The 2013 Australian Grand Prix (officially the 2013 Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix) was the opening race of the 2013 Formula One Season. It was held on March 17, 2013 at the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit in Albert Park, in the Southern part of Melbourne, Victoria. It was the 18th running of the event at the Albert Park circuit, and the 29th Formula One World Championship event to be held in Australia.
Sebastian Vettel lead an all-Red Bull front row following a two part, rain delayed Qualifying session in which the triple World Champion beat his team-mate, Mark Webber's time by 4 tenths. Vettel could not hold up his pace in the race, and after a strong challenge by Fernando Alonso, Kimi Räikkönen won the race by pitting one less time than the opposition. Alonso finished in second, with Vettel third and Felipe Massa fourth. Adrian Sutil had a strong race, leading on two occasions, but fell back towards the finish.
Vettel started strongest, setting the best times in both Friday practice sessions. His Saturday was amiss, with a hydraulics failure in the wet final practice session, as Romain Grosjean set the best time.
There was a lot of rain before qualifying, and as a result, the start of Q1, initially intended to start at 5 pm local time, was postponed three times to start at 5:30, which it did. There were a lot of incidents—most notably involving Lewis Hamilton, while Massa was also affected by the weather—before the session ended with Hamilton's teammate Nico Rosberg fastest. Q2 was postponed twice (for a combined total of 50 minutes) before qualifying was abandoned for the day. Q2 and Q3 took place on Sunday morning.
The number of cars that would start the season off in Australia would be 22 after HRT collapsed in December 2012. This meant that changes was needed to the qualifying system. The three-round knockout system which has been in use since 2006 will remain with six drivers being knocked out in both sessions one and two, not the seven in previous years. The third qualifying session will remain the same with ten drivers in a ten-minute block to finish a lap.
The number of DRS zones for the 2013 event will remain at two, again along the main straight and between Turns 2 and 3. These will, as with the 2012 event, utilise a single detection point – between Turns 14 and 15 of the previous lap.
Unlike in previous seasons, a new rule has come into force whereby a driver is now allowed to use DRS only at these specific points, even in Practice and Qualifying. In previous years, use of DRS had been unlimited in these sessions except where ruled unsafe by stewards.
The full entry list for the 2013 Australian Grand Prix is shown below:
The first Free Practice session of the new season, run in bright sunshine and mid-20s °C temperatures featured all 22 regular drivers of the new season. After installation laps by most drivers, the first timed run was completed by Daniel Ricciardo: the best of his first stint at a decent 1:31.946. He would improve by only a further second before the end of the session.
At Williams, Sauber and Caterham, all three newcomers were outdone by their more experienced team-mates, while the only all-débutant pairing – Chilton and Bianchi at Marussia ended the session ahead of their Caterham rivals.
There were no red-flag stoppages in FP1, however Paul di Resta spun in the dying minutes.
Unlike the slow start made in FP1, the second Free Practice session started full of times being set by the drivers. Kimi Räikkönen was first to set a time after about five minutes, but within ten minutes his (slow) time of 1:32.967 was beaten by over six seconds by Sebastian Vettel.
After about half an hour, there was an incident as Caterham rookie Giedo van der Garde beached his car in the gravel at Turn 3. There wasn't a red flag and the session continued as normal, just without Van der Garde. About twenty minutes after the incident, Mark Webber set a quicker time then teammate Vettel, but it did not last as Vettel posted an even quicker time a few minutes later, being the first person to record a time under 1 minute 26 seconds. He complained that he lost KERS during the lap, and that the tyres were going off (in other words, losing grip) and that he could have gone quicker.
The last ten minutes were full of off-track action. Both Mercedes went off. Lewis Hamilton's car encountered a problem with the floor of the car, and he went off at Turn 6; followed by Nico Rosberg, who suffered a gearbox problem. Moments after Rosberg's failure, Webber spun at the exit of Turn 13.
The fastest time in a heavily rain-affected third Practice session was set by Frenchman, Romain Grosjean, ahead of the two Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa. After failing to set a time before the rain started, Lewis Hamilton finished more than 20 seconds off the pace in 22nd and last. Sebastian Vettel's session ended ten minutes early after he began to lose hydraulics.
|1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||1:27.211||1||1:25.908||1||1:29.808||12|
|14||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1:28.910||13||1:28.311||12||1:27.533||4|
|18||Jean-Éric Vergne||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1:30.729||17||1:28.968||17||1:27.860||7|
|21||Giedo van der Garde||1:32.388||22||1:32.450||22||1:30.598||15|
The first qualifying session was delayed half an hour due to heavy rain that had left much of the circuit looking like a small river. Thirty minutes after Q1's scheduled start qualifying final got under way with the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton leading the field out onto the track. The weather continued to be dismal and rain continuously poured down onto the circuit throughout the session.
The first incident of the session saw the Caterham of Giedo van der Garde slide off the circuit and into the barriers at turn 5 on his first installation lap. Van der Garde managed to continue but with significant damage to the front of the car causing his front wing to be lodged underneath his car, the damage forced him to return to the pits for repairs. One lap later Lewis Hamilton span off the circuit at the first corner slamming the rear end of his car into the barrier. Hamilton's Mercedes car remained stationary being beached in the grass however Hamilton was able to continue by putting his car in reverse and thus enabling him to unbeach himself. Hamilton was able to continue throughout the session however struggled to put in competitive laptimes due to the damage at the rear of his car.
Whilst Hamilton struggled, Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg set the pace throughout the session however received continuous challenges to his lap times from Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso and Jean-Éric Vergne. During this time, the Force India of Paul di Resta and the Williams of Pastor Maldonado both spun at turn 11. However more seriously the Ferrari of Felipe Massa had a major spin at turn 12 which sent him flying into the opposing wall. Massa's front wing was destroyed but apart from this the Ferrari driver suffered no other damage and unbelievably managed to continue in the session. As Massa spun off the circuit Mark Webber had his own incident just behind him where he spun off at turn 11.
The McLaren cars had struggled throughout the practice sessions and neither Jenson Button or Sergio Pérez made much improvement in qualifying languishing at the back of the mid-field. As the conditions began to improve towards the end of the session, Button was the first driver to move from the full wets to the intermediate tyre. Button immediately went quickest in the session but as soon as the rest of the pack made the change to the intermediates the McLaren's dropped right back down the order. At turn 11 Giedo van der Garde had his second spin of the session but unlike his first incident was able to continue without damage. In the last minute of the session, the second Caterham of Charles Pic spun off at the turn 11 straight sending him into the wall and causing him to lose his own front wing. Seconds later, the Sauber of Esteban Gutiérrez had an almost identical accident to Massa in which he spun off and slammed into the opposing wall at turn 11. Unlike the Ferrari driver, Gutiérrez was unable to drive away from the accident. Gutiérrez's Sauber was left beached out in the middle of the track and ruining the final lap of any drivers on a hot lap. Pastor Maldonado was the big loser in this session, Gutiérrez's accident meant he was unable to improve his time meaning he qualified 17th and therefore failed to make the cut for Q2. Behind him, the Marussia drivers followed with Jules Bianchi leading Max Chilton. The Caterham cars both of whom suffered accidents in the session languished at the back with debutant Van der Garde outqualifying Charles Pic his more experienced teammate.
Before the second qualifying session began a heavy deluge of rain swept over the circuit forcing yet another delay in the qualifying session. However, after an hour there was no signs of the rain disappearing and with little daylight remaining race director Charlie Whiting announced that the second and third qualifying sessions would be postponed until Sunday morning.
When the second session commenced the following morning, the weather conditions were much better than the previous day however the track remained quite wet after early morning showers. As the session commenced all the drivers went out on the intermediate tyres but after only a few laps the drivers began making the change to the supersofts. The only driver not to go out on the supersofts was the McLaren of Jenson Button who remained on the intermediates. The decision was a bold choice but payed off for the McLaren driving placing his seemingly uncompetitive McLaren into fourth place in the session. Button's teammate Sergio Pérez remained on the supersofts but struggled throughout the session to finish a disappointing 15th place.
Of those other drivers eliminated in Q2 where the Sauber of Nico Hülkenberg, the Force India of Adrian Sutil, both Toro Rosso's of Jean-Éric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo, Perez finishing in 16th place and Williams driver Valtteri Bottas was the only driver of the debutants to break into the second qualifying session lining up in 17th place.
As the final qualifying session commenced, the track was largely much drier than it had been at the start of the second session. Nevertheless, most cars started their reconnaissance laps on the intermediates. Jenson Button was the only driver to start the session on the supersofts. The McLaren driver struggled throughout the session and opted to pull out of the session early settling for 10th place on the grid. The Mercedes cars set the initial pace with Lewis Hamilton leading teammate Nico Rosberg but towards the end the Red Bull cars took control with Sebastian Vettel becoming the new pace setter with teammate Mark Webber just behind.
Rosberg was dislodged by the Ferrari cars of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa who held onto fourth and fifth places. Alonso looked to have fourth place on the grid but on Massa's final flying lap the Brazilian driver dislodged his senior teammate from fourth place. The Lotus cars of Kimi Räikkönen and Romain Grosjean lined up in eight and ninth places ahead of the Force India of Paul di Resta.
In the hours immediately following the final qualifying session, a fuel-line problem was discovered within Nico Hülkenberg's Sauber. After working furiously to repair the issue, the team were unable to do so in time for the race, and so the team were forced to withdraw the car. Hence, Nico Hülkenberg did not start the race.
|1||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||7||1:44.657||7||1:36.745||1||1:27.407||1|
|2||2||Mark Webber||Red Bull-Renault||5||1:44:472||2||1:36.524||2||1:27.827||2|
|9||14||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||12||1:45:601||8||1:36.901||9||1:29.305||9|
|12||15||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||16||1:47.330||12||1:38.134||12|
|13||18||Jean-Éric Vergne||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||9||1:44:871||13||1:38.778||13|
|14||19||Daniel Ricciardo||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||14||1:46.450||14||1:39.042||14|
|21||21||Giedo van der Garde||Caterham-Renault||21||1:49.519||21|
|107% time: 1:50.617|
|Paul di Resta||10|
|Giedo van der Garde||22|
* A fuel feed issue was discovered in Nico Hülkenberg's car after qualifying. Despite efforts from the team to fix it, the damage could not be repaired in time for the start of the race and Sauber withdrew the car.
The race began at 17:00 local time (7:00 UTC), but without Nico Hulkenberg, unable to take part in the race after a fuel line problem was discovered in his Sauber C32 in the hours leading up to the race. As a result, Hülkenberg's row 6 grid slot remained vacant, and débutant Esteban Gutiérrez was the sole Sauber driver to make the grid.
Despite heavy showers in the morning, the remaining 21 drivers faced the start on a predominantly dry track, but with small damp patches around the lap and the threat of more rain in the air. However, all drivers started out on a dry compound of tyre, with Sergio Pérez among the few drivers to start on the medium Prime tyre, with most others on the Super-Softs.
Sebastian Vettel lead the field from pole with a good start, while team-mate Mark Webber had a terrible start from second - falling back into the pack. Among other drivers to make a good start was Felipe Massa who moved up from his second row grid slot to challenge for the lead into the first corner. All cars made it through turn one unscathed, with Vettel leading Massa, Hamilton, Alonso and Räikkönen out of turn 2. By the end of the second lap, Hamilton had dropped to fifth, being passed by Alonso into turn 4 on lap 1 and Räikkönen on lap 2. Webber had dropped from 2nd on the grid to complete the first lap in 7th.
The first of the drivers to pit for tyres was Jenson Button, whose decision to set a time in Q3 left him with a worn set of tyres. His option tyres lasted just four laps before the Brit had to pit for Primes. A lap later, Webber pitted for what turned out to be a very slow stop. Meanwhile, Massa's Ferrari slowly closed the gap on Vettel to under a second, allowing Massa to utilize DRS.
Alan Permane Lotus team joined on the podium to receive the winning manufacturer's award.
to be completed
|2||3||Fernando Alonso||Ferrari||58||+ 12.451 s||5||18|
|3||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||58||+ 22.346 s||1||15|
|4||4||Felipe Massa||Ferrari||58||+ 33.577 s||4||12|
|5||10||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||58||+ 45.561 s||3||10|
|6||2||Mark Webber||Red Bull-Renault||58||+ 46.800 s||2||8|
|7||15||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||58||+ 1 m 05.068 s||12||6|
|8||14||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||58||+ 1 m 08.449 s||9||4|
|9||5||Jenson Button||McLaren-Mercedes||58||+ 1 m 21.630 s||10||2|
|10||8||Romain Grosjean||Lotus-Renault||58||+ 1 m 22.759 s||8||1|
|11||6||Sergio Pérez||McLaren-Mercedes||58||+ 1 m 23.367 s||15|
|12||18||Jean-Éric Vergne||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||58||+ 1 m 23.857 s||13|
|13||12||Esteban Gutiérrez||Sauber-Ferrari||57||+ 1 lap||18|
|14||17||Valtteri Bottas||Williams-Renault||57||+ 1 lap||16|
|15||22||Jules Bianchi||Marussia-Cosworth||57||+ 1 lap||19|
|16||20||Charles Pic||Caterham-Renault||56||+ 2 laps||22|
|17||23||Max Chilton||Marussia-Cosworth||56||+ 2 laps||20|
|18||21||Giedo van der Garde||Caterham-Renault||56||+ 2 laps||21|
|Ret||19||Daniel Ricciardo||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||39||Exhaust||14|
|Ret||16||Pastor Maldonado||Williams-Renault||24||Spun off||17|
|DNS||11||Nico Hülkenberg||Sauber-Ferrari||0||Fuel system||11|
|2||18||Jean-Éric Vergne||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||50||1:29.498||0.224||12|
|4||2||Mark Webber||Red Bull-Renault||45||1:29.732||0.458||6|
|10||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||42||1:30.409||1.135||3|
|14||19||Daniel Ricciardo||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||33||1:30.881||1.607||Ret|
|15||14||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||56||1:30.894||1.620||8|
|20||21||Giedo van der Garde||Caterham-Renault||39||1:32.636||3.362||18|
|1||Sebastian Vettel||1 – 6||6||31.818 km|
|2||Felipe Massa||7||1||5.303 km|
|3||Fernando Alonso||8||1||5.303 km|
|4||Lewis Hamilton||9 – 12||4||21.212 km|
|5||Nico Rosberg||13||1||5.303 km|
|6||Adrian Sutil||14 – 20||7||37.121 km|
|7||Felipe Massa||21 – 22||2||10.606 km|
|8||Kimi Räikkönen||23 – 33||11||58.333 km|
|9||Fernando Alonso||34 – 38||5||26.515 km|
|10||Adrian Sutil||39 – 42||4||21.212 km|
|11||Kimi Räikkönen||43 – 58||16||84.848 km|
|1||Kimi Räikkönen||27||143.181 km|
|2||Adrian Sutil||11||58.333 km|
|3||Sebastian Vettel||6||31.818 km|
|Fernando Alonso||6||31.818 km|
|5||Lewis Hamilton||4||21.212 km|
|6||Felipe Massa||3||15.909 km|
|7||Nico Rosberg||1||5.303 km|
- First F1 Grand Prix: Valtteri Bottas, Max Chilton, Esteban Gutiérrez, Giedo van der Garde, Jules Bianchi.
- First time that qualifying has taken place on a Sunday since the 2010 Japanese Grand Prix.
- Sebastian Vettel's 50th front row start.
- Jenson Button scores 1000th Career World Championship point.
- Kimi Räikkönen's 20th win and 70th podium, also his last win until the 2018 United States Grand Prix.
- First Grand Prix for a Dutch driver since the 2007 British Grand Prix.
- Charles Pic's first race for Caterham, Lewis Hamilton's first race for Mercedes, Sergio Pérez's first race for McLaren and Nico Hülkenberg's first race at Sauber.
- Adrian Sutil's first race since the 2011 Brazilian Grand Prix.
- Last Grand Prix not to be won by Mercedes, Red Bull, or Ferrari until the 2020 Italian Grand Prix.
Standings after race
|V T E||Australian Grand Prix|
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