says:

    Kimi Raikkonen all the way!

    1. Had a great start
    2. Did some great overtaking at right time(Hamilton & Sutil)
    3. Set fastest lap on old tires
    4. Gave a smile on podium

    This years Lotus looks good in cold & hopefully they still maintain the edge in warmer conditions then we will surely see Kimi give some headaches to the likes of Ferrari & RB.

  208. Jack Naven says:

    I went for
    1. Kimi
    2. Alonso
    3. Massa
    I explained my reasons here – http://fiveredlights.co.uk/2013/03/18/australian-gp-top-5-drivers/

  209. PMNLG says:

    1 – Kimi because he made a trick strategy to work; for keeping an amazing pace and saving tyres; and for winning
    2- Alonso for the right gamble and amazing pace
    3 – Sutil – for the pace, a pity the strategy did not work

    About Massa, to be a “driver of the day” you must be over the best, and Massa did what was was expected from a regular driver… nothing really special, that’s why he finished behind the better drivers. He is behaving as a dedicated employee – not as a champion. Maybe he will get a picture in the wall written “employee of the month”.

  210. Stone the crows says:

    Kimi, definitely Kimi. Brilliant drive.

  211. Patex says:

    Sutil, Alonso, or Raikkonen ?
    Alonso, not doubt

  212. Benalf says:

    1) Kimi: he drove the team’s strategy perfectly won my maximizing the tires and staying away from traffic
    2) Alonso: he pushed forward consistently, took a lot of risks and ended in 2nd by changing strategy on the fly.
    3)Sutil: he drove brilliantly but the strategy didn’t work.

  213. Lord Hawk says:

    Esteban Gutierrez

  214. Ron says:

    Kimi all the way! Controlled aggression and flawless drive. The cold and stormy sat qualy experience was well worth it to see my favourite driver win the race. Looking forward to Malaysia…

  215. aveli says:

    raikkonen has to be the driver of the day but i’m not sure if it was mainly his driving which won the race rather than the car and strategy.
    i’d have appreciated it more if he worked to overtake the cars in front on track to win it. still an uninspired victory.
    sutil needs to beat his teammate outright in qualifying and race without special help from the team.
    roll on malaysia.

  216. Monktonnik says:

    Sutil

  217. John says:

    Hi James, who is going to count the votes?

    1. James Allen says:

      No-one. We’re not counting, just debating

  218. Phil Glass says:

    My three are
    1- Kimi,

    2- Kimi,

    3- Kimi

  219. Ed Bone says:

    I’d give it to Sutil.

    Kimi was very good, but it was a team effort, a combination of an excellent car, a good race strategy, great pit crew, and of course a really tempered, mature drive.

    But Sutil did more with less in my opinion, and as it was his first race for yonks, it was really a sensational performance.

  220. Renato Nysan says:

    Adrian Sutil

  221. mhilgtx says:

    As I have posted before, I am new to the sport and in the USA, even worse to many Euro’s from Texas. So I know very little but some drivers I am starting to gravitate towards.

    Vettal — Good and great personality
    Hamilton — maybe its just his top gear appearances but good and charismatic

    Those are probably my top two then it was great seeing Force India do good and I like Caterham and of course Williams is the team I like from my early F1 casual watching.

    The Ferrari guys I just don’t know enough yet to make a decision. But I love Ferrari.

    MClearen is by far my favorite car maker, Ferrari a close second. I like Button quite a bit but Sergio Perez rubs me the wrong way. Maybe he got off to a rough start with me when I was watching the Mcleren unavailing and his interview was not very flattering. Even the spokes women tried to real him in a little.

    Lotus, man that John Player car was one of my favorites and even though this car looks similar I just don’t know it is so ugly now not sure if I can cheer for it too much.

  222. Shane says:

    Raikkonen, Alonso, Sutil

    RAI – You can’t argue against a race win from 7th
    ALO – same, P2 from 5th place start
    SUT – 12th to race lead, held his pace, ended up P5, not bad at all

  223. Dan says:

    Yes as all have said Kimi deserves the credit. Many other good drives too. Sutil could have won l think if he made his hard tyres last a little longer. Mark Webbers race was interesting, during the warm up lap he lost all telemetry and contact with the pit wall. He was racing blind from the start. Drivers rely on the telemetry for just about everything they do in the car. l hope McLaren fix his ecu properly as he could have done well in melbourne.

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