RED BULL’S Sebastian Vettel stormed to an “absolutely supreme” victory at yesterday’s Bahrain Grand Prix, with team boss Christian Horner pouring praise on his three-time championship winner.
Vettel provoked tension among the team two races ago when he defied orders by overtaking colleague Mark Webber in Malaysia. Yet the German and his boss showed no signs of any lingering ill-feeling after Vettel took the chequered flag in one hour and 36 minutes.
“It was an impeccable performance from Sebastian,” Horner enthused. “He had so much in hand and then he has to do the fastest lap at the end just to show he has plenty left in the tyres.”
Vettel was equally full of appreciation for Red Bull. “A big, big thank you to the team,” he said. “The pace was phenomenal; the car was very quick and just seemed to get better and better towards the end.”
Vettel got the better of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg in a frenetic opening few laps. Alonso was hit by a problem with his rear wing, while Rosberg slid down the order as he struggled with tyre degradation.
The two Lotus cars, driven by Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean, completed the podium. Grosjean overtook Britain’s Paul di Resta on lap 52, as the Force India man suffered the heartbreak of missing out on his first ever podium.
His fellow Brit, Lewis Hamilton, climbed from 11th position early in the race to finish fifth, securing vital points for his title bid and Mercedes’ constructors campaign.
Red Bull’s Webber was seventh, yet received a post-race reprimand for clashing with Rosberg.
A highly entertaining race was also lit up by furious driving between McLaren team-mates, Jenson Button and Sergio Perez. Despite clipping Button, Perez gained a sixth place finish, although Button had to make four pit-stops and ended in 10th.
1. S Vettel (Red Bull) 77 points
2. K Raikkonen (Lotus) 67 pts
3. L Hamilton (Mercedes) 50 pts
4. F Alonso (Ferrari) 47 pts
5. M Webber (Red Bull) 32 pts
6. F Massa (Ferrari) 30 pts
7. R Grosjean (Lotus) 26 pts