The Red Bull driver beats Kimi Räikkönen and Romain Grosjean as Renault-engined cars shut-out the podium in the desert
Matt Burt
21 April 2013

Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel cruised to his second win of the season in the Bahrain Grand Prix today.

After shrugging off early challenges from surprise polesitter Nico Rosberg and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, Vettel soon seized control of the race, which was held in hot, sunny conditions and dominated by tyre strategy.

Rosberg's Mercedes chewed through its tyres quickly, and although he bravely fended off Vettel for the opening couple of laps, it wasn't long before the Red Bull driver slipped past and hit the front.

The Ferraris of Alonso and team-mate Felipe Massa looked strong in qualifying and started the race from third and fourth on the grid. Massa in particular looked good because he was starting on the more durable hard tyres, whereas most of his key rivals opted for the medium compound for the first stint.

But the Scuderia's race quickly turned sour. Alonso managed to briefly nip ahead of Vettel at the start, and then settled into third place until he had to make two emergency pitstops because the DRS rear wing flap had got stuck in the open position, robbing him of downforce in the corners.

Massa remained in the mix despite a clash with Force India's Adrian Sutil on the opening lap, but later in the race the Brazilian suffered two right-rear tyre delaminations and dropped down the order.

After that Vettel's main challenge came from Kimi Räikkönen and Paul di Resta, who turned in one of the most competitive performances of his F1 career. Both drivers opted to two-stop, which proved to be a competitive strategy.

Räikkönen had qualified poorly, but raced well to move up into contention for the podium. However, Vettel was able to pull out enough of an advantage in his Infiniti-backed Red Bull to ensure he was clear of the Finn when the world champion made his extra pitstop.

There was late heartbreak for di Resta, who lost the final podium position to Räikkönen's team-mate Romain Grosjean in the closing laps. Fourth place for the Force India driver equalled his best-ever Formula 1 finish.

Lewis Hamilton, who had started ninth after picking up a grid penalty for a gearbox change ahead of qualifying, endured a difficult race as he struggled with a lack of grip on the medium tyre compound, but steadily edged up the order and found some extra pace during the final stint.

He got the better of a feisty tussle with Mark Webber to seize fifth position at the start of the final lap, while the Australian hit tyre trouble and also ceded sixth to an aggressive Sergio Perez in the final corners.

Perez, who had his most convincing race since he joined McLaren, spent most of the race embroiled in a battle with team-mate Jenson Button. The pair even made contact at one point, which resulted in minor front-wing damage to the Mexican's car.

Button had to make an extra tyre stop in his Mercedes-powered McLaren and faded to tenth place, behind the recovering Alonso and the gripless Rosberg, who had a mid-race clash with Webber.

Results (provisional)

Bahrain Grand Prix, 21 April 2013

1 Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing)

2 Kimi Räikkönen (Lotus)

3 Romain Grosjean (Lotus)

4 Paul di Resta (Force India)

5 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

6 Sergio Perez (McLaren)

7 Mark Webber (Red Bull Racing)

8 Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)

9 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)

10 Jenson Button (McLaren)

 

 

 

Our Verdict

Infiniti FX

The Infiniti FX is an interesting alternative to the norm, but lacks space and comfort to compete in this class

Join the debate

Comments
12

21 April 2013

Good of you to publish the result before it was broadcast on the BBC. I must say that I'm really looking forward to watching it now that I know the result in advance.

Even if a lot of people watched it on Sky (or whatever it's called) earlier in the day, what do you think you're doing, publishing it before it's broadcast on free-to-air TV ?

I've avoided watching/hearing the News all day long, just in case they revealed the result. They'd have justification to reveal it as they're news agencies - you're not : you're an online magazine.

Is there any possibility that you might resist the temptation to publish the result in advance of the following monday for future races ?

haz

21 April 2013

Yes thanks for that autocar, not gonna bother watching the race now.

1. If you are going to put 'Vettel Wins' in the title, dont put the story on your homepage.

2. Why cant you name the story 'Grand Prix results', then we can chose to read the result at least.

Thanks again.

21 April 2013

If it had been titled 'Bahrain GP result'.

21 April 2013

think those flappy wings on the laferrari really need to have a second look before being signed off. what an epic race it would have been if ferrari didnt wing up

rjv

21 April 2013

seb haters better stop watching formula one because he is going to be the face of f1 for some years to come, u can say watever u like,,fast car,,,tyre strategy nd all the blah,,blah,,

truecarfan

22 April 2013

rjv@

Won't matter, because, if rumours are true, then Kimi wil be kicking his butt all over the track nxt yr.....in a Redbull!

Peter Cavellini.

21 April 2013

I prefer Lucozade.

www.KOOOLcr.com

 

21 April 2013

If you're trying to avoid the F1 results, why visit a car news website before it airs on the BBC?

22 April 2013

Actually, guys, this is the first GP this year in which I did not know the winner ahead of time, but it made little difference in my enjoying the action, skill, dogfights, mishaps, and other activities along the way.

Seems that if you are a GP racing fan (as I am), then it's like taking a trip in a sports car through the countryside.  It doesn't matter very much where you end up; what matters is the journey getting there.  It's the journey I need to watch; the finish-line stuff is just follow-through.

-------------------------

 

22 April 2013

As has been suggested, it would be a rather good idea if there was a link to "F1 GP Results" on the homepage, rather than stating the headline result on the homepage.

Perhaps Autocar might care to comment ?

@pa1nkiller - Autocar isn't a car news website as you suggest, but an online car magazine.

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK
  • Volvo V90
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The Volvo V90 is a big estate ploughing its own furrow. We’re about to see if it is refreshing or misguided
  • Kia Stonic
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Handsome entrant into the bulging small crossover market has a strong engine and agile handling, but isn’t as comfortable or complete as rivals