Vettel holds off Kimi’s Lotus for victory in Bahrain.
Sebastian Vettel:“It’s a very tight season, the cars are very close to each other and small things can make a huge difference on a Sunday.
I think we started the season saying that the McLaren is the fastest car by quite a bit and we’ve seen that on Sunday it can be a different picture. I think they still have one of the strongest packages.
But you need to get everything right, you need to have the right tyres, you need to treat them right, you need to find the right set-up through the course of the weekend, so a lot of things to look out for.” I am very happy we made it to victory here. We were not quite sure how competitive we would be.
I think China was a very good lesson for us to understand the weakness of the car a little bit more by driving with two different packages. Here we focused on the new package and pushing that forward. I’m just happy for now, I don’t really care what happens in the next race, at least not today. I think we will have a good time now and push harder so that we make sure we are there again next race”.
Kimi Räikkönen: “It’s a great result for the team and we deserve it as everyone has been working very hard. To be honest, I’m slightly disappointed we didn’t take the win because we had the pace. I only had one chance to overtake Sebastian (Vettel) and unfortunately I chose the wrong side to try and get past. If I hadn’t made a small mistake at the start and allowed Felipe (Massa) to get through then maybe it would have been a different story, as we spent quite a lot of time fighting with him. At the end of the day, it’s good to have both cars on the podium, especially after last race which didn’t go to plan, but I honestly think we could have taken the victory today.”
Romain Grosjean: “It’s a great feeling to get my first podium, and I’m really proud of the whole team for doing an incredible job today. We’ve known all season how quick the car can be, but with such a tight field any small mistakes can make a huge difference. Today I think we got everything right, and we’ve finally been able to prove how competitive we are. Last week I was aiming for my first points, this week I was hoping for top five, but here we are on the podium so who knows where we can go from here! We can be very happy with what we’ve achieved today; hopefully we can now head to the Mugello test and find that last bit of to push us right to the top.”
Pos Driver Team Time 1. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1h35:10.990 2. Raikkonen Lotus-Renault + 3.300 3. Grosjean Lotus-Renault + 10.100 4. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 38.700 5. Rosberg Mercedes + 55.400 6. Di Resta Force India-Mercedes + 57.500 7. Alonso Ferrari + 57.800 8. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes + 58.900 9. Massa Ferrari + 1:04.900 10. Schumacher Mercedes + 1:11.400 11. Perez Sauber-Ferrari + 1:12.700 12. Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes + 1:16.500 13. Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1:30.300 14. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 1:33.700 15. Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1 lap 16. Petrov Caterham-Renault + 1 lap 17. Kovalainen Caterham-Renault + 1 lap 18. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 1 lap 19. Glock Marussia-Cosworth + 2 laps 20. De la Rosa HRT-Cosworth + 2 laps 21. Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth + 2 laps 22. Senna Williams-Renault + 3 laps Fastest lap: Vettel, 1:36.379
Valsecchi wins dramatic Sprint Race in Bahrain
Perfect end to a perfect weekend for the DAMS driver
It was another good day at the office today for Davide Valsecchi: the DAMS ace pocketed a second consecutive win in Bahrain this Sunday in Bahrain, from P8 on the grid. The Italian spoiled Esteban Gutierrez’ race when he passed the Mexican on the last lap and dashed to the chequered flag. James Calado completed the podium.
Action-packed seemed to have been the key word again this morning as the twenty-six GP2 cars made their way to the grid for the Sprint Race. The start was aborted when Felipe Nasr who was last on the grid stopped a few meters away from his starting position. More drama occurred when Tom Dillmann stalled from P3 for the second formation lap. Both men were pushed back into the pitlane and had to settle for a start from there.
When the lights went off, Calado made the perfect gateway from P4 to take the lead. Fabio Leimer and Gutierrez also made their way to P2 and P3 respectively, but the Mexican quickly found a way round the Swiss and after just one lap into the race, both Lotus GP cars were in control of the rest of the pack. The teammates started a battle of their own with Gutierrez putting immense pressure on Calado. As they were busy fighting off each other, Leimer snuck past Gutierrez and then easily overtook the Brit for the lead on Lap 5.
Calado started to struggle and was unable to keep his teammate at bay. Gutierrez took P2 and tried to close in on Leimer, but the Racing Engineering driver maintained a good pace to build a comfortable gap. Behind the top three, Max Chilton set his sights on Calado. Valsecchi in sixth overtook Luiz Razia and started to pick up the pace. He first passed Chilton and then closed in on a slower Calado before overtaking him for P3.
Leimer was enjoying a 2.3s lead on Gutierrez when he was given a drive through penalty for ignoring yellow flags which handed the lead back to Gutierrez and put Calado on the podium. Further down the pack, the battle intensified between Chilton and Razia, the latter eventually getting rid of the feisty Brit for P4. At the front, Valsecchi reduced the gap from 2.4s to one second with Gutierrez, and on the last lap he inevitably got past the Mexican to cross the finish line just three tenths ahead of Gutierrez.
Calado managed to retain P3 ahead of Razia, Chilton, Nasr (who made an incredible come back from last), Jolyon Palmer and Simon Trummer. Valsecchi now leads the drivers’ standings on 70 points with Razia on 57. Gutierrez stands in third place six points ahead of his teammate Calado whilst Chilton is fifth on 35 points.
The third round of the 2012 GP2 Series will take place next week on Friday 27th and Saturday 28th of April at the Bahrain International Circuit.