Kimi Raikkonen was surprised Ferrari did not inform him about Sebastian Vettel's race-winning strategy during Sunday's Formula 1 season-opening Australian Grand Prix, but felt pleased to play a part in a double-podium finish for the team.

Raikkonen started second for Ferrari at Albert Park and made an aggressive start to put pressure on Mercedes pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton, but ultimately dropped three seconds behind before pitting at the end of Lap 19.

Ferrari opted to keep Vettel - running third before the pit stops - out on an extended stint before a Virtual Safety Car period gave the German a sizeable time gain, allowing him to catapult into the lead of the race.

Raikkonen fumed over the radio after Ferrari did not tell him about Vettel's strategy, but was nevertheless able to hold on to third place at the chequered flag despite being tailed by Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo for much of the final stint.

"We didn’t have the most luck, but what can you do? Luckily it was Seb who got the luck - it was at least our team," Raikkonen said after the race.

"I had decent speed all day long, but it’s difficult to pass. I had a go at Lewis in the second corner but couldn’t pass, so after that I just tried to follow him and try something in the pit stop. In the end it didn’t work out for us.

"We got some pressure but managed to hold on to third place. Red Bull had fresher tyres, but we managed to keep them behind.

"In the end third place is an OK start. I’ve been happy with the car, and we take it from here."

Asked if he was surprised by Vettel's tactics, Raikkonen said: "Not really! The only thing that was surprising, because we obviously speak about these things on the radio, was that they didn’t let me know what he was doing.

"Obviously we talk before the race. There are hundreds of options we can do, and that was his best option because there was no threat from behind and he could take a chance, because had nothing else to lose from that point – he was safe in third place.

"It worked out well for him, so I wasn’t surprised by what they did. I was surprised that at one point I didn’t know it exactly."

 

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