The 2013 Bahrain GP is upon us and provided some great excitement despite a being a mixed bag in previous years, Pirelli have continued to work on their tyre strategies in making the drivers and teams work to their own strengths.
The Mercedes proved quick again in qualifying with Nico Rosberg finding some great speed and keeping Vettel off yet another pole position. Though expectation for the race would be that the Mercedes would see greater tyre degradation while Ferrari were expected to be favourites for the top step of the podium.
Away from the start and it was an aggressive move from Rosberg on Vettel holding him back while Alonso nipped through into second, however Vettel was desperate to get ahead and use his advantage, quickly finding his way past both cars and setting an unassailable lead. The day would remain relatively straight forward for him from that point.
Throughout the field there was a range of action and lots of overtaking, wheel to wheel all over the place with some very sensible driving keeping everyone on track. A particular highlight being the Button and Perez inter-team battle as both drivers were looking to assert themselves, Perez keen to impress in front of his future sponsors. Though many recent headlines seem to have blown this out of proportion, Perez did admit crossing the line in making contact while Button should have shown greater experience in letting Perez through, ultimately it affected both of their drives costing the team points in the process.
Raikkonen fought through the field for a well earned second place, followed by his teammate Romain Grosjean who had suffered a difficult start to the season. Alonso ran into problems with his DRS system, this forcing him to last with a creditable drive bringing him into 8th. Rosberg seemed to be fighting everyone and eventually falling to 9th. Hamilton made steady progress passing Webber on the final lap while Paul Di Resta has his joint best finish ever with an excellent 4th place.
Bahrain proved to be an action packed race with competition all through the field except at the front, an easy victory taking Vettel to 77 points, 10 ahead of nearest rival Raikkonen and so it is off to Barcelona in 3 weeks for the Spanish Grand Prix. A make or break weekend for McLaren while pressure is mounting on Alonso in front of his home crowd if he is to keep in touch with Vettel in the Championship points standings.
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