Sakhir, Bahrain – Three-time defending Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel extended his points lead after winning the Bahrain Grand Prix for the second year in a row on Sunday.
Vettel put on a dominating performance in the 57-lap. The Red Bull driver overtook pole sitter Nico Rosberg for the lead on the third lap and was unstoppable from there. He gave up the top spot only when he pitted for the first time. Vettel finished 9.1 seconds ahead of his closest competitor, Kimi Raikkonen from Lotus.
The 25-year-old German claimed his 28th career F1 victory, which gave him sole possession of sixth on the racing circuit's all-time race winners list. He became the first repeat winner this season as well. He scored the victory in the March 24 Malaysian Grand Prix.
"It was a fantastic race," Vettel said. "A big thank you to the team today. It was a faultless race from start to finish. I knew it was crucial after the start to get into the lead and then go from there and look after the tires. The pace was phenomenal, and the car was very quick. It just seemed to get better and better towards the end. It was a beautiful race where you could push every single lap. We took very good care of the tires, so overall, I'm happy."
With the win, Vettel widened his lead to 10 points over Raikkonen, who also finished second in last year's Bahrain GP.
"Yesterday (in qualifying) wasn't ideal, so we planned to try a two-stop (strategy), and it worked out well," said Raikkonen, who started eighth. "We gained a lot of places. I wasn't strong on the first and second laps, but after that, the car started to come to me, and I could start pushing more and more."
Raikkonen's teammate, Romain Grosjean, finished third, making it the same top- three finishing order from the 2012 race in this Middle East country. It's the first time Grosjean has appeared on the podium since last July in the Hungarian Grand Prix.
"I'm very pleased to be here, and it was the same finish as last year," Grosjean said. "Now, we'll just try to keep this consistency and get good results."
Paul di Resta from Force India took the fourth spot, followed by Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and McLaren's Sergio Perez.
Red Bull driver Mark Webber finished seventh, and Fernando Alonso from Ferrari was eighth. Alonso had a malfunction with his DRS system and had to pit multiple times in the early going for repairs.
Rosberg from Mercedes ended up finishing ninth, and McLaren's Jenson Button completed the top-10. Button and his new teammate, Perez, nearly made contact several time while the two were battling for position at the halfway point. Button later accused Perez of driving "too aggressively."
Felipe Massa was the last driver to finish on the lead lap in 15th. The Ferrari driver suffered two tire punctures. Massa had made contact with Force India's Adrian Sutil during the opening lap.