Sebastian Vettel celebrates his win in Bahrain Luca Bruno/AP/Press Association Images

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel gets back to winning ways in Bahrain

The Austrian driver led from start to finish, showing signs of his world-championship winning form to hold off the Lotus challenge.

RED BULL DRIVER Sebastian Vettel led from start to finish at the Bahrain Grand Prix and took his first chequered flag of the season.

The two-time world champion became the fourth different winner of a grand prix this season in a race he dominated after starting on pole, to hold off podium-placegetters Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean of Lotus.

Vettel broke away straight from the first corner and looked more the like the driver that took all before him last season.

He now leads Hamilton in the championship by four points from Webber, a point further back, and Button, five in arrears of the Australian. The Austrian won the 57-lap race in a time just over one hour and 35 minutes.

Great day for Lotus

Not since 2006 has F1 witnessed such an unpredictable start to a season, with only Mark Webber proving the exception to that rule with his fourth consecutive fourth-place finish.

Last week’s winner of the Chinese Grand Prix, Nico Rosberg stayed in his qualifying position of fifth to finish ahead of Force India’s Paul di Resta (sixth) and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso (seventh).

McLaren had a horror day with championship leader Lewis Hamilton down in eighth after two pit-stop issues and team-mate Jenson Button retiring a lap from the finish.

Lotus enjoyed their best race of the season as Raikkonen and Grosjean were both within 10 seconds of Vettel and well clear of his Red Bull teammate Webber.

There were anti-government protests held outside the track compound but there were no disruptions to the running of the Grand Prix.

Ahead of the race Bahrain’s King Hamad al-Khalifa said that he was committed to reform in the kingdom. He stated:

I also want to make clear my personal commitment to reform and reconciliation in our great country. The door is always open for sincere dialogue amongst all our people.

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