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20/03/2024 News

One month, one symbolic date: 2013 Melbourne F1 Grand Prix

Lotus Renault's last victory with TotalEnergies

The month of March 2024, the traditional venue for the Melbourne F1 Grand Prix, is the perfect opportunity to take a trip back in time, eleven years to the last success of the Lotus Renault and TotalEnergies partnership.

At the time, the 2013 Australian Grand Prix marked the first meeting of the season and Kimi Räikkönen was not necessarily the driver most favoured by the prognosticators. In fact, he only qualified seventh in his Lotus Renault E21 in the TotalEnergies colours. But Iceman, as he is known, is going to work miracles in the race and thwart all the predictions. His secret weapon: an unstoppable two-stop strategy, whereas the Sunday norm is three stops on the Albert Park circuit. In total harmony with his car, which seems to be sparing with its Pirelli tyres, much criticised by the drivers in the off-season, the Finnish world champion put on a real demonstration to win ahead of Fernando Alonso's Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull, who had started from the thirty-seventh pole position of his career. This is a major feat, because in ten years, no driver has ever won in Australia after starting from such a distant position on the grid.

"I had a good car all weekend," enthused the driver wearing the TotalEnergies colours as he crossed the finish line. "I got off to a good start and then everything went well. Of course, I had my doubts before the race about the tyres, but they weren't a problem for me and towards the end, I was able to attack hard, in case the rain came or something, to make sure I opened up a big gap." This second victory for Räikkönen after his return to F1 at the start of the 2021 season is also the last to date in the association between Lotus Renault and TotalEnergies.