Sebastian Vettel again dominated the Formula One field to take the Bahrain Grand Prix this weekend, making it back-to-back victories in Bahrain.
Tensions were high heading into the fourth Grand Prix of the year, with political angst and problems combining to create an interesting landscape. However, once the race did get underway, all focus was back on the field and the continued dominance of the world champion Vettel.
Kimi Raikkonen finished second and Romain Grosjean third, with several other strong performances to be found on the day—as well as many other not-so-strong performances from several drivers.
Read on to see the biggest winners and losers from the Bahrain Grand Prix.
2013 Bahrain Grand Prix: Final Standings
|1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull||1:36:00.498||25|
|2||Kimi Raikkonen ||Lotus||+00:09.111||18|
|4||Paul Di Resta||Force India||+00:21.727||12|
|7||Mark Webber||Red Bull||+00:37.244||6|
** Full race standings available via BBC Sport
2013 Bahrain Grand Prix: Winners and Losers
Winner: Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull
It's hard to talk about winners from the Bahrain Grand Prix and not include Vettel himself, who was simply brilliant throughout the entire race this weekend.
After gaining the lead inside the opening few laps, Vettel was unstoppable out in front—so much so that he still won comfortably despite making one extra stop than some of the other drivers catching him from behind such as Raikkonen and Paul di Resta.
The win marked the second year in a row that Vettel has triumphed in Bahrain, with the victory also giving him his second checkered flag of the year.
He is now 10 points clear in the driver's standings and in a strong position to defend his world championship crown from 2012—something that he'll no doubt be tough to stop from doing this year.
After the race, Vettel spoke of how well the race unfolded (per BBC Sport):
"[It was a] faultless, seamless race from start to finish. I knew it was crucial to get into the lead and look after the tyres, the pace was phenomenal, the car was great. I could push every single lap and look after the tyres.
"[It was] incredible the pace we had today, we surely did not expect that."
Loser: Paul Di Resta, Force India
After finishing eighth in the Australian and Chinese Grand Prixs earlier in the year, Force India driver Paul Di Resta looked set to finally make it onto the podium heading into the final laps at Bahrain.
He had driven impressively throughout the entire race and had done a great job to hold off Romain Grosjean and manage his pit-stops well so that he had done one fewer than some of the leaders, but he could not finish off the race—seeing his third-place go to Grosjean in the waning laps.
The fourth-place finish was still a great result for Di Resta, who sees himself currently at eighth in the driver's standings after the four races this season.
The 27-year-old later rued the team's two-stop strategy in the race, telling BBC Sport that the decision potentially cost him a chance to break into the top three.
That was probably my strongest Grand Prix. The podium was very close, but with our strategy we were always going to be vulnerable, especially to Grosjean who had two new sets of medium tyres. I had a good start to the race, a strong opening stint and we showed our true speed today, but ultimately fourth place was the maximum that was possible.
We will get on the podium one day—hopefully soon—but for now we can be very happy with the points we've scored today.
Winner: Close Team Battles and Drama
It seemingly couldn't be a Grand Prix without some team tension and drama—and this time it didn't even come from Red Bull, Mark Webber or Vettel.
Instead it came from Team McLaren where emotions spilled over between Jenson Button and Sergio Perez. Button had a go at his teammate mid-race for driving dangerously and brought the entire team into the conversation at the end of the race.
Perez touched wheels during the straight and rammed his teammate from behind at another point in the race—prompting Button to complain on team radio during the race, "He's just hit me up the back. Calm him down." Those words would not stop after the race either.
Button was furious at the action of his teammate and told BBC Sport that the pair will definitely need to talk things out before their next Grand Prix outing.
I'm not used to driving down a straight and your team-mate wiggling his wheels at you and banging wheels at 300kph. That's things you do in karting but grow out of. Not the case with Checo [Sergio Perez].
We'll have to have a little chat I think because I don't like banging wheels at 300kph. That's dangerous. He has to calm down. He's extremely quick and did a great job today but some of it is unnecessary, and an issue when you're doing those speeds.
Team directors also agreed after the race that Perez had gone too far and that this was an issue they needed to work on—something that makes for fascinating viewing when they next take the track.
It was great drama to watch unfold, and for those who love a good team battle to take place, it certainly made for thrilling viewing, as Button (10th) finished well below Perez (6th) on the day.
Loser: Fernando Alonso, Ferrari
After taking the Chinese Grand Prix in his last outing, expectations on Fernando Alonso were very high heading into the Bahrain Grand Prix, but he ultimately could not deliver on those anticipations—finishing eighth after he was forced to make pit stops on consecutive laps.
The Ferrari star was running second to Button when his DRS overtaking aid became stuck open. He was called into the pits where they closed it and changed his tires, but he was then forced to come back the next very lap when it became stuck open again.
That time was enough to put Alonso well out of contention on the day, and whilst he did incredibly well to fight his way back up from 19th to eighth, he still emerged as a big loser from the Grand Prix.
Alonso is now 30 points off the championship lead through four races.
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