B is in for the 34th round Bahrain still looked like a controlled opening win for Sebastian Vettel. But then the tech devil struck at Red Bull. Due to a problem with the engine, Vettel noticeably lost power on the straight. The young Heppenheimer had to let one Ferrari past the other without a fight - first Fernando Alonso, then Felipe Massa. Three laps later, Lewis Hamilton's McLaren was also over.
First of all, Alonso really got the lead Gas. With several fast laps in a row, the Spaniard increased his lead over his own team-mate and after 49 laps was the first to roll confidently across the finish line. 'That was a very special win today, both for me and for Ferrari,' said Alonso afterwards. 'We haven't achieved anything yet, but it is a very positive sign for the rest of the season.'
Massa secured Ferrari's one-two victory in second place. Alonso had already laid the cornerstone for success in the second corner when he was able to outsmart the teammate who had started before him with a consistent maneuver. 'It was a shame that I lost this important position,' said Massa after the race. 'But with second place I have the best start to the season of my career.'
With fourth place behind Lewis Hamilton, Vettel was at least able to limit the damage. In the final laps, however, he had to use all means to defend himself against the two onrushing Silver Arrows from Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher. 'Every now and then the car came back a little, but I was just powerless on the straight.' With hands and feet, Vettel saved the points in the end. Nevertheless, he draws a positive conclusion. 'Our car works well, both in qualifying and in the race, that gives us courage for the next races.'
Silver arrows on five and six
Mercedes at least got both cars in the points on their first appearance as a works team. At least for Rosberg it could have gone further forward: At the only pit stop, Hamilton came in one lap before the Wiesbadener and was able to pass him without a fight. 'Overall, I wasn't quick enough for the race,' the Silver Arrows driver admitted afterwards. His attempt the ailing Sebastian Vettel just before the end of the raceto overtake also failed. 'As soon as I got close to Sebastian, I lost my downforce so I couldn't get close enough to overtake.' Schumacher finished sixth in what was a relatively uneventful race for him.
'It was a lot of fun today,' said the record champion after his return to the Grand Prix. 'The start was very good, everything worked well. The front tire has changed the most compared to the past. It is now very narrow, so I have to adjust my driving style a little.'
The last two too Places in the top eight were occupied by pilots from the four World Cup favorite tams. For world champion Jenson Button after the poor qualifying there was no more than seventh place. Red Bull driver Mark Webber lost valuable positions in the start phase and finished eighth. Tonio Liuzzi (Force India) and Rubens Barrichello (Williams) secured the last points in ninth and tenth place.
No points for Sutil and Hülkenberg
There was nothing countable for the other Germans in Bahrain. Adrian Sutil collided with Robert Kubica in the second corner in the battle for ninth place. Both pilots turned and fell back to the end of the field. At the finish line, the two fighting cocks ended up in eleventh and twelfth place, just outside of the points. Nico Hülkenberg also spun in his first Formula 1 race. A disappointing 14th place remained for the Williams driver.
The three new Formula 1 teams also had their expected difficult debut. HRT driver Karun Chandhok rolled out after just one lap, his team mate Bruno Senna made ten laps until the Cosworth engine exploded. Neither car at Virgin made it over the distance. Lucas di Grassi stopped on lap nine, Timo Glock came to a stop on lap 26 after a tough fight with Heikki Kovalainen. So in the end the rookie classification went to Lotus. Both cars crossed the finish line - at the end of the field.