Vettel wins ahead of Räikkönen
Sebastian Vettel has led the Bahrain GP from start to finish to win his first GP of the season. Kimi Räikkönen brough his Lotus car home in second place after a few unfortunate races. His teammate Grosjean finished third to complete a great result for Lotus.
As the lights went out for the Bahrain GP, Sebastian Vettel could easily retain his first place and even pulled away from everybody behind him. Lewis Hamilton also kept his second place, and was ahead of Grosjean and Webber after the first lap.
Fernando Alonso ended up in 5th place after another great start for the Ferrari. Massa also had a great start and moved up to 7th, behind Button and ahead of Raikkonen.
By lap 7 Vettel has pulled a gap of 4 seconds to his nearest competitor, now Grosjean. The Frenchman passed Hamilton on the main straight and kept ahead thanks to using all of the KERS power he had available. Hamilton's reduced pace is a clear sign of tyre degradation, as his McLaren teammate Jenson Button is complaining over the radio about excessive degradation of the rear tyres.
Alonso meanwhile is also feeling the pressure of the second Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen. The Finn is steadily moving forward and eventually passes the Ferrari at the beginning of lap 9.
The lap also marks the first pitstops, as Button and Massa dive into the pitlane while Alonso loses his 5th place.
One lap later Webber, Hamilton and Alonso pit as well. The McLaren team did have trouble however fitting the left rear tyre, eventually dropping Hamilton to 12th position when he rejoined the track.
Vettel and Raikkonen make their first stops on lap 11, handing the lead of the race to Paul Di Resta as the latter already started on the prime tyres and can therefore run a longer first stint. Interestingly Raikkonen gets fitted with another set of option tyres while most other cars are changing to the harder medium compound. As a result, 2 laps later Raikkonen gains another place as he passes Webber for 5th place.
In lap 15, just as Di Resta pits from 2nd place after getting passed by Vettel, positions are: Vettel, Grosjean, Raikkonen, Webber, Button, Hamilton, Alonso, Rosberg, Massa and Pérez in 10th place. Vettel is still comfortably ahead while Raikkonen is quickly closing in on his teammate in 2nd place.
Alonso on the other hand is seemingly moving backwards on track after a great start and another lightning quick pitstop.
On lap 21, Di Resta passes two cars at the same time at turn 3. While Maldonado was passing Pérez for 10th, Di Resta had the perfect line through the corner and could move up to 10th himself. Half a lap later the Force India driver is already right on the tail of Felipe Massa.
One lap later, the second series of stops commences, started by Button and Massa. By lap 26, most drivers have pitted and Vettel is still in the lead. His margin has however decreased to approximately 3 seconds to Raikkonen. Grosjean is third, Di REsta 4th, Webber 5th, Button 6th, Kobayashi 7th and Rosberg 8th.
Alonso meanwhile got extremely angry at Rosberg for pushing him off the track. Rosberg did the same to Hamilton a few laps earlier but Hamilton there decided to pass anyway, despite being off the track himself. Alonso backed out of it, as he already received word that Hamilton vs Rosberg will be investigated after the race. 5 minutes later it was also announced that the same type of incident with Alonso will be investigated after the race.
On lap 33, Vettel is still leading, but is increasingly worried by Kimi Raikkonen's pace. At the end of that lap, Raikkonen is only 0.500s behind the World Champion. Vettel is running on the softer tyre while Raikkonen runs his third stint on the harder compound.
Hamilton meanwhile is getting frustrated in 9th place, running closely behind Alonso and Massa for numerous laps.
On lap 38 a lot of drivers once again make another pit stop, followed by many more in the next 2 laps. Positions at the front remained the same but Raikkonen did lose a few seconds to Vettel. Grosjean comfortably kept third place.
7 laps from the end, Raikkonen is slowly reducing the gap again, but with 3.1s it looks like he might come a little too late. Interestingly though, the Lotus appears to take better care of its tyres as Raikkonen only gets the upper hand in the second part of the pace.
Grosjean is still in third place, Webber 4th, Rosberg, Di Resta, Button, Alonso, Hamilton closely behind the Ferrari, Massa and Schumacher.
3 laps from the end, Button pits another time and drops out of the points. Another two laps later Button slowly rolls into the pitlane, ending his race from 13th place.
As Vettel passed the finish line as the winner, he was immediately told to stop, instead of running his glory lap. Raikkonen on the other hand enjoyed the moment and ran the entire lap while being congratulated by his team.
As Mark Webber finished 4th, the teams scoring big time here are Red Bull and Lotus. McLaren on the other hand scored only a single 8th place.
|1||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||57||Winner||1||25|
|2||9||Kimi Räikkönen||Lotus-Renault||57||+3.3 secs||11||18|
|3||10||Romain Grosjean||Lotus-Renault||57||+10.1 secs||7||15|
|4||2||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing-Renault||57||+38.7 secs||3||12|
|5||8||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG||57||+55.4 secs||5||10|
|6||11||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||57||+57.5 secs||10||8|
|7||5||Fernando Alonso||Ferrari||57||+57.8 secs||9||6|
|8||4||Lewis Hamilton||McLaren-Mercedes||57||+58.9 secs||2||4|
|9||6||Felipe Massa||Ferrari||57||+64.9 secs||14||2|
|10||7||Michael Schumacher||Mercedes AMG||57||+71.4 secs||22||1|
|11||15||Sergio Perez||Sauber-Ferrari||57||+72.7 secs||8|
|12||12||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||57||+76.5 secs||13|
|13||14||Kamui Kobayashi||Sauber-Ferrari||57||+90.3 secs||12|
|14||17||Jean-Eric Vergne||STR-Ferrari||57||+93.7 secs||17|
|15||16||Daniel Ricciardo||STR-Ferrari||56||+1 Lap||6|
|16||21||Vitaly Petrov||Caterham-Renault||56||+1 Lap||18|
|17||20||Heikki Kovalainen||Caterham-Renault||56||+1 Lap||16|
|18||3||Jenson Button||McLaren-Mercedes||55||+2 Laps||4|
|19||24||Timo Glock||Marussia-Cosworth||55||+2 Laps||23|
|20||22||Pedro de la Rosa||HRT-Cosworth||55||+2 Laps||20|
|21||23||Narain Karthikeyan||HRT-Cosworth||55||+2 Laps||24|
|22||19||Bruno Senna||Williams-Renault||54||+3 Laps||15|
|Ret||18||Pastor Maldonado||Williams-Renault||25||+32 Laps||21|
|Ret||25||Charles Pic||Marussia-Cosworth||24||+33 Laps||19|