‘Not too difficult’ for Raikkonen at the front

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Kimi Raikkonen is nicknamed ‘the Iceman’ for his cool persona and ability to excel under pressure, and his win at the Australian Grand Prix has only extended these credentials after he said the race was “not too difficult.”

On the podium, Raikkonen said “it was a pretty nice race and not too difficult.

“I was confident the tires would be ok, I have had a good car all weekend with no issues with the tires so I thought it would be easy to do it.”

The majority of drivers pitted three times during the race, but Raikkonen was able to stop just twice after he looked after his tires throughout the early stages of the race. When Fernando Alonso stopped for a third time, Raikkonen found a way past Adrian Sutil and saw out the remaining laps to claim his second win since his comeback at the beginning of 2012.

After a weekend marred by wet weather, Raikkonen was always wary of the rain returning and spoiling his race, so he ensured that he built up a big enough lead so he could ease off.

“I was just trying to make sure we had a gap if the rain came.

“I didn’t do any long runs over the winter but I knew I had a good car and I had a feeling it would be a good race.”

Raikkonen also claimed the fastest lap of the race with a best time of 1:29.274.

The Finnish driver will be pleased to have achieved such a strong result at the first race, but with Ferrari and Red Bull also showing good pace, Raikkonen may have a battle on his hands if he is to win a second world championship in 2013.

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Daniel Ricciardo would relish being Lewis Hamilton’s teammate

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BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Daniel Ricciardo says he would relish the challenge of having Lewis Hamilton as his teammate if he joins Mercedes next year.

Ricciardo is out of contract at Red Bull at the end of the season and expressed interest in joining teams like Mercedes or Ferrari to help him challenge for the championship.

The Australian says he would “love to obviously be challenged against the best and Lewis is obviously up there.”

He adds: “I don’t want to say it’s just Lewis I’m looking for but that would be a good challenge.”

Ricciardo says he won’t accept a faster car if it means playing second fiddle to an established star.

He says “there’s always been really good clarity and fairness (at Red Bull) … and I would expect that environment everywhere.”