The Lotus F1 team produced an outstanding performance in the Bahrain Grand Prix at the weekend (22 April 2012) with both of its drivers on the podium and Kimi Räikkönen twice coming with inches of out pacing reigning World Champion Sebastian Vettal.
Kimi Räikkönen and Romain Grosjean danced their way through the Bahrain desert for a double-podium performance with Kimi taking advantage of saved sets of new tyres from qualifying to vault from eleventh to second place, whilst Romain scored an equally impressive seventh to third place.
Räikkönen’s first bid to take the lead came by lap 33 with the Finn on hard compound tyres and Vettel on soft compound with Räikkönen making his move on lap 36 only to be thwarted by Vettel at the last second. A slower pit stop meant that Räikkönen had to make up lost time on Vettel and with both drivers on the same tyres, the performance margin was narrower. However although Vettel took the top spot by 3.3 seconds at the finish, the toll it took on the Red Bull to keep the Lotus at bay was clear as Vettel ground to a halt just metres past finish line with the exhausted Red Bull parking at end of pit lane.
No less impressive, given his relative youth was Grosjean, who easily maintained his third position from Mark Webber’s Red Bull, finishing almost half a minute ahead of the Australian.
2012 Bahrain GP: Results
1. Sebastian Vettel Germany Red Bull-Renault 1hr 35m 10.990s
2. Kimi Raikkonen Finland Lotus-Renault +0m 03.3s
3. Romain Grosjean France Lotus-Renault +0m 10.1s
4. Mark Webber Australia Red Bull-Renault +0m 38.7s
5. Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes +0m 55.4s
6. Paul di Resta Britain Force India-Mercedes +0m 57.5s
7. Fernando Alonso Spain Ferrari-Ferrari +0m 57.8s
8. Lewis Hamilton Britain McLaren-Mercedes +0m 58.9s
9. Felipe Massa Brazil Ferrari-Ferrari +1m 04.9s
10. Michael Schumacher Germany Mercedes-Mercedes +1m 11.4s
11. Sergio Perez Mexico Sauber-Ferrari +1m 12.7s
12. Nico Hulkenberg Germany Force India-Mercedes +1m 16.5s