F1 2013 Bahrain Grand Prix result: Vettel wins, Hamilton fifth

PUBLISHED: 14:46 21 April 2013 | UPDATED: 16:21 21 April 2013

Lewis Hamilton finished fifth in the 2013 Bahrain Grand Prix [Picture: Daimler, Mercedes-Benz]

Lewis Hamilton finished fifth in the 2013 Bahrain Grand Prix [Picture: Daimler, Mercedes-Benz]

Daimler Mercedes-Benz

FORMULA 1 driver Lewis Hamilton was unable to challenge for a podium in the 2013 Bahrain Grand Prix as world champion Sebastian Vettel coasted to victory following a strategic race.

2013 Bahrain Grand Prix result

Provisional grand prix result:

1 Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)

2 Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus)

3 Romain Grosjean (Lotus)

4 Paul di Resta (Force India)

5 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

6 Sergio Perez (McLaren)

7 Mark Webber (Red Bull)

8 Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)

9 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)

10 Jenson Button (McLaren)

The 28-year-old Mercedes F1 racer from Hertfordshire was never in contention for a third successive podium finish as Red Bull’s Vettel comfortably took the chequered flag for his 28th grand prix victory.

Kimi Raikkonen crossed the line second with Romain Grosjean completing the podium, making it a good day for Lotus. Grosjean took Paul di Resta on lap 52 to deny the Force India driver a deserved podium.

Hamilton finished fifth for the Silver Arrows in the provisional results, after battling with Mark Webber over the closing laps, and is now third in the drivers’ championship.

“I had so much fun fighting with Mark at the end. We really needed that point and I was so determined to get by. It was good, clean wheel-to-wheel racing,” said Hamilton afterwards.

Mercedes F1 driver Lewis Hamilton exits the pits during the 2013 Bahrain Grand Prix [Picture: Mercedes-Benz] Mercedes F1 driver Lewis Hamilton exits the pits during the 2013 Bahrain Grand Prix [Picture: Mercedes-Benz]

“I’m very proud of what we have achieved over the first four races and to be third in the Drivers’ Championship is beyond any of our expectations.

“But we’ve got to keep pushing and find more performance. We’re hanging on by the skin of our teeth at the moment and, if we can make that next step, then we can close the gap.”

Despite finishing fifth, Hamilton was delighted with his result after struggling badly in the early part of the race when temperatures were at their highest.

He said: “I’m really happy with our result today. It’s been a tough weekend for us but we got through it and finishing in fifth place was some good damage limitation.

The Mercedes pit crew during the 2013 Bahrain Grand Prix [Picture: Mercedes-Benz] The Mercedes pit crew during the 2013 Bahrain Grand Prix [Picture: Mercedes-Benz]

“My race didn’t start well at all. I was looking after the tyres but I really struggled on the first two stints and was falling back.

“But as the temperatures dropped, the car picked up and then I had the grip that I needed to push and close the gap.”

Sergio Perez was sixth in Bahrain for McLaren, after overtaking Webber’s Red Bull on the final lap, while Fernando Alonso managed to take eighth place, despite being unable to use the DRS on his Ferrari.

Aussie Red Bull driver Webber was later reprimanded by race stewards for an earlier incident with Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg, who finished ninth after being forced to switch to a four-stop strategy.

Mercedes F1 driver Lewis Hamilton in the pits during the 2013 Bahrain Grand Prix [Picture: Mercedes-Benz] Mercedes F1 driver Lewis Hamilton in the pits during the 2013 Bahrain Grand Prix [Picture: Mercedes-Benz]

Starting ninth on the grid following his five-place penalty for a gearbox change, Hamilton dropped back to 11th in the opening stages of the Sakhir race.

With the track temperature a sizzling 43 degrees, the Stevenage-born motor racer found himself chasing Romain Grosjean’s Lotus.

Teammate Nico Rosberg lined up on pole but was soon under pressure from both Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull and the red Ferrari of Fernando Alonso.

As team principal Ross Brawn predicted, the Mercedes was soon struggling for pace and Rosberg was eventually overtaken by a supreme Vettel.

Nico Rosberg leading the 2013 Bahrain Grand Prix [Picture: Mercedes-Benz] Nico Rosberg leading the 2013 Bahrain Grand Prix [Picture: Mercedes-Benz]

Rosberg was then swallowed up by the chasing pack, with both Alonso and Paul di Resta’s Force India passing him in the opening seven laps.

Alonso was told to enter the pits by his team with his DRS flap stuck open and he switched to the hard tyres.

He tried to use the ‘fixed’ DRS again but it remained open and he had to make a second stop. Alonso was subsequently unable to deploy his malfuntioning DRS, harming his race chances.

Things went from bad to worse for Ferrari when Felipe Massa was later forced to pit with a rear right puncture. The Brazilian later suffered a second puncture.

Hamilton, meanwhile, briefly climbed into the top six during the first round of pitstops, but found himself down in 13th after his first stop for tyres.

He managed to climb back into the top 10 and by lap 18 of 57 was placed eighth behind di Resta and ahead of Kimi Raikkonen, the Finn on a two-stop strategy, with Vettel leading the race by 10 seconds from Red Bull colleague Mark Webber.

The pace, however, was hurting Hamilton’s rear tyres and he pitted for a second time, dropping him down to 13th and he had to try and move through the field all over again.

One of the best tussles of the race was between McLaren pair Jenson Button and Sergio Perez for fifth place around the 30-lap mark, with the Mexican touching Button’s car and slightly damaging his front wing.

Button over the radio asked the team to “calm down” Perez and later claimed his teammate was “too aggressive”.

Their red-hot battle enabled Grosjean to close the gap and then overtake the squabbling McLarens for fifth place, while at the front Raikkonen moved ahead of di Resta into second behind race leader Vettel.

Hamilton exited the pits a third time in 10th place with 18 laps to go and showed good pace on his final stint to pass Perez down into turn one.

Entering the final 10 laps, Hamilton was sixth ahead of the chasing ‘wagon’ of Perez, Button and Alonso.

The Mercedes star managed to take Webber for fifth on lap 51, but lost it again a few laps later in the start/finish DRS zone after a bad exit off the last corner.

The pair duelled for fifth place over the remaining laps with Hamilton eventually making a move stick at the start of lap 57. Webber then faded to seventh.

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