Australian Grand Prix: Kimi Raikkonen bags race for Lotus F1, Sebastian Vettel bites dust
Raikkonen took the lead for good on lap 43 of 58 in a race which had seven different leaders, and had the luxury of driving conservatively in the closing laps while Ferrari's Alonso and Red Bull's Vettel scrambled in vain to keep up.
The Finn needed only two pit stops compared to three stops for each of the six men who followed in his wake, and he became the 15th man in F1 history to record 20 grand prix wins.
"Our plan was to do two stops and though it's always difficult in the first races to know when to stop and not go too early, we got it exactly right,'' Raikkonen said.
"We followed the plan and it worked out perfectly for us. I could save the tires and go fast if I needed. It was one of the easiest races I have done to win and hopefully we can have many more of these races.''
Alonso looked like a winning chance when he trailed Raikkonen by 6.2 seconds with 12 laps to go, but could not make up ground. Still he was satisfied with where Ferrari stands compared to the poor early races last season.
"I am extremely happy,'' Alonso said. "We had a difficult start of season two years ago and last year, too, and