Photo: Spain's Fernando Alonso Finishes 2nd to Kimi Raikkonenat Australian Grand Prix
Brazil’s Felipe Massa finishes 4th.
Finland’s Kimi Raikkonen - driving for Lotus - has taken the early lead in the 2013 international Formula One championship by winning the season-opening Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne’s Albert Park raceway.
Spain’s Fernando Alonso, driving for Ferrari, came in second.
The Finn drove the 58 laps - each of which was 5,303 meters (3.26 miles) long, a total of 307.5 km (about 191 miles) - and beat Alonso and three-time German champion Sebastian Vettel, in a Red Bull vehicle, who came in third after starting out in the pole position.
It was the 20th Formula One victory for the 33-year-old Raikkonen, the world champion in 2007, and he ran the course in 1:30:03.225, 12.4 seconds faster than Alonso, who is a two-time champion.
Brazil’s Felipe Massa, driving for Ferrari, and Briton Lewis Hamilton, for Mercedes, came in fourth and fifth, ahead of Australia’s Mark Webber, in a Red Bull vehicle, and Germany’s Adrian Sutil, driving for Force India.
Scotsman Paul di Resta, also on the Force India squad, was eighth in the first of 19 races making up the 2013 Formula One circuit, ahead of Britain’s Jenson Button, for McLaren, and Frenchman Romain Grosjean, for Lotus, who finished ninth and tenth.
The season’s second race will be held next Sunday on the Sepang track, which will also host the Malaysia Grand Prix.