Bahrain Grand Prix 2013: Sebastian Vettel seals second victory of season
Bahrain Grand Prix 2013: Sebastian Vettel wins his second race of the year ahead of Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean
Sebastian Vettel put in an imperious drive to win the Bahrain Grand Prix and extend his lead in the drivers’ world championship.
Vettel’s Red Bull finished comfortably ahead of Lotus duo Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean in Sakhir for his 28th Formula 1 career victory.
Pole-sitter Nico Rosberg fought off Vettel’s approaches at the first corner, while Paul Di Resta’s Force India leapt up to fourth.
Rosberg could only hold off Vettel’s advances for two more laps though, the Red Bull taking the lead before Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari overtook the Mercedes too on lap four.
With Rosberg’s tyres deteriorating quickly, Di Resta comfortably overtook the struggling Mercedes on lap six to move into the top three.
But Alonso’s race soured on lap eight after his DRS flap stayed open and the Ferrari mechanics had to force it shut, leaving him in the midfield.
Vettel – on a new set of hard tyres – overtook Raikkonen’s Lotus on lap 15 after the first set of pit-stops around the first corner to retake the lead.
An inter-team battle ensued on lap 27 between McLaren duo Jenson Button and Sergio Perez, the Mexican coming out on top to go sixth.
A lap before, Di Resta went down the inside of Grosjean to go second as the Scotsman put in a composed drive.
But Di Resta was powerless to hold off Raikkonen who used DRS to pass the Force India on lap 34 to go second.
Ferrari’s miserable weekend continued on lap 37 after Felipe Massa was forced to pit with a right-rear tyre puncture.
Vettel pitted on lap 42 for a final fresh set of hard tyres and came back out with a comfortable lead over Raikkonen as the race entered its final stages.
Grosjean denied Di Resta his first Formula 1 career podium five laps from the end while Mark Webber succumbed to late advances from Lewis Hamilton, who finished fifth.
The first European race of the season is next on the Formula 1 calendar in three weeks time in Spain at the Circuit de Catalunya.
Bahrain Grand Prix 2013: Race result
1. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)
2. Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus)
3. Romain Grosjean (Lotus)
4. Paul di Resta (Force India)
5. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
6. Sergio Perez (McLaren)
7. Mark Webber (Red Bull)
8. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)
9. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)
10. Jenson Button (McLaren)
11. Pastor Maldonado (Williams)
12. Nico Hulkenberg (Sauber)
13. Adrian Sutil (Force India)
14. Valtteri Bottas (Williams)
15. Felipe Massa (Ferrari)
16. Daniel Ricciardo (Toro Rosso)
17. Charles Pic (Caterham)
18. Esteban Guttierez (Sauber)
19. Jules Bianchi (Marussia)
20. Max Chilton (Marussia)
21. Giedo van der Garde (Caterham)
Not classified. Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso)