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HAVE YOUR SAY: Who was hottest in Bahrain?

23 April 2012

Regardless of whether the Bahrain Grand Prix should have gone ahead at all, there was no denying that the action on track was, at times, explosive.

While the race was led from start to finish by a familiar face, there was once again something to watch throughout the field, as the combination of low grip, desert heat and tyre degradation shook up the order in qualifying and kept everyone guessing on raceday.

Sebastian Vettel emerged from Red Bull Racing's recent slump to become the fourth different winner in as many races to open the season - the first time that has happened since 1983 - and duly reclaimed the advantage in the points table as McLaren suffered its worst result of 2012 to date.

Instead, the German's main opposition came from an inspired Lotus team, as both Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean took turns to chase the Red Bull down. Raikkonen came closest, deigning to challenge Vettel for the lead, but eventually the black-and-gold had to settle for a brace of podium places.

They were neatly sandwiched by Mark Webber, who secured his fourth consecutive fourth place finish of the campaign, and gave Renault power a 1-2-3-4 result to counter last week's Mercedes podium lock-out in China.

Fifth place could have gone a number of ways, but eventually fell to Nico Rosberg - although the German's tactics, one week on from his maiden win, left a lot to be desired and could have affected the result even after the chequered flag. The stewards somehow decided that driving two rivals beyond the limit of the track was permissable, and the Mercedes man remained fifth.

At one point, Paul di Resta looked set to secure his best-ever F1 finish, but eventually had to settle for equalling the sixth spot he recorded in 2011. That, however, was still a fine performance from a Force India driver denied track time in FP2 but still making it through to the final phase of qualifying.

Rosberg's 'victims' - Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton - filled the next two spots, the Spaniard almost catching di Resta as they took the chequered flag. It was another solid display from Alonso in the difficult Ferrari, but Hamilton's efforts - from another front row start - were undone by further trouble in the pits. Although McLaren suffered from a lack of pace all day, seventh was probably not what the Briton deserved.

It was still better than team-mate Jenson Button who, despite having run ahead of Hamilton, was forced to retire in the late stages. The Briton's demise allowed Felipe Massa to finally open his 2012 account with not one, but two points, while Michael Schumacher was elevated to a scoring position despite having started 22nd after missing Q2 and then taking a gearbox penalty....

As always, there will be others worthy of mention - Heikki Kovalainen for a qualifying effort undone by lap one misfortune, perhaps - so this is your chance to 'have your say'....

We have compiled a short-list for you to vote on - simply CLICK HERE - but, as always, feel free to leave your comments on who you thought was the star of the show....


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