The start of a new F1 season always raises a few questions, and the 2013 campaign kicked off without a clear favourite after winter testing proved inconclusive.
Mercedes appeared to live up to their pre-season billing with Nico Rosberg topping practice, before Red Bull came to the fore in an interrupted qualifying session. Come raceday, however, and even Sebastian Vettel - or at least his tyres - proved fallible, with Kimi Raikkonen coming through to take an unexpected victory for Lotus, while Fernando Alonso also got the better of his 2012 nemesis as Ferrari's latest car confirmed that it is indeed a better prospect than its predecessor.
Behind the top three, Felipe Massa showed that he means to start a season as he has finished the last couple, challenging team-mate Alonso into turn one and running ahead of him for half the race before an ill-timed tyre stop restricted him to fourth. Lewis Hamilton was left to uphold Mercedes honour after Rosberg retired, while Mark Webber rescued sixth spot after another appalling start and technical glitches.
More unexpected than Raikkonen's win, however, was the performance of Force India returnee Adrian Sutil, who made a free tyre choice before the start work in his favour by leading in the second half, and the German appeared to be in line for a possible podium until Pirelli's supersofts refused to go the distance to the flag.
Team-mate Paul di Resta ensured that both Force India cars scored points, while Jenson Button and Romain Grosjean both endured anonymous races to round out the top ten.
Further back, Jules Bianchi topped the third division battle on his debut with the Marussia team, as all five 2013 rookies went the distance.
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