Red Bull F1
Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel are back in winning form
After the lights went off, it was first Romain Grosjean who overtook Lewis Hamiltonâ€™s Vodafone McLaren Mercedes on the seventh lap. Then team mate Kimi Raikkonen, who started from P11, moved up to third as the first round of pit stops began two laps later.
Paul di Resta, who selected to go for a two-stop strategy in contrast to the three stops by the other cars running at the front, led a Grand Prix for the first time for Force India on the 12th lap after German Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel had pitted on the 11th, but thereafter the German was headed only briefly by Romain Grosjean on the 40th lap during the third and final round of pit stops. As a matter of fact, it was by no means a cakewalk for the Red Bull driver.
On Lap 36, SebastianVettel had to block by executing a firm move for the lead as both he and Kimi Raikkonen went into Turn One.
It would become apparent that this was the closest Raikkonen got to victory. Both drivers dived to the pits on Lap 39, and thereafter German Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel created a 2.9s lead straight away, and then built it to a little more than three as the pair of them balanced speed with tire conservation to the finish line. When they got there, the Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel was still 3.3s ahead of the Lotus, but the German Red Bull driver knew that it was a tough fight.
Romain Grosjean held on to third to finish on the podium for the first time in his revived F1 career, to make it a great day for Lotus, whereas Mark Webber finished fourth for Red Bull, while being unable to match his team mateâ€™s pace this day but at the same time untroubled by Mercedesâ€™ Nico Rosberg who passed Force India driver Paul Di Resta on the 52nd lap.
Nico Rosberg found himself under investigation from the stewards after two breath-taking moves in which he swept from one side of the track in defense of position and seemingly put first Lewis Hamilton, and later on the Ferrari of the Spanish double world champion Fernando Alonso, on to the dirt.
A lot of spectators were immediately reminded by the hard and feisty duel between Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton, which took place last year at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza and was the main cause of applying the one move rule in a stricter manner. The Spanish Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso expressed his anger in a vociferous manner over the radio. After the race however, the German was cleared of any misdemeanors in both incidents.
On the other hand, that racing evening was a day to forget for the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team. On two of his three stops, Lewis Hamilton had a problem with the threads on the left-rear hub and lost critical amount of time, which fatally affected his race outcome. Lewis Hamilton could not believe his bad luck and was shaking his head during these bad pit stops. It was a similar problem to the one that affected team mate Jenson Button in China. After the first time, Lewis Hamilton dropped from third to 10th, and thereafter he was condemned to an afternoon of chasing opponents in the pack and thus consuming his front tires out faster as a result.
His team mate Jenson Button was in the battle for fifth place in the closing stages after successfully nursing his tires, but a left-rear puncture necessitated a pit stop on the 53rd lap, and then he was in again two laps later with a sick-sounding exhaust to retire, to prevent further damage to his car.
Force India driver Paul Di Resta drove a beautifully balanced race to take a thoroughly-deserved sixth, and just kept Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton at distance, although there was a moment of anxiety at the finish line, when Nico Rosberg almost stopped in the middle of the start finish straight as he crossed the line, possibly as a result of mechanical problems.
Felipe Massa had a much better race and was following his Ferrari team mate Alonso for a while on his way to ninth and his first points of the season, while Mercedesâ€™ Michael Schumacher made a tremendous progress initially from 22nd on the grid after suffering from a late five place penalty due to an unscheduled gearbox change, lost a bit of momentum during the middle phase of the race, then sneaked past the Saubers of Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez in an elegant maneuver to snatch the final point. In that little fight, Perez also overtook his team mate, even though the Japanese driver had fresher rubber.
It was also a black day for Daniel Ricciardo, who dropped straight down from his starting position on P6 on the grid to 16th after his car suffered from a minor face-lift and getting beaten up in the early traffic and subsequently having to pit for a new nose after seven laps. He finished behind team mate Jean-Eric Vergne, while further behind them Vitaly Petrov led home Caterham team mate Heikki Kovalainen. The Finn drove a courageous race after an early clash ruined his strong qualifying position.
Behind Jenson Button, who was classified 18th, Timo Glock was Marussiaâ€™s sole survivor after Charles Pic posted the first retirement due to mechanical problems, and led home the HRTs of Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan. Neither Williams made it home. Pastor Maldonado had left-rear puncture and a big spin before retiring, and then later on Bruno Senna joined him in the garage with mechanical problems.
Red Bullâ€™s first success of the season, which made his German driver Sebastian Vettel the fourth different winner in the first four races of the 2012 Formula 1 season , puts the champion back on top of the driver standings, with 53 to the unlucky Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamiltonâ€™s 49. Australian Red Bull driver Mark Webber is third with 48, followed by Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso on 43 each, followed by Nico Rosberg on 35 and Kimi Raikkonen on 34.
Red Bull also jumped ahead in the constructorsâ€™ rankings, with 101 points to Vodafone McLaren Mercedes' 92, while Lotus leapfrogged their opponents and jumped up to third with 57 ahead of the Scuderia Ferrari on 45, Mercedes on 37 and Sauber on 31.
Manama - Dubai - Cairo
Want to sell your used car or buy one? Then check out our new used car market section here!
Looking for a good service center or aftersales customer service? Did you have any bad experience with your car dealer or service center? Then check our 'automotive evaluation charts' here!
Is Egyptian car market corrupt or collapsing?
Is the Egyptian car market collapsing or is it just a corrupt and unprofessional car market? This is surely one of the most asked questions these days. Everybody is asking ...
Formula 1 2013
Middle East Motor Awards 2012
Crash Test Results
End human trafficking now!
The End Human Trafficking Now! campaign focuses on the business community's critical role in helping eliminate human trafficking.
For more information