Deja vu as Vettel eases to Bahrain victory

By on Sunday, April 21, 2013

Red Bull/Getty Images

Sebastian Vettel eased to his 28th career victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean completed the podium for Lotus, meaning that the top three was a carbon copy of last year's event.

Nico Rosberg led away from pole position but Ferrari's Fernando Alonso usurped Vettel at the first corner.

The Red Bull driver fought back and slipped ahead of Alonso into Turn 5.

A few laps later Vettel took the lead from Rosberg at the same place.

Alonso had been in a prime position to challenge Vettel but the DRS became stuck open on his Ferrari F138. The Spaniard was forced to pit twice but he recovered to eighth place.

Vettel controlled the race up front, pulling off a three stop strategy to beat the two stopping Raikkonen.

Grosjean stopped once more and was able to pip Force India's Paul di Resta to the final podium spot. The Brit had led the race during the pit stop phase but he was ultimately powerless to defend against the faster Lotus.

Lewis Hamilton recovered from a poor early stint to finish in fifth, having passed Mark Webber on the final lap. Webber was also overtaken by Sergio Perez, who recorded the best finish of his McLaren career with sixth. He was embroiled in a race long battle with team-mate Jenson Button, making contact at Turn 4. Button pitted four times and slipped to tenth, behind Rosberg.

Felipe Massa endured a trying afternoon as he suffered two punctures and slipped out of the top 10. The only retirement was Jean-Eric Vergne, who sustained damage during an early collision with Caterham's Giedo Van der Garde.

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