22/04/12 - 13:00
Bahrain Grand Prix
Bahrain International Circuit • Race


Follow the Bahrain Grand Prix live with Eurosport. The race starts at 13:00 on 22 April 2012. Find race results, standings, stats, scores and track info. Keep up with the top F1 drivers and teams including Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Valteri Bottas (Mercedes) and Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing).
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A fascinating race, which of course will be overshadowed by the debate over whether it should have taken place. But well done Sebastian Vettel on his first win of 2012.


Di Resta claims sixth, about eight inches ahead of Fernando Alonso, and it's Lewis Hamilton seventh.


SEBASTIAN VETTEL WINS!! And immediately pulls over because he is out of fuel! Amazing performance from Lotus, who take second and third. Mark Webber fourth, Rosberg limps in fifth with a broken exhaust.


Last lap - the race is Vettel's but plenty going on behind him...


Button retires! His car sounds sick, and he may well have to change his engine before the next outing in Spain next month.


Vettel is still keeping Raikkonen at arm's length. He is three seconds clear with just two laps left. This is surely over.


BUTTON PITS! He has a left rear puncture, and that could cost him a place in the top 10! A miserable afternoon for McLaren!


Button is now the next driver with Di Resta in his sights. The Force India driver is on old, medium compound tyres and should be as close to a sitting duck as you'll see in F1.


Interesting battle for eighth, with Hamilton just six tenths behind Fernando Alonso.


Rosberg eventually gets past Di Resta to go fifth. No surprises there.


Kobayashi comes in for his third stop - he had been running soft tyres so it's no surprise. Di Resta the only two-stopper.


The gap at the front is now 2.8 seconds - this could come down to whose tyres go off first.


Nico Rosberg is hot on the heels of fifth-placed Paul Di Resta. He is within a few tenths and that change of position looks nigh-on inevitable.


Only a real meltdown can prevent Grosjean claiming third place - he has a 15-second gap over Mark Webber.


The race win seems to be slipping away from Kimi Raikkonen - the gap is over three seconds. Still, it would be a spectacular result for Lotus to get both drivers on the podium.


Jenson Button, meanwhile, is still labouring along in seventh place. His balance is all over the place and he is struggling badly.


Raikkonen is now 3.2 seconds behind, and it appears to be Vettel who has settled into these new tyres better.


Hamilton finally gets in front of Kobayashi and moves into ninth place. Cold comfort for him, really...


Lewis Hamilton is stuck behind Kamui Kobayashi, and this is the continuation of a deeply frustrating race for him...


Vettel and Raikkonen pit simultaneously... they are both fitted up with medium compound tyres and Vettel holds on to his lead.


Perez is blocked by a Ferrari coming into the pits, then pulls out alongside Schumacher as he comes out. Tough breaks...


Hurrah! Lewis Hamilton completes an uneventful pit stop, and that will come as a huge relief to the McLaren mechanics. Still, the damage has already been done.


Sebastian Vettel is being told to use a few more revs going through the gears. He is under serious pressure.


Raikkonen is all over Vettel down the start/finish race. Have Red Bull lost KERS? Vettel hangs on for now.


We are looking at four different teams winning the first four races - McLaren, Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull/Lotus.


And back comes Raikkonen! He is applying pressure and now trails by only a second. Stellar performance from the Finn.


That's a very dangerous tactic from Alonso. He slipstreams a Sauber which is heading into the pits, then swerves quickly back onto the start-finish straight, narrowly avoiding the pit wall. Crazy risk if it is deliberate.


There's a great battle developing with less than a second covering Alonso, Hamilton and Massa. The only thing wrong with it is that they're squabbling over ninth place.


Vettel's lap times on the soft tyres have been very good - in the 1:37s. Starting to distance himself from Raikkonen again. 2.8 seconds the gap now.


Sebastian Vettel leads Kimi Raikkonen by 1.8 seconds as we pass the halfway mark. Could Kimi really win this?


Maldonado has come into the pits and retired - he must have been suffering from a separate problem that caused the spin.


Fernando Alonso has been on the pit radio, furious with Rosberg. "He pushed me off the track!" We've not heard the last of this.


Maldonado spins at such high speed it punctures his left rear tyre. Whoops. He will limp in for fresh rubber.


More fun and games with Nico Rosberg! Now he forces Alonso on to the run-off area at exactly the same place as the Hamilton incident! This time the German maintains his position.


A deflated Lewis Hamilton makes a move on Jean-Eric Vergne to go 14th.


Raikkonen pits from second - no problems there.


Oh, disaster for Lewis Hamilton! An indentical problem with the left rear wheel as Hamilton pits! It's pretty inexcusable from McLaren, and their pit stop woes continue. A 12.2-second stop.


But now Raikkonen is through! He is past his team-mate Romain Grosjean and into second!


Kimi Raikkonen is starting to lose ground on Romain Grosjean - his charge has been halted for now. Are the Fiinn's tyres going off?


Three abreast! Di Resta, Perez and Maldonado tangle spectacularly and emerge in that order - two places gained for the Scot!


And we have heard that the stewards will not make an immediate decision on Rosberg/Hamilton - that will be investigated further after the race. If a punishment is levied, it could take the form of a time penalty, or a penalty levied at the next race.


Still no verdict on that Rosberg/Hamilton incident - Lewis went off the track to get past Rosberg. Will be interesting to see what the stewards decide. They are presently sixth and eighth respectively.


Great product placement - a man at Red Bull race control drinks... a can of Red Bull.


Race photos are starting to drop into our F1 slideshow feed -


Nico Hulkenberg has a look down the inside of Senna - he backs off, but Senna is perhaps distracted and runs wide, letting the Force India through!


Everybody has now stopped at least once (twice for Kovalainen after that first-lap puncture).


1:39.0 for Kimi Raikkonen - it's a fastest lap and he is just 8.9 seconds behind race leader Sebastian Vettel.


Boom! Kimi Raikkonen overhauls Mark Webber - he is on soft tyres to the Australian's mediums. Storming performance from Kimi.


Vettel and Grosjean have both now pitted, which means Paul Di Resta leads the race for the moment - only until he pits, however.


Lewis Hamilton is not happy with his team, asking "What happened there?" over the radio. And the stewards are investigating that incident between Hamilton and Rosberg. All going wrong for Lewis.


It's a rotten stop for Hamilton - there's a problem with the left rear wheel nut and he comes out in 13th! He then goes wheel to wheel with Rosberg across the run-off area! He eventually sees off Rosberg, but it's frantic stuff from the Briton!


Grosjean overtakes Hamilton, who pulls into the pits...


Raikkonen is now all over Alonso - what a race this is for Lotus so far!


Ricciardo does indeed come in for a change of wing. It's the front one, actually.


Kimi Raikkonen on the charge - now he gets the better of Jenson Button to go sixth. Button is complaining of massive understeer due to a problem with the rear tyres.


Up front, Sebastian Vettel's lead is now up to 4.5 seconds, and Romain Grosjean is within half a second of Lewis Hamilton!


Daniel Ricciardo is telling his pit crew he has a problem with his rear wing - let's see what develops there...


Great stuff!! Raikkonen thrashes the KERS through the esses and gets seventh place back off Massa - appeared to take the Brazilian by surprise as that's not a normal overtaking spot.


Great move by Romain Grosjean, who squeezes his Lotus into third place in front of Webber! Fantastic start.


Contact as Massa pulls alongside Raikkonen, and eventually edges in front to go seventh! Some real cojones from Massa - good to see.


Pastor Maldonado and Michael Schumacher are both up six places to 15th and 16th respectively.


Heikki Kovalainen is missing a tyre, and he comes into the pits for emergency attention.


Amazing pace from Vettel, who has opened up a massive lead on the first lap - he's already 2.2 seconds clear of Hamilton!


GOOOOO!!! Lights out and we are away! Vettel holds position from Hamilton, but Alonso is already up to sixth and Sebastien Grosjean is into fourth!


And we are ready to go....


Off we go on the formation lap - the vast majority of the field on soft tyres. Kamui Kobayashi the only exception on medium compound tyres.


The grid has been cleared, and we are ready to go racing. A couple of hours to put the poilitics to one side and hope for a thrilling race.


Betting odds for today's race: Vettel 15/8, Hamilton 12/5, Button 5/1, Webber 10/1, Rosberg 12/1, 50/1 bar.


It is a hot day in Bahrain - air temperature 30C and track temperature 35C. But weirdly there have been a few drops of moisture around the place. Red Bull's Christian Horner says it is not showing up on his radar and he is not concerned.


Michael Schumacher has taken a five-place grid penalty for changing his gearbox. He was starting 17th anyway, so best to get the change out of the way now, I suppose. Gearboxes have to last five races - or else a penalty comes into play.


It has been a bizarre weekend, with the tranquility of the Sakhir circuit set against a backdrop of popular protests against the Kingdom's ruling family.


Welcome to LIVE coverage of the Bahrain GP from Sakhir.