Sebastian Vettel takes his first win of 2012 season

Sebastian Vettel leads the field at the start of the Bahrain GP

Sebastian Vettel leads the field at the start of the Bahrain GP

Sebastian Vettel has won his first rand Prix of 2012, winning at the Sakhir circuit in Bahrain.

The reigning world champion led from start to finish, fending off a late challenge from Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen to take the win.

Raikkonen scored his first podium since his return to the sport this year, leading home his Lotus team-mate Romain Grosjean.

The Lotus pair proved extremely fast during the race, carving their way through the field after qualifying fifth (Grosjean) and 11th (Raikkonen).

Raikkonen benefited from not competing in the final qualifying session and used that speed to pass Grosjean on Lap 24. He made one faint attempt at Vettel’s lead, but ultimately settled for second.

Vettel’s win moves him into the championship lead and makes him the fourth different winner from the four races so far this season.

Australian Mark Webber finished a lonely fourth – the fourth time he has finished fourth this year! His consistency sees him sit third in the championship, just five points behind leader Vettel.

Nico Rosberg was fifth after an eventful race. He was involved in two incidents at the same point of the circuit when he was seen to move aggressively across on rivals Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso. Both incidents are being reviewed by the stewards.

Force India’s Paul di Resta finished a fine sixth ahead of a fast-starting Alonso, Hamilton, Felipe Massa and Michael Schumacher, who started the race in 22nd.

Hamilton had an eventful race. After qualifying second, a glitch on his left rear wheel during his first two pit stops costing him valuable time.

Hamilton’s race at least gave him points, as his team-mate left with zero. Jenson Button ran on the fringe of the top five but copped a flat tyre in the closing stages. Worse was to come, though, as he withdrew from the race on the penultimate lap with an engine drama.

Australian Daniel Ricciardo had a shocking race. After qualifying a career-best sixth, a slow start saw him drop to 16th on the first lap. He pitted early with a damaged front wing, eventually finishing a lap down in 15th.

The next round of the Formula 1 World Championship is the first of the European events at Barcelona for the Spanish Grand Prix.

Race results

Pos No Driver Team Laps Time/Retired Grid Pts
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 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 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

Note – Maldonado qualified 17th, Schumacher 18th. Both dropped five grid places as penalty for an unscheduled gearbox changes.

Championship points
Pos Driver Nationality Team Points
1 Sebastian Vettel German Red Bull Racing-Renault 53
2 Lewis Hamilton British McLaren-Mercedes 49
3 Mark Webber Australian Red Bull Racing-Renault 48
4 Jenson Button British McLaren-Mercedes 43
5 Fernando Alonso Spanish Ferrari 43
6 Nico Rosberg German Mercedes 35
7 Kimi Räikkönen Finnish Lotus-Renault 34
8 Romain Grosjean French Lotus-Renault 23
9 Sergio Perez Mexican Sauber-Ferrari 22
10 Paul di Resta British Force India-Mercedes 15
11 Bruno Senna Brazilian Williams-Renault 14
12 Kamui Kobayashi Japanese Sauber-Ferrari 9
13 Jean-Eric Vergne French STR-Ferrari 4
14 Pastor Maldonado Venezuelan Williams-Renault 4
15 Daniel Ricciardo Australian STR-Ferrari 2
16 Nico Hulkenberg German Force India-Mercedes 2
17 Felipe Massa Brazilian Ferrari 2
18 Michael Schumacher German Mercedes 2
19 Timo Glock German Marussia-Cosworth 0
20 Charles Pic French Marussia-Cosworth 0
21 Vitaly Petrov Russian Caterham-Renault 0
22 Heikki Kovalainen Finnish Caterham-Renault 0
23 Pedro de la Rosa Spanish HRT-Cosworth 0
24 Narain Karthikeyan Indian HRT-Cosworth 0

 

Comments are closed.