FORMULA ONE / Raikkonen finishes second; Grosjean holds off di Resta for third
Sebastian Vettel extended his lead in this year’s title race when he claimed victory for Red Bull at the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday. .
It was Vettel’s second win in four races this year and the 28th of his career. The German’s victory saw him move into sixth on the all-time list of Grand Prix wins, taking him past Jackie Stewart.
Starting second, Vettel took the lead on lap three and then controlled the 57-lap race as he came home 9.1 seconds clear of Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus.
Romain Grosjean finished third in the second Lotus. It was the same first three as last year’s race. Grosjean denied fourth-placed Paul di Resta of Force India his first-ever podium finish.
Lewis Hamilton fought hard to finish fifth for Mercedes after a late battle with Mark Webber, who came home seventh, Sergio Perez smashing his way to sixth for McLaren.
Fernando Alonso, who lost the DRS on his Ferrari, came in eighth ahead of pole-starting Nico Rosberg in the second McLaren.
Jenson Button finished 10th for McLaren after several clashes with his own teammate Perez.
Rosberg made a clean start to lead, but struggled to pull clear of the scrap behind him as Vettel and Alonso swapped places in second and third before, on lap three, the champion surged into the lead with a classic pass.
Alonso became the first of the leaders to pit as the DRS was stuck on his Ferrari and he required two stops. This left Vettel out in front until lap 11 when he led Massa in for new tyres, one lap after both Rosberg and Button had done the same, all of which meant di Resta led the race ahead of Raikkonen.
Alonso, having pitted again on lap 24, was 13th and racing without DRS, while Raikkonen and Hamilton were also struggling.
By mid-distance, it was clear that the McLaren men were ready to race one another as Button, having fought to pass Perez for sixth, had to drive him off the track to defend fifth just five laps later when the Mexican attempted to pass.
Vettel, however, remained supreme, leading at his own pace by 27 seconds, with 16 laps remaining.