Vettel Claims First F1 Win Of Season
World champion Sebastian Vettel has moved into top spot in the Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship after claiming his maiden win of the season with a victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday.
The German claim Red Bull’s first victory of the season after starting from pole position, with the win moving him to 53 points ahead of McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton (49) and team-mate Mark Webber (48).
Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen pushed Vettel all the way but the Finn simply couldn’t find a way past the world champion who fought hard for his maiden win of the season. Raikkonen finished second and his team-mate Romain Grosjean completed a dream race for Lotus with the other podium spot.
“It was an incredible race. Extremely tough. We will have a good time now and then push harder so that we are there again in the next race,” Vettel admitted.
“But it’s a very tight season, cars are very close to each other and small things can make a huge difference on a Sunday.”
Hamilton, in second on the overall standings, was left frustrated after two botched pit stops by the same mechanic cost him plenty of time. The mistakes come after a similar incident by the same mechanic cost team-mate Jenson Button in China.
McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said: “You can’t imagine the pressure on these guys. They are mechanics who don’t get paid extra for doing it. They put themselves in the firing line. Naturally I am very protective of them. It is the same guy [as in China] and we changed him for the last stop of the race because he took it very badly.
“There is a lot of pressure with three-second stops these day and everyone knows that the last gun off is the one that dictates the pace of that change. So if it hasn’t been going well for you it is enormously stressful.”
Meanwhile, Raikkonen, who retired from F1 in 2009, celebrated his return to the podium and a good race all round for Lotus.
“We’ve both gained podiums and the team deserve what we achieved. It’s a positive result for the team and an important step,” he said.
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