F1's surprise 2012 season has kept on bubbling in Bahrain.

It is a measure of the excitement and unpredictability of the new championship that, just days after some media said the reigning title winner was in 'crisis', Sebastian Vettel won from pole and took the lead of the 2012 points standings.

But the German only narrowly beat the returning 2009 world champion Kimi Raikkonen, with Lotus also completing the surprise podium as Romain Grosjean sampled the sport's prestigious rostrum for the very first time.

Vettel leads the championship by 4 points from Lewis Hamilton, who finished just eighth.

Red Bull also leads the constructors' chase, by 9 points from McLaren.

Vettel is the fourth different winner in F1's four races so far this year, following Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso and Nico Rosberg.

It is his first win since India last year.

"How many good stories can we have in formula one in terms of the racing?" David Coulthard said on BBC television. "We're only four races in and we've had such a mix of winners."

 

Results

Pos

No

Driver

Team

Time/Retired

Pts

1

1

Sebastian Vettel

Red Bull Racing-Renault

1:35:10.990

25

2

9

Kimi Räikkönen

Lotus-Renault

+3.3 secs

18

3

10

Romain Grosjean

Lotus-Renault

+10.1 secs

15

4

2

Mark Webber

Red Bull Racing-Renault

+38.7 secs

12

5

8

Nico Rosberg

Mercedes

+55.4 secs

10

6

11

Paul di Resta

Force India-Mercedes

+57.5 secs

8

7

5

Fernando Alonso

Ferrari

+57.8 secs

6

8

4

Lewis Hamilton

McLaren-Mercedes

+58.9 secs

4

9

6

Felipe Massa

Ferrari

+64.9 secs

2

10

7

Michael Schumacher

Mercedes

+71.4 secs

1

11

15

Sergio Perez

Sauber-Ferrari

+72.7 secs

 

12

12

Nico Hulkenberg

Force India-Mercedes

+76.5 secs

 

13

14

Kamui Kobayashi

Sauber-Ferrari

+90.3 secs

 

14

17

Jean-Eric Vergne

STR-Ferrari

+93.7 secs

 

15

16

Daniel Ricciardo

STR-Ferrari

+1 Lap

 

16

21

Vitaly Petrov

Caterham-Renault

+1 Lap

 

17

20

Heikki Kovalainen

Caterham-Renault

+1 Lap

 

18

3

Jenson Button

McLaren-Mercedes

Exhaust/differential

 

19

24

Timo Glock

Marussia-Cosworth

+2 Laps

 

20

22

Pedro de la Rosa

HRT-Cosworth

+2 Laps

 

21

23

Narain Karthikeyan

HRT-Cosworth

+2 Laps

 

22

19

Bruno Senna

Williams-Renault

Retired

 

Ret

18

Pastor Maldonado

Williams-Renault

Puncture

 

Ret

25

Charles Pic

Marussia-Cosworth

Engine

 

 

 

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