Vettel dominant in Bahrain GP

Updated: April 21, 2013


Three-time defending Formula One world
champion Sebastian Vettel extended his points lead after winning the Bahrain
Grand Prix for the second year in a row on Sunday.

Vettel put on a dominating performance in the 57-lap. The Red Bull driver
overtook pole sitter Nico Rosberg for the lead on the third lap and was
unstoppable from there. He gave up the top spot only when he pitted for the
first time. Vettel finished 9.1 seconds ahead of his closest competitor, Kimi
Raikkonen from Lotus.

The 25-year-old German claimed his 28th career F1 victory, which gave him sole
possession of sixth on the racing circuit’s all-time race winners list. He
became the first repeat winner this season as well. He scored the victory in
the March 24 Malaysian Grand Prix.

“It was a fantastic race,” Vettel said. “A big thank you to the team today. It
was a faultless race from start to finish. I knew it was crucial after the
start to get into the lead and then go from there and look after the tires.
The pace was phenomenal, and the car was very quick. It just seemed to get
better and better towards the end. It was a beautiful race where you could
push every single lap. We took very good care of the tires, so overall, I’m

With the win, Vettel widened his lead to 10 points over Raikkonen, who also
finished second in last year’s Bahrain GP.

“Yesterday (in qualifying) wasn’t ideal, so we planned to try a two-stop
(strategy), and it worked out well,” said Raikkonen, who started eighth. “We
gained a lot of places. I wasn’t strong on the first and second laps, but
after that, the car started to come to me, and I could start pushing more and

Raikkonen’s teammate, Romain Grosjean, finished third, making it the same top-
three finishing order from the 2012 race in this Middle East country. It’s the
first time Grosjean has appeared on the podium since last July in the
Hungarian Grand Prix.

“I’m very pleased to be here, and it was the same finish as last year,”
Grosjean said. “Now, we’ll just try to keep this consistency and get good

Paul di Resta from Force India took the fourth spot, followed by Mercedes’
Lewis Hamilton and McLaren’s Sergio Perez.

Red Bull driver Mark Webber finished seventh, and Fernando Alonso from Ferrari
was eighth. Alonso had a malfunction with his DRS system and had to pit
multiple times in the early going for repairs.

Rosberg from Mercedes ended up finishing ninth, and McLaren’s Jenson Button
completed the top-10. Button and his new teammate, Perez, nearly made contact
several time while the two were battling for position at the halfway point.
Button later accused Perez of driving “too aggressively.”

Felipe Massa was the last driver to finish on the lead lap in 15th. The
Ferrari driver suffered two tire punctures. Massa had made contact with Force
India’s Adrian Sutil during the opening lap.

1. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) RedBull – Renault 1:36:00.498
2. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Lotus – Renault +00:09.111
3. Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus – Renault 00:19.507
4. Paul Di Resta (Britain) Force India – Mercedes 00:21.727
5. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 00:35.230
6. Sergio Perez (Mexico) McLaren 00:35.998
7. Mark Webber (Australia) RedBull – Renault 00:37.244
8. Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 00:37.574
9. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 00:41.126
10. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 00:46.631
11. Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Williams – Renault 01:06.450
12. Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Sauber – Ferrari 01:12.933
13. Adrian Sutil (Germany) Force India – Mercedes 01:16.719
14. Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams – Renault 01:21.511
15. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 01:26.364
16. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Toro Rosso – Ferrari 1 lap
17. Charles Pic (France) Caterham – Renault 1 lap
18. Esteban Gutierrez (Mexico) Sauber – Ferrari 1 lap
19. Jules Bianchi (France) Marussia – Cosworth 1 lap
20. Max Chilton (Britain) Marussia – Cosworth 1 lap
21. Giedo van der Garde (Netherlands) Caterham – Renault 2 laps
r. Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso – Ferrari 41 laps