Vettel beats Räikkönen to victory in Bahrain

Vettel beats Räikkönen to victory in Bahrain

22 April 2012 – Sebastian Vettel has kick-started his 2012 season by winning the Bahrain Grand Prix. He fended off Kimi Räikkönen, who had saved tyres and came through from 11th on the grid. As Romain Grosjean confirmed a double podium finish for Lotus, McLaren suffered a miserable day plagued by more pit-stop problems.

Although the run-up to the weekend may have been overshadowed by events taking place off-track in Manama, the happenings on it confirm that four different teams have now won as many races so far this year. A quartet of drivers have also led the standings, with Vettel now moving ahead as reigning Champions Red Bull capitalise on McLaren’s dreadful day. On an afternoon full of fascinating statistics, Lotus-entered cars enjoy a first double podium finish since 1979.

In a clean start, Vettel defended his lead from Lewis Hamilton as Mark Webber retained third place. A rapid getaway from Grosjean saw the Franco-Swiss shoot up to fourth, with Button tumbling to sixth and Räikkönen climbed to seventh. Both Lotus cars made significant progress in the opening stages, with Grosjean reaching as high as second by pulling a strong move on Hamilton at the first corner. By Lap 9, Vettel had extended his leading advantage to just under five seconds.

The race began to unravel as McLaren committed, not one, but two crucial pit-stop errors for Hamilton. Following problems in both Malaysia and China for Hamilton and Button, the 2008 Champion was affected by a cross-threaded left-wheel wheel nut on both occasions today, dropping him back into traffic as Paul di Resta took advantage of a number of big names to finish sixth on a two-stop strategy; he was passed by Nico Rosberg in the closing stages, although the German is under investigation for squeezing both Hamilton and Fernando Alonso off the track.

At the front, the flying Räikkönen – with extra sets of Soft tyres available because of his limited running in qualifying – followed team-mate Grosjean but Lotus, choosing not employ team orders, saw him sit behind for several minutes. The Finn eventually overtook on Lap 23 before hunting down Vettel; in reality, there was only one real opportunity for the Finn, who decided not to risk his car by diving up the inside of the first corner. A gap opened up on the outside line, but Vettel duly defended his leading advantage. After the pair made their third and final stops together, Räikkönen successful managed his final set of tyres and again started to home in on his rival, although Vettel was able to control the pace towards the chequered flag.

While Grosjean sealed a career-first rostrum finish and France’s first since Jean Alesi in the 1998 Belgian Grand Prix, Mark Webber bagged fourth place – the Australian collected more solid points and is yet to finish in any other position this season. Fifth was not quite another victory for Rosberg, despite passing di Resta; the Mercedes suffered a broken exhaust in the closing stages and, like winner Vettel and Felipe Massa’ Ferrari, stopped after the finish line.

Once again, the Grand Prix was filled with a selection of dramatic manoeuvres throughout the field, but Hamilton was unable to pull one on Alonso as the former team-mates just missed out on di Resta’s impressive sixth place. In ninth, Massa drove a confident race and scores for the first time this year, whereas Michael Schumacher finished tenth from 22nd on the grid after a gearbox penalty.

Jenson Button would have scored, but retired with a differential problem just two laps from home. Like Marussia’s Charles Pic, both Williams failed to make the finish and endured a double retirement, following on from a double points finish in China a week ago. On a happier note, Sebastian Vettel’s 22nd career win is his first since India last year and equals Damon Hill for 11th place in the all-time rankings.


F1 2012 continues with Round 5 and the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona, which marks the start of the European season in three weeks’ time

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Sunday 26 June 2016

  2. Renault sees back row as a 'one-off' 09:08

    Renault sees back row as a 'one-off'

    Renault's back-row qualifying result at last weekend's European Grand Prix in Baku has been described as a "one-off" occurrence…

    F1
  3. Video of the Day: Hamilton's Green Hell 05:24

    Video of the Day: Hamilton's Green Hell

    In a promotional trailer for Mercedes' new AMG GT-R, Lewis Hamilton tackles a different version of the 'Green Hell'

    F1
  4. Saturday 25 June 2016

  5. Power beats Ganassi to pole at Road America 22:36

    Power beats Ganassi to pole at Road America

    Will Power calmly cruised to pole position at Road America on Saturday, staying 0.16s clear of the Ganassi duo of Scott Dixon…

    Indy
  6. 17:20

    Book F1 tickets and join the action live!

    F1
  7. MotoGP bans winglets from 2017 17:18

    MotoGP bans winglets from 2017

    The Grand Prix Commission has elected to ban the use of winglets in MotoGP from the start of the 2017 season. The aerodynamic…

    MotoGP
  8. Lorenzo 'didn't feel safe' in wet conditions 16:57

    Lorenzo 'didn't feel safe' in wet conditions

    Reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo admitted that he "didn't feel safe or comfortable" riding in wet conditions as he…

    MotoGP
  9. Orudzhev keeps Nissany at bay for win 15:51

    Orudzhev keeps Nissany at bay for win

    Egor Orudzhev resisted a late attack from Roy Nissany to collect his second win of the Formula V8 3.5 season at Paul…

    FV8 3.5
  10. Video: Road America practice highlights 14:34

    Video: Road America practice highlights

    Watch highlights from practice as IndyCar returns to Road America for this weekend's Kohler Grand Prix.

    Indy
  11. 14:00

    Latest MotoGP photos: Saturday at Assen

    MotoGP
  12. Dovizioso takes pole at damp Assen 13:59

    Dovizioso takes pole at damp Assen

    Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso claimed his first pole position of the season after storming to top spot during qualifying for the…

    MotoGP
  13. Assen gets 10-year MotoGP extension 11:17

    Assen gets 10-year MotoGP extension

    MotoGP organisers have confirmed that Assen will continue to host the Dutch TT until at least 2026 after a new 10-year deal was…

    MotoGP
  14. FIA moves to reward 'safer' drivers 10:36

    FIA moves to reward 'safer' drivers

    Drivers who avoid collecting penalty points in FIA-organised categories will be rewarded with points towards their Formula 1…

    F1
  15. Celis Jr. set for Austria practice run 10:04

    Celis Jr. set for Austria practice run

    Force India development driver Alfonso Celis Jr. will return to the cockpit of the VJM09 during Friday practice for next…

    F1
  16. Dovizioso tops third Dutch TT practice 09:51

    Dovizioso tops third Dutch TT practice

    Andrea Dovizioso maintained Ducati's position at the head of the field for the Dutch TT during a tightly-contested third…

    MotoGP
  17. Feature: Who should partner Vettel in 2017? 09:22

    Feature: Who should partner Vettel in 2017?

    With Nico Rosberg set to extend his stay at Mercedes, the key to this year's driver market appears to revolve around Ferrari…

    F1
  18. IndyCar confirms revised Texas plan 07:50

    IndyCar confirms revised Texas plan

    IndyCar officials have confirmed plans for resuming the Firestone 600, which will take place at the Texas Motor Speedway at the…

    Indy
  19. Video of the Day: 'Ferraristi per Sempre' 05:26

    Video of the Day: 'Ferraristi per Sempre'

    Earlier this week, Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel and Team Principal Maurizio Arrivabene were present at the opening of the new…

    F1
  20. Friday 24 June 2016

  21. 18:32

    Latest MotoGP photos: Friday at Assen

    MotoGP
  22. Rossi to use standard frame at Assen 18:24

    Rossi to use standard frame at Assen

    Valentino Rossi has dropped Yamaha's new frame for the remainder of the Dutch TT, after testing it in practice, while team-mate…

    MotoGP
  23. Leclerc set for five FP1 outings with Haas 15:14

    Leclerc set for five FP1 outings with Haas

    Ferrari Driver Academy member Charles Leclerc is set to make five Formula 1 practice outings with the Haas team in 2016…

    F1
  24. Iannone stays on top in second practice 14:06

    Iannone stays on top in second practice

    Andrea Iannone remained at the top of the times with a late charge during Friday afternoon's second practice session for the…

    MotoGP
  25. Ricciardo expects stronger Austria showing 12:59

    Ricciardo expects stronger Austria showing

    Daniel Ricciardo is expecting Red Bull to enjoy a stronger showing at this year's Austrian Grand Prix, the squad's home event…

    F1
  26. Video: Lewis Hamilton's Baku trouble 11:07

    Video: Lewis Hamilton's Baku trouble

    In Mercedes' latest Studio Show, power unit chief Andy Cowell explains what de-rating is and Sporting Director Ron Meadows…

    F1
  27. Salo: Ferrari should keep Räikkönen 10:12

    Salo: Ferrari should keep Räikkönen

    Ex-Formula 1 driver Mika Salo reckons Ferrari should keep Kimi Räikkönen into 2017, for what would be a fourth successive…

    F1
  28. Iannone heads Ducati 1-2 in first practice 10:03

    Iannone heads Ducati 1-2 in first practice

    Andrea Iannone edged out team-mate Andrea Dovizioso in a Ducati 1-2 during the first free practice session for the Dutch TT at…

    MotoGP
  29. Interlagos seeks 2025 contract extension 09:02

    Interlagos seeks 2025 contract extension

    Brazilian Grand Prix organisers have moved to ease fears over the future of the event, following comments made by Formula 1…

    F1
  30. Alonso: 'A lot more' required for titles 08:23

    Alonso: 'A lot more' required for titles

    Fernando Alonso has admitted that the McLaren-Honda partnership still has "a long way to go" in terms of overall competitiveness…

    F1
  31. Video of the Day: James Allison interview 05:06

    Video of the Day: James Allison interview

    Ferrari's Technical Director, James Allison, discusses how a Formula 1 team splits resources between its current and future…

    F1
  32. Thursday 23 June 2016

  33. Crutchlow to remain at LCR for 2017 19:04

    Crutchlow to remain at LCR for 2017

    Cal Crutchlow has confirmed that he will be staying at LCR Honda in 2017, for what will be a third campaign, ending recent…

    MotoGP
  34. Pirelli reveals Spa, Suzuka compounds 16:25

    Pirelli reveals Spa, Suzuka compounds

    Pirelli has revealed its tyre compound selections for the Belgian and Japanese Grands Prix. For the Spa-Francorchamps round…

    F1
  35. Espargaró set to replace Bradl at Aprilia 16:12

    Espargaró set to replace Bradl at Aprilia

    Stefan Bradl has confirmed that he will exit the Aprilia MotoGP squad at the end of the season, with Aleix Espargaró set to…

    MotoGP
  36. Vettel: F1 must retain danger element 14:15

    Vettel: F1 must retain danger element

    Quadruple Formula 1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel reckons the sport must retain an element of danger if it is to remain…

    F1
  37. Video: Porsche's Le Mans 24 Hours win 13:18

    Video: Porsche's Le Mans 24 Hours win

    Porsche reflects on its 18th victory at the Le Mans 24 Hours following late-race drama for rivals Toyota.

    LM
  38. Button: Williams comments 'very nice' 12:19

    Button: Williams comments 'very nice'

    Jenson Button has admitted that it was "very nice" to hear positive comments from the Williams camp, amid potential interest…

    F1
  39. Nasr hopeful of upgrades at Silverstone 11:12

    Nasr hopeful of upgrades at Silverstone

    Felipe Nasr hopes Sauber will be able to bring its long-awaited upgrade package to the British Grand Prix next month, as it…

    F1
  40. Hülkenberg: Force India can score every race 10:06

    Hülkenberg: Force India can score every race

    Nico Hülkenberg believes that Force India has the package to score points at every Grand Prix, following a recent strong run…

    F1
  41. Sutton: Story Behind the Shot - Montreal/Baku 09:08

    Sutton: Story Behind the Shot - Montreal/Baku

    Especially for lovers of motorsport photography, GPUpdate.net's race-by-race series, Story Behind the Shot, continues throughout…

    F1
  42. Video of the Day: Rio Haryanto on track 05:24

    Video of the Day: Rio Haryanto on track

    Watch rookie Rio Haryanto on track in the Manor MRT05 as he talks about becoming Indonesia's first F1 driver.

    F1
  43. Wednesday 22 June 2016

  44. Video: Vettel on passion for motorsport 15:44

    Video: Vettel on passion for motorsport

    Watch as Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel discusses his passion for motorsport and provides an insight into Formula 1 at the FIA's…

    F1
  45. Tost expects STR/Sainz Jr. renewal soon 15:06

    Tost expects STR/Sainz Jr. renewal soon

    Toro Rosso Team Principal Franz Tost says he expects Carlos Sainz Jr. to remain with the outfit into 2017, and hopes a deal with…

    F1
more news