Vettel fends off surprise Lotus attack on podium
Defending double world champion Sebastian Vettel claimed his first win of the year on Sunday to take over as leader of the Formula One title race when he triumphed in the controversial Bahrain Grand Prix. Follow the Indian | Champwatch | Race classification | Standingsindia Updated: Apr 23, 2012 01:50 IST
Defending double world champion Sebastian Vettel claimed his first win of the year on Sunday to take over as leader of the Formula One title race when he triumphed in the controversial Bahrain Grand Prix.
Without any threatened interference from demonstrators at the heavily-guarded Sakhir circuit the 24-year-old German regained the form of last year and controlled the race from start to finish.
Vettel goes top
He jumped to the top of the drivers' standings after registering his 22nd career victory with a near-flawless drive from pole position to the chequered flag.
Vettel came home ahead of Kimi Raikkonen, the 2007 champion, and the Finn's Lotus team-mate Romain Grosjean.
"That was an incredible race, very tough," said Vettel.
"I was lucky to have a good start, and that was crucial, as it let me pull away and open up a gap at the front. But Kimi (Raikkonen) challenged me - I think he must have found a dealer who had all those new tyres."
Raikkonen said: "I had one chance to pass him, but I couldn't quite do it and that was it. But it was a good race for us."
It was Grosjean's first podium finish in Formula One and the 25-year-old Frenchman said: "For me, I am very happy to have my first podium and to go like this, one step at a time.
"I said at first I wanted to finish in the points and then in the top five, and now on the podium. Let's take a break before I say I want to win!"