Vettel gets back to winning ways in Bahrain30-04-2012
Sebastian Vettel led for almost the entire race at the Sakhir circuit, Manama Bahrain, but storming Lotus duo Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean made sure it was never comfortable for him at the front.
It was Vettel’s 22nd victory and his first in Bahrain. The victory lifted him from fifth in the series into the lead, ahead of Lewis Hamilton. McLaren were also overtaken in the constructors' standings by Red Bull. Vettel began the race on pole and got off to a perfect start while the desert sand on the track rose up behind him and many drivers lost position because of the slippery surface. It was an exciting race with many overtaking maneouvres and three pit stops for tyre changes by most of the cars.
The race also showed that there would probably be another team challenging as the season continued – Lotus Renault. The Lotus drivers, Raikkonen and Grosjean, started the race in 11th and 7th positions respectively, and were soon in the hunt for the lead.
Meanwhile McLaren will carry out a thorough investigation of their pitstop procedures after suffering costly holdups in Bahrain for the third successive race. Jenson Button's hopes of victory in China last weekend were wrecked by a slow stop and it was team mate Lewis Hamilton's turn on Sunday with two agonizing delays. The 2008 champion, who also lost time in Malaysia in the pits, ended the race in eighth place, whilst Button had to abandon after problems with his differential and a cracked exhaust.
Nico Rosberg had to visit the race stewards over two on-track incidents during the race, the first being between Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton on lap 11 when the Mercedes appeared to force the McLaren off the track and on to the dirt after Hamilton's first pit stop, and a subsequent incident between Rosberg and Fernando Alonso while fighting for position after the second round of pit stops. The race stewards cleared Rosberg of any wrong doing in the incident with Hamilton, deciding that the Mercedes had been far enough in front to make his wide line through turn 4 justifiable. Hamilton kept his foot down and completed the pass regardless, although he came dangerously close to clipping the barrier in the process.
The subsequent incident with Alonso was also declared a racing incident. The data showed that Rosberg had not blocked or changed his direction more than was allowed, and the stewards decided that no further action was required in that case either and no penalty would be applied.
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Eva Longoria dancing along with Descemer Bueno Bailando
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