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 24 July 2016

  2. Nissany dominates for Silverstone double 17:55

    Nissany dominates for Silverstone double

    Lotus driver Roy Nissany dominated proceedings during the second Formula V8 3.5 race of the weekend to lead a 1-2 for the team…

    FV8 3.5
  3. 17:36

    Latest F1 photos: Sunday at Hungaroring

    F1
  4. Button questions radio-related penalty 17:32

    Button questions radio-related penalty

    Jenson Button has questioned why he received a penalty for radio messages that related to a brake issue in the Hungarian Grand…

    F1
  5. Vettel: Ferrari had raw pace for podium 16:39

    Vettel: Ferrari had raw pace for podium

    Sebastian Vettel rued what might have been after narrowly missing out on a podium to Daniel Ricciardo at the Hungarian Grand…

    F1
  6. Verstappen feels he was 'fair' to Räikkönen 16:03

    Verstappen feels he was 'fair' to Räikkönen

    Max Verstappen believes he was "fair" to Kimi Räikkönen during their Hungarian Grand Prix battle, despite the latter's radio…

    F1
  7. Ricciardo: I can enjoy Hungary podium 15:44

    Ricciardo: I can enjoy Hungary podium

    Daniel Ricciardo has vowed to "enjoy" his second podium of the season at the Hungarian Grand Prix, after the disappointment of…

    F1
  8. Hamilton says race start was 'everything' 15:31

    Hamilton says race start was 'everything'

    Lewis Hamilton says the start of the Hungarian Grand Prix was "everything" as he usurped Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg for…

    F1
  9. 14:49

    In full: Hungarian Grand Prix race results

    F1
  10. Hamilton takes title lead with Hungary win 14:48

    Hamilton takes title lead with Hungary win

    Lewis Hamilton moved to the top of the Formula 1 standings by beating Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg to victory in the…

    F1
  11. 12:42

    Follow the Hungarian Grand Prix live!

    F1
  12. 12:08

    Latest GP3 photos: Sunday at Hungaroring

    GP3
  13. Aitken drops two places after penalty 12:06

    Aitken drops two places after penalty

    Jack Aitken has been handed a five-second penalty for causing a collision during the second GP3 race at the Hungaroring…

    GP3
  14. 12:02

    Starting grid for the Hungarian Grand Prix

    F1
  15. Pirelli expects two-stop Hungarian GP 10:27

    Pirelli expects two-stop Hungarian GP

    Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli has outlined a two-stop strategy as the fastest approach to the Hungarian Grand Prix, comprising…

    F1
  16. 10:17

    Latest GP2 photos: Sunday at Hungaroring

    GP2
  17. Sirotkin opens 2016 account in Sprint Race 10:15

    Sirotkin opens 2016 account in Sprint Race

    ART Grand Prix driver Sergey Sirotkin secured his first GP2 victory of the season during the Sprint Race at the…

    GP2
  18. Alonso: McLaren must 'finish the job' 10:09

    Alonso: McLaren must 'finish the job'

    Fernando Alonso says he and McLaren team-mate Jenson Button must "finish the job" by converting their top 10 starting positions…

    F1
  19. Albon wins Race 2 to take GP3 title lead 08:55

    Albon wins Race 2 to take GP3 title lead

    Alexander Albon claimed his third victory of the season to move into the lead of the GP3 Series standings at the…

    GP3
  20. Video of the Day: FE season highlights 05:26

    Video of the Day: FE season highlights

    Watch extended highlights of the 2015/16 Formula E season, in which Sébastien Buemi claimed the title.

    FE
  21. Saturday 23 July 2016

  22. 20:36

    Latest F1 photos: Saturday at Hungaroring

    F1
  23. Quintet retain places amid 107 per cent rule 20:34

    Quintet retain places amid 107 per cent rule

    Five drivers have been permitted to retain their grid positions due to "exceptional circumstances" following a lengthy…

    F1
  24. Rosberg keeps pole after investigation 19:38

    Rosberg keeps pole after investigation

    Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg has kept his pole position at the Hungarian Grand Prix after stewards determined that no further…

    F1
  25. Nissany collects first victory despite collision 19:31

    Nissany collects first victory despite collision

    Lotus driver Roy Nissany took his maiden Formula V8 3.5 victory despite colliding with rival Egor Orudzhev during the first race…

    FV8 3.5
  26. 17:52

    Latest GP3 photos: Saturday at Hungaroring

    GP3
  27. Parry bags first win as de Vries stalls 17:50

    Parry bags first win as de Vries stalls

    Koiranen's Matt Parry claimed his maiden victory in the GP3 Series after pole-sitter Nyck de Vries stalled on the dummy grid at…

    GP3
  28. 16:44

    Latest GP2 photos: Saturday at Hungaroring

    GP2
  29. Gasly takes another win in Prema 1-2 16:42

    Gasly takes another win in Prema 1-2

    Red Bull youngster Pierre Gasly moved into the lead of the GP2 Series standings as he claimed his second victory in as many…

    GP2
  30. Sainz Jr. says sixth 'came from nowhere' 16:36

    Sainz Jr. says sixth 'came from nowhere'

    Carlos Sainz Jr. says his sixth-place starting position for the Hungarian Grand Prix "came from nowhere" after a low-key final…

    F1
  31. Vettel: 'Sleeping' Button cost me top-three 16:19

    Vettel: 'Sleeping' Button cost me top-three

    Sebastian Vettel feels that a "sleeping" Jenson Button cost him a potential top-three starting position for the Hungarian Grand…

    F1
  32. Ricciardo felt 'angry' after yellow flags 16:11

    Ricciardo felt 'angry' after yellow flags

    Daniel Ricciardo says he felt "angry" inside his cockpit after late yellow flags scuppered his final Hungarian Grand Prix…

    F1
  33. Rosberg expects to keep Hungary pole 15:48

    Rosberg expects to keep Hungary pole

    Nico Rosberg expects to keep pole position for the Hungarian Grand Prix, despite suggestions that he drove too fast under yellow…

    F1
  34. 15:04

    Hungarian Grand Prix: Qualifying results

    F1
  35. Rosberg snatches pole in eventful qualifying 15:02

    Rosberg snatches pole in eventful qualifying

    Nico Rosberg snatched pole position for the Hungarian Grand Prix from Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton amid late yellow flags…

    F1
  36. 12:46

    Follow qualifying for the Hungarian GP!

    F1
  37. FIA warns of drive-through over track limits 11:11

    FIA warns of drive-through over track limits

    Formula 1 Race Director Charlie Whiting has warned that drivers are likely to receive drive-through penalties if they repeatedly…

    F1
  38. 11:04

    Hungarian Grand Prix: Full Practice 3 results

    F1
  39. Rosberg tops FP3, Red Bull splits Mercedes 11:03

    Rosberg tops FP3, Red Bull splits Mercedes

    Nico Rosberg edged out Max Verstappen by two thousandths of a second during Saturday morning's final free practice session for…

    F1
  40. 09:52

    Follow final practice for the Hungarian GP!

    F1
  41. De Vries takes stunning maiden GP3 pole 09:27

    De Vries takes stunning maiden GP3 pole

    McLaren young driver Nyck de Vries secured his maiden GP3 pole position with a stunning last-gasp effort during qualifying at…

    GP3
  42. Haas: No driver decision until after Monza 08:20

    Haas: No driver decision until after Monza

    Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner says the squad will not make a decision on its 2017 driver line-up until after the European…

    F1
more news