F1 2013 Bahrain Grand Prix Vettel cruises to victory number 28
Sebastian Vettel cruised to victory number 28 in Bahrain today from the Lotus pairing of Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean in second and third place. Coincidentally it was a repeat of last years podium and in the same order. Fernando Alonso was denied the chance of a win early in the race due to a failure in the DRS system on his Ferrari F138. The failure cost him extra pit stops and he was ultimately unable to use the DRS for the remainder of the race doing well to claim 8th place. The upper aerofoil DRS section appeared to have tilted too far back and Alonso was immediately called to box where the mechanics pushed the flap back into its correct position, changed the tyres and sent him out again. Unfortunately he then tried to use the DRS again and the fault repeated itself necessitating another stop after which the system was not used again for the remainder of the race.
Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean both drove solid races easing to the front as the race progressed and following different tyre strategies. Raikkonen made two pit stops and Grosjean made three. Grosjean had a tussle with Paul Di Resta in the closing stages coming out on top and denying the Force India driver who had run strongly throughout the race in the VJM06 his first podium opportunity.
Lewis Hamilton finished fifth for Mercedes gaining useful points and putting him third in the title race albeit 27 points adrift of Vettel. Hamilton had looked somewhat lack lustre during the early part of the race but for some reason unknown to him the car, track, tyres came back to him as the race progressed allowing him to finish strongly and to once again outshine team mate and pole sitter Nico Rosberg who slipped away after a good opening few laps to eventually finish a disappointing ninth.
Sergio Perez closed out the top six after a spirited battle to overtake team mate Jenson Button whose MP4-28 he managed to touch the rear of damaging the front wing end plate of his own car in the process. Button was pretty annoyed at Perez aggressive manouevres and made his point firmly several times over the team radio. Perez was clearly the faster of the two drivers though and Martin Whitmarsh could hardly criticise him after he was reported as telling Perez to firm up his driving before the race!
Mark Webber finished eighth for Red Bull after another scrappy race in which he had a brush with the Pole position Mercedes of Nico Rosberg on lap 38. Webber was later fined by the race stewards for the incident fortunately escaping another grid penalty. mark is a great driver but so far this season he just cannot seem to escape the gremlins and one way or another has been completely overshadowed by Sebastian Vettel who in this race won with great ease in the same car.
Pole sitter Nico Rosberg’s race fell apart after the opening laps as he struggled together with the team to get on top of tyre management issues. Rosberg was unable to overcome the problems and dropped down the order as the race progressed to finish ninth.
Jenson Button rounded out the top ten falling away after losing his tussle with Sergio Perez and no doubt already looking ahead to the start of the European season and a host of improvements to the errant McLaren MP4-28.
One last mention but by no means the least is that Renault Sport F1 powered the top three finishers. They don’t often get the credit due to them but Renault really do make a great F1 engine and you can be sure they will be a force to be reckoned with when the new engine regulations kick in next year.
2013 Bahrain Grand Prix Result
1. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull
2. Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus
3. Romain Grosjean, Lotus
4. Paul Di Resta, Force India
5. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
6. Sergio Perez, McLaren
7. Mark Webber, Red Bull
8. Fernando Alonso, Ferrari
9. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes
10 Jenson Button, McLaren
11. Pastor Maldonado, Williams
12. Nico Hulkenberg, Sauber
13. Adrian Sutil, Force India
14. Valtteri Bottas, Williams
15. Felipe Massa, Ferrari
16. Daniel Ricciardo, Toro Rosso
17. Charles Pic, Caterham
18. Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber
19. Jules Bianchi, Marussia
20 Max Chilton, Marussia
21 Guido van der Garde, Caterham
22 Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso – Retired
Fastest Lap – Sebastian Vettel 1m 36.961s Lap 55