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Bahrain analysis - Vettel turns up the title heat 22 Apr 2013

Race winner Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing celebrates his victory with Adrian Newey (GBR) Red Bull Racing Chief Technical Officer, left, and Christian Horner (GBR) Red Bull Racing Team Principal, right.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, Bahrain Grand Prix, Race Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Sunday, 21 April 2013 Race winner Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9 crosses the line.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, Bahrain Grand Prix, Race Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Sunday, 21 April 2013 Podium and results:
1st Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing, centre.
2nd Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1, left.
3rd Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1, right.
Gill Jones (GBR) Red Bull Racing Head of Track Side Electronics, collected the constructors trophy.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, Bahrain Grand Prix, Race Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Sunday, 21 April 2013 Paul di Resta (GBR) Force India VJM06.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, Bahrain Grand Prix, Race Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Sunday, 21 April 2013 Paul di Resta (GBR) Force India F1 in parc ferme.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, Bahrain Grand Prix, Race Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Sunday, 21 April 2013 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W04 leads Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing and Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F138.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, Bahrain Grand Prix, Race Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Sunday, 21 April Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W04.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, Bahrain Grand Prix, Race Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Sunday, 21 April 2013 Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28 and Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, Bahrain Grand Prix, Race Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Sunday, 21 April 2013 Disaster for Fernando Alonso as he pits for a second time on Lap 9 with the DRS flap stuck-open on his Ferrari's rear wing Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams FW35.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, Bahrain Grand Prix, Race Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Sunday, 21 April 2013 Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Sauber C32 on the grid.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, Bahrain Grand Prix, Race Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Sunday, 21 April 2013 Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR8.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, Bahrain Grand Prix, Race Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Sunday, 21 April 2013 Charles Pic (FRA) Caterham CT03 makes a pit stop.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, Bahrain Grand Prix, Race Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Sunday, 21 April 2013 Jules Bianchi (FRA) Marussia F1 Team MR02.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, Bahrain Grand Prix, Race Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Sunday, 21 April 2013

Lotus’s Kimi Raikkonen and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso - arguably his two biggest rivals - may have been hampered by a low grid slot and a DRS malfunction respectively, but that couldn’t detract from the imperious nature of Sebastian Vettel’s Bahrain victory. Raikkonen drove another superb race to finish second from a P8 start, but was powerless to stop Vettel extending his championship lead to 10 points over the Finn as the paddock prepares to head to Europe. We take a team-by-team look back at how things unfolded in Sakhir on Sunday…

Red Bull
Sebastian Vettel, P1
Mark Webber, P7

Vettel had so much pace that nobody got anywhere near him. Part of this was due to the excellence of the Red Bull RB9, and part to the ploy of starting on medium tyres then running three harvested sets of new hards. Once he’d dealt with Alonso on the opening lap and Rosberg two laps later, he owned the place. Webber, by contrast, had a horrible time. For a while he was second, but that didn’t last and he struggled as pit stops put him back in the midfield. Fifth still seemed possible, until Hamilton and Perez made their aspirations clear on the final lap.

Lotus
Kimi Raikkonen, P2
Romain Grosjean, P3

Raikkonen ran a two-stop strategy, Grosjean three, and they finished second and third respectively. Lotus thus had a great afternoon, even though the Finn admitted straight away that the E21 didn’t have the pace to challenge Vettel. With 33, they took the biggest points haul of the day.

Force India
Paul di Resta, P4
Adrian Sutil, P13

Force India went to Bahrain expecting big things, but perhaps not as big as Di Resta leading for three laps once Vettel had pitted for his first set of hard tyres on the 10th tour. Thereafter the Scot was always in the hunt for a podium with a superb drive, but ultimately his VJM06 lacked the pace to withstand Grosjean’s late attack, and the Lotus overtook on the 52nd lap. Nevertheless, it was an excellent performance that helped lift Force India ahead of McLaren in the constructors’ stakes. Sutil clashed with Massa on the opening lap, cutting one of his own tyres and condemning himself to an afternoon of playing catch up.

Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton, P5
Nico Rosberg, P9

Rosberg began on pole, led the opening two laps, but ended an unhappy day only ninth after simply pushing his tyres too far. Hamilton, meanwhile, was way down in 11th place and having the worst race of his F1 career until he got onto his second set of hard tyres. That coincided with a drop in temperature that brought his W04 alive, and he was able to charge through to fifth - and third in the drivers’ points table - after a fabulous battle with Webber.

McLaren
Sergio Perez, P6
Jenson Button, P10

The McLaren drivers came into contact more than once in a frenetic battle which had many crew members wishing team orders would be issued. Team principal Martin Whitmarsh refused, however. Perez made better use of his tyres, and the Mexican clung on to snatch sixth from Webber on the last lap, but Button needed a fourth stop for fresh tyres and could only manage 10th. Afterwards, however, a talk between the drivers cleared the air.

Ferrari
Fernando Alonso, P8
Felipe Massa, P15

Ferrari had a day of disaster. First Alonso got overtaken by Vettel on the opening lap after slotting into second behind Rosberg, then he had to make a stop to have his DRS flap shut just after he’d made his first pit stop. His DRS didn’t work at all after that, which made life very difficult in the midfield. Nevertheless, he fought back into the points but lacked the wherewithal to fend off Perez when the Mexican counter-attacked soon after the Spaniard had overtaken him. Massa had two extra pits stops, one with a damaged tyre, the other with a full puncture which peeled the tyre from the rim. As a result, Ferrari lost a place to Lotus in the constructors’ table, and Alonso one to Hamilton in the drivers’.

Williams
Pastor Maldonado, P11
Valtterri Bottas, P14

Williams just missed out on a point for Maldonado, after Bottas had to make a late pit stop for fresh tyres. The Venezuelan started on mediums, the Finn on hards, but the FW35 lacked the speed to get clear of midfield traffic and problems in his pit stops further hampered Bottas’s chances of a point.

Sauber
Nico Hulkenberg, P12
Esteban Gutierrez, P18

Hulkenberg and Gutierrez struggled throughout the weekend in cars that lacked speed and rear-end grip. The Mexican also got clobbered by debris from the Vergne/Van der Garde incident on the opening lap.

Toro Rosso
Daniel Ricciardo, P16
Jean-Eric Vergne, Retired lap 17, accident damage

Ricciardo’s car had tyre temperature issues even on the grid formation laps, and he was unhappy with its balance throughout. Vergne was clipped by Bottas on the first lap, and hit Van der Garde’s Caterham hard. The Frenchman struggled on after a pit stop, but eventually it was decided that the STR8 was so damaged there was no point continuing.

Caterham
Charles Pic, P17
Giedo van der Garde, P21

Pic proved conclusively in the race that the revised Caterham CT03 has pace compared to the Marussia MR02 which had beaten it in the three opening races. He made a poor start, but clawed past Chilton and then Bianchi to take 17th. Van der Garde’s race was ruined on the first lap when Bottas hit Vergne, and pushed the Toro Rosso into the Dutchman’s Caterham.

Marussia
Jules Bianchi, P19
Max Chilton, P20

Marussia had high hopes which jumped higher when their drivers got ahead of the Caterhams on the opening lap, but they were caught and passed by Pic who handed out a defeat every bit as stinging as had been the three Marussia had inflicted on them in the opening three races.

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