Date: 18th March 2013 at 1:05pm
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During the winter testing sessions the Lotus looked like a good car.

It continually showed good pace and although it was difficult to see just how competitive it would prove to be against the more established front running teams of McLaren and Red Bull it was quickly being tipped as a dark horse for the 2013 Formula One World Championship season.

Former 2007 World Champ Kimi Raikkonen started talking about the possibility of being in a position to attack for a second World Championship, whilst the users of VitalF1 voted the Finn as the favourite to win the opening round of the 2013 Formula One World Championship in Australia.

Friday’s Free Practice One and Two came and went on Friday without any real signs of Lotus dominance, Raikkonen was quick, but still 0.6seconds off Vettel’s pace in FP1 and 0.4 off in FP2.

Team-mate Romain Grosjean topped FP3 on Saturday morning while Kimi remained 0.6 off the pace.

Once qualifying was finally finished off on Sunday morning after a rain delay on Saturday, Raikkonen was seventh, over a second behind both Red Bull’s and also behind both Mercedes’ and both Ferrari’s.

‘It was an OK qualifying session. We had just one lap on the dry tyres and I got a bit sideways at the end on a damp patch which meant I lost some time so that was a bit disappointing. The car seems to be working well. It had the speed, but when you have only one lap on dry tyres on a damp circuit setting a fast lap is not the easiest thing to do. The weather seems to be changing very quickly, but we’ve seen that before in Melbourne. It’s the same for everybody and it will be in the race too.’ a nonplussed Kimi told formula1.com.

In the race, Kimi remained in the background as the front runners battled it out in front of the cameras.

A good start had put him in a decent track position and once he had got the better of Lewis Hamilton he was able to control his race.

But while Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso traded sectors times in close proximity of each other, Kimi simply got on with the task in hand and cruised to the front of the pack following his tyre strategy working in his favour.

It looked easy and for once a driver even admitted that that was actually the case!

?I?m happy for the team and for myself also. We?ve had a quick car all weekend and there were no issues with it either, so we could just focus on trying different things and getting the setup how we wanted. I had a good feeling that we would be ok with the tyres after practice and the team got the strategy perfect. I made a few places at the start and then had a good battle with Lewis [Hamilton] but after that it was quite simple; probably one of my easiest wins. You can?t start the season much better than winning the first race and of course we hope we can be fighting at the front of the Championship, but there?s a long way to go still and we need to keep pushing hard all the way.?

Do not forget to enter the Vital F1 Prediction Competition!

Entries must be made before qualifying begins – CLICK HERE.