Sebastian Vettel followed up his pole position with race victory at the politically torn Bahrain GP at Sakhir. The Red Bull Racing Renault driver made a great start and stayed in the front for the whole race. The surprise however came in the form of Kimi Raikkonen who drove from eleventh on the starting grid to come second in the Lotus Renault car. At one point it did seem that Raikkonen had the pace to overhaul Vettel but the latter held his nerve and the first place as he pulled away to open a three and a half second lead. The biggest disappointment of the race had to be McLaren’s Jenson Button who was forced to retire when in seventh place just two laps from the end. Lewis Hamilton who started in second place could manage to finish only in eighth position, rounding up a not so impressive day for McLaren. Even the under performing Ferrari of Fernando Alonso managed to finish in 7th position ahead of the much more fancied McLaren Mercedes of Hamilton. Sahara Force India’s Paul Di Resta drove a good race using a two stop strategy to finish in 6th place ahead of Alonso. Felipe Massa finished in the points in ninth place after having driven a fairly uneventful race. This drive should win him some reprieve from the relentless criticism that has been directed at him.
If Kimi Raikonnen made up 9 positions to finish second, then Michael Schumacher made up 12 positions to finish 10th and in the points for Mercedes after yesterday’s unfortunate events. His teammate Nico Rosberg in the other Mercedes AMG car started poorly but clawed back to his starting position of 5th which is where he finished ultimately. But two incidents involving Rosberg with Hamilton and Alonso will be investigated and one waits to see if there is going to be anything to the detriment of Rosberg who drove aggressively. Vettel’s teammate in the second Red Bull Renault drove a quite but disappointing race only to finish fourth fairly behind the the third placed Lotus Renault of Romain Grosjean who along with Kimi Raikkonen is making a comeback to F1 after a two year hiatus. The first four positions at the end of the race saw Renault powered cars (Red Bull Racing and Lotus Cars) and that is surprising considering the fact that the Mercedes Benz engine used in the Mercedes AMG and McLaren cars is touted to be anywhere between 25 to 40 hp more in power over the Renault units. Ferrari started with the idea of damage control and they should consider themselves happy that they succeeded in doing so before new parts make their appearance at the Grand Prix of Catalunya. The danger however is that other teams also are likely to have significant upgrades. The season is shaping up well with four different drivers from four different teams winning the first four races. Button and McLaren won the Australian GP, Fernando Alonso won the Malaysian GP while Nico Rosberg broke the duck at Shanghai last week. This week it was Vettel who last won in the Indian GP of last year and since then experienced a small drought of victories.