Kimi Raikkonen made a two-stop strategy work perfectly to claim his second victory for the Lotus F1 team, and open the 2013 season on top of the world championship standings.
The Finn made a great start to latch onto the leading group and, while his rivals were all forced into making three stops for fresh tyres, made his rubber last longer, even putting in a new fastest lap with two to run to confirm the E21's light touch.
Fernando Alonso came home in second place after being forced to give up on his late pursuit of the eventual winner, but got the better of 2012 title nemesis Sebastian Vettel, despite the German having started on pole. The Red Bull was unable to demonstrate the sort of pace that many had feared it had, and Ferrari managed to get the better of its rival on strategy to push Alonso ahead.
Felipe Massa could also have finished in front of Vettel had it not been for the Scuderia's decision to pit him before he had the chance to open a gap, but the Brazilian got his season off to a better start than of late with fourth spot.
Lewis Hamilton and Mark Webber – the Australian having made an atrocious start from the front row – were next up, but the other star of the show was Adrian Sutil, who led twice on his return to F1, only to be denied a possible podium or top five by excessive wear when he switched to the supersoft tyre with just a handful of laps to run.
The German eventually finished seventh, just ahead of Force India team-mate Paul di Resta, while Jenson Button and Romain Grosjean completed the point scorers.
Full race report now available.
Full race results and times also available.