Kimi Raikkonen is the surprise world championship leader, after winning the season-opening Australian grand prix at the wheel of the fast and tyre-friendly Lotus.

2013 Australian Grand Prix - SundayComing in behind the Finn, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso described the Melbourne result as “fantastic”, particularly as he beat pole-sitter and traditional rival Sebastian Vettel, who many thought would be unbeatable on Sunday. “I wonder if anybody out there had money on a Lotus winning, a Ferrari second and a Red Bull in third?” wondered former F1 driver turned BBC commentator David Coulthard. Vettel said on the podium: “The first few laps were ok but then the tyres started to fall apart. “Lotus and Ferrari had incredible pace and we were third quickest.”

Spaniard Alonso admitted it is a “worry” that Raikkonen’s Lotus coped better with the high degradation of the new Pirelli tyres — of the top six finishers, only the Finn was able to make just two pitstops. Alonso said: “We only have five days to prepare for the next race (Malaysia) but we will again be a tough opponent.”

Info: GMM, Image: Lotus F1 / LAT