Scuderia Ferrari Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen finished third in the first race of the season, the 2018 Australian Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton had to settle for second at the season-opening at Melbourne after an apparent error by Mercedes gift-wrapped victory to his rival Sebastian Vettel. Kimi Raikkonen held off the challenge from home favourite Daniel Ricciardo to complete the podium places, as the safety car did not help the Finnish driver, but did help Sebastian Vettel, who at that time was 11 seconds clear of Lewis Hamilton – with the Briton already having stopped.
The 2007 Formula One world champion may not have been the lucky Ferrari driver in Australia on Sunday but the Finn was nonetheless happy with his third place. Kimi Raikkonen was racing for second place in Melbourne only to find himself third after his team-mate Sebastian Vettel benefitted from a Virtual Safety Car. The VSC was brought out after Lewis Hamilton, who had been leading, and Raikkonen pitted but before Vettel did. That meant the German could pit under the VSC, getting the jump on both Hamilton and his team-mate:
“It was okay, we didn’t have the most luck but what can you do. Luckily it was Seb who got the luck and our team. I think I had a decent speed all day long, it is just difficult to pass. I had a good go at the second corner and then tried to follow and see if we can do something on the pit stop. The Safety Car was pure luck. We held onto third place, got some pressure at the end from Red Bull with more fresher tyres. I’ll take it, third place.” – Kimi Raikkonen said, at the end of the 2018 Australian Grand Prix.