Sunday, April 19, 2009

Vettel wins Chinese GP

Vettel dominated from the start, resisting all challenges as he swept home through the spray. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

SHANGHAI - SEBASTIAN Vettel scored Red Bull's first victory on Sunday when he drove a brilliant race to win ahead of teammate Mark Webber in treacherous rain-hit conditions at the Chinese Grand Prix.

Vettel, the 21-year-old German who claimed his maiden win for the Toro Rosso team in similar weather at last year's Italian Grand Prix, dominated from the start, resisting all challenges as he swept home through the spray.

It endorsed his status as the sport's new young rising star - his pole and victory at Monza last year made him the youngest driver in F1 history to achieve such feats.

Webber, the 32-year-old Australian who has recovered from a broken leg in the off-season to continue racing, came home second to complete a wonderful result for the team from Milton Keynes in England.

Early season world championship leading Briton Jenson Button finished third for the Brawn GP team ahead of his teammate, veteran Brazilian Rubens Barrichello.

There were encouraging signs that McLaren are starting to find their feet with Finn Heikki Kovalainen and defending world champion Briton Lewis Hamilton finishing fifth and sixth.

Germany's Timo Glock was seventh for Toyota and Swiss rookie Sebastien Buemi, just 20, came home eighth to cliam the final point for Toro Rosso.

But Ferrari again failed to score for the third time this season - now their worst start to a racing year since 1981.

Brazilian Felipe Massa retired with mechanical problems and Finn Kimi Raikkonen came in a midfield position without threatening to pick up any points.

And there was disappointment for Force India which looked on course for its first ever Formula One point with Adrian Sutil in sixth with five laps to go, but the German lost control of his car and crashed out.

The race was started under a safety car and there were two further spells of safety car intervention due to the dreadful weather and a spate of accidents and collisions. -- AFP

No comments: