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Vettel Back on Top – Takes Flag and Fastest Lap

Red Bull Racing driver and defending World Champion Sebastian Vettel dominated the Bahrain International Circuit, out-pacing the pack from start to finish – but it wasn’t without a fight.

Team Red Bull Racing is back! The 2011 Driver’s and Constructor’s Champion topped the podium at the 2012 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix, and the young German also scored his first Fastest Lap of the season.

To win, Vettel had to hold off a charging Kimi Raikkonen from Team Lotus, who together with teammate Romain Grosjean showed that Lotus means business this year. The two drivers, who joined Vettel on the winner’s podium, were also in the hunt for the Fastest Lap, racing the third and fifth fastest laps, respectively.

After a brilliant start off the pole position, Vettel carved out a 2.2s lead right in the first lap, setting the tone for the day. He remained out front for virtually the entire race, only briefly deferring to Force India driver Paul di Resta during a pit stop.

Fastest Lap
Vettel set the day’s Fastest Lap in Lap 41 (1:36.379) with an average speed of 202.151 km/hr, which came just a few laps after Raikkonen had narrowed the gap to a second, just missing a chance to take the lead in Lap 36. After pitting in Lap 39, Vettel’s Fastest Lap helped him rebuild a 2.9s lead and it appeared no would catch the reigning World Champion at that point. He took the checkered flag a comfortable 3.3s ahead of Lotus, but it certainly hadn’t been without a fight.

The Red Bull driver admitted as much after the race: “It's a very tight season. The cars are very close to each other. Small things can make a huge difference.”

With four different drivers topping the podium and four different fastest lap pilots after four Grand Prix in 2012, this season is revving up to be a tight one indeed.

As Official Logistics Partner, DHL knows that even the smallest spare part can make a huge difference in a Formula 1™ race. That’s why we are right there trackside every week to support the teams with our global logistics network. Stay with us as we follow the 2012 Formula 1 season and the race for the DHL Fastest Lap AwardExternal Link.