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Räikkönen takes surprise victory for Lotus F1 in Australia


Kimi Räikkönen has taken a surprise victory for the Lotus F1 team at the Australian Grand Prix.

It followed a disappointing qualifying session for Lotus, which finished with Räikkönen and his team-mate Romain Grosjean seventh and eighth respectively. The front row was dominated by Red Bull, led by Sebastian Vettel. In his first race for Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton qualified third.

A poor start for Webber left Vettel leading the Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa with Räikkönen, Hamilton and Nico Rosberg completing the top six. The first round of pit stops from lap seven saw the lead switch between these front runners.

Force India's Adrian Sutil led the race temporarily thanks to starting the race on the medium-compound Pirelli tyres, which enabled him to postpone his pit stop until the 21st lap.

By this time, Fernando Alonso had already made his second stop and was able to overtake Massa and Vettel as they pitted at the same time as Sutil.

Räikkönen's two-stop strategy put him ahead until he pitted on lap 34. The lead was inherited by Alonso, who put distance between himself and Vettel as the latter struggled with excessive tyre wear – the Red Bull's promising qualifying performance didn't translate into good race pace.

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