Kimi Raikkonen dominated the Australian Grand Prix, winning comfortably over the chasing McLarens of Fernando Alonso and ‘super-rookie’ Lewis Hamilton. The 27 year-old described his first win with Ferrari, as enjoyable and ‘the perfect way’ to start his challenge for the World Championship. The last driver to win on their debut with Ferrari was Nigel Mansell back in 1989.
“Of course it is always nice to come to the first race and win straight away, I have never done that before”, said the jubilant Finn.
“I have had good races here before but I have never been able to win, but with a new team and everything basically new this year it is the ideal way to start the season. The car is very strong, the team is perfect and the people are really making my life nice and easy.â€
“I am really enjoying it and this is the perfect way, so hopefully we can keep it up.â€
However despite his commanding win, it was apparent that both driver and team suffered problems during the race. While team-mate Massa encountered cooling issues during his fight to the front, Raikkonen had intermittent radio failure leading to a mix up over when he would take his first pit stop.
“Today the race was not maybe as easy as it looked. At the start my radio broke, so I didn’t have one for the whole race and that was a bit complicated. At least we had a plan what we wanted to do before the race so I knew pretty much what I had to do. But of course in some places it wasn’t the ideal situation.â€
“Anyway it was a good race for us, I didn’t really need to push too hard and just tried to pace myself a bit and look around at what the others are doing. But an excellent start.â€
Ferrari trail McLaren by one point in the championship, and will be keen to rectify any engine cooling problems prior to the typically hot Malaysian Grand Prix in three weeks time.