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Old 03-19-2013, 01:35 PM   #380
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Originally Posted by PeteN95 View Post
Kimi didn't come in until lap 38, so he must have qualified and started on the medium compound tires!? This would explain how he could go so far on the first set, how he could set fast lap so late, and why he didn't qualify any higher. I did not see the race, is this in fact what hapened? I just can't imagine going 38 laps on the super soft tires with a full fuel load when Vettel could only go 7 laps and Alonso 9? I was thinking before the race, when I heard about the super softs, that this would be the optimum plan, except for qualifying.

he came in on lap 9 and then on lap 34

synopsis courtesy of octane photos

He Clearly Knows What’s He Doing Down In Melbourne
What a way for the 2013 Formula One season to start, as Kimi Raikkonen became the first Lotus driver since Mario Andretti in 1978 to win the opening race of the Championship. It was a an action-packed affair from the very start, as Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg’s stricken C32 had a major fuel issue, which saw the car with the engine off the back end in the pit box. The team, on the grounds of safety, retired the car, leaving his teammate Gutierrez to keep the honour high for the Hinwil squad.
Webber’s poor starting once again plagued the local driver, who had his Red Bull RB9 pointing towards Vettel on the front row, but this gave both Massa and Alonso a glimmer of hope, as cars were almost four-abreast going into Turn 1, but all got through with no first corner incidents. The Australian then had to keep his cool and look to a new strategy, finding himself behind Massa, Alonso, Hamilton, Vettel and Rosberg.
Button was the first driver that pitted out of the entire field, as the graining was hugely apparent even after 3 times laps in qualifying, changing to the medium tyre, with Webber also following suit. Looked like more pit stops were on the cards thanks to the hard working guys and girls at Pirelli. Vettel came in on Lap 8, as the clear air he put between himself and his rivals helped to keep tyre wear at bay for slightly longer.
Then the top drivers started making their moves, as Massa jumped into the box, as Alonso rolled the dice first before Kimi was right on his tail for a pit stop challenge between Maranello and Enstone, which was pretty much a draw, as there was nothing between them. Both of the Mercedes stayed out until laps 13 and 14, where Sutil found himself at the front of the field in his first race back in F1. He stayed out for a further 6 laps, even with being able to lap slightly quicker than Vettel, meaning that the returning German was in with a possible points, or even podium finish.
Sutil pitted on Lap 20, with Vettel also doing so, and Force India got their driver out in front, but Adrian was caught napping by Alonso going through Turn 1, before Sebastian did the same at the swimming pool complex shortly after. Maldonado beached his FW35 in the green-sprayed gravel at turn one, having clearly touched the grass, which did not do the Venezuelan any favours what so ever for a good start.
Felipe then had his chance at the lead, with Rob Smedley saying to his driver: “Let’s see what you can do now you’ve got an open track.” But then we had another casualty, as Maldonado touched the grass on the left going into Turn 1, spoiling the handiwork of those employed to spray the gravel traps in the colours of the Rolex signage dominating the track.
On Lap 29, Kimi had made his way stealthily towards to front of the grid, ahead of Lewis and Nico, who suddenly slowed, and was forced to park his W04 on the left hand side of the track at the swimming pool area, with a possible electrical fire stopping the German’s race abruptly, handing third place to Fernando. Dark clouds started to appear around Turn 16, as light showers were expected via the pitlane radar, with all drivers told to stay out. Lewis and Fernando battled it out for several laps, with both drivers respecting each other, but wheel-to-wheel action being welcomed for all to see.
The 2008 champion decided to not give up his position easily, and ended up flat spotting his front tyres, forcing him to pit, and slowing them both in the process. Kimi and Sebastian sped away as a result of this, with Vettel just over two seconds behind Fernando after the “Iceman’ dove into the pits on lap 33, handing the Spaniard the lead for a short time. JEV had made his way up to seventh for Toro Rosso, with Ricciardo on level pegging, but the Australian ended up with a very sickly-sounding car. A few laps later saw the STR driver park his car in the garage, retiring from a promising start to his 2013 season.
Vettel had been struggling for pace overall, with Marussia rookie Jules Bianchi lapping within a tenth of a second during the race, but was pushing hard to catch up to Alonso, as the laps counted down. But he pushed too hard at points, after suffering several lock ups, taking too much out of the tyres, whereas Kimi was keeping his gap to Fernando at around 7 seconds, with the 2005 and 2006 champion unsure as to stay happy with second, or go for the win. Massa kept station in a very lonely fourth, and rounded off his weekend on a very credible finish.
Lewis and Sutil had a brief battle on track, with the latter losing out to his former best friend, with Webber capitalizing on the Force India driver after their tete-a-tete in the latter stages ending up in 6th.
So it ended up with Enstone taking top honours with the “Iceman” making it count in Melbourne, with Fernando second for a very improved Ferrari squad and Sebastian rounding the herd, as we roll onto the Asian continent, where the Sepang International Circuit sets the scene for the second race of the season, where the weather could again spring a change in proceedings….
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g容g screwed with this post 03-19-2013 at 01:42 PM
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