Nico Rosberg’s pole position for the Bahrain Grand Prix did not last long. He put on his best defensive moves but the Mercedes didn’t have the pace to fight anywhere near the top, and he gradually dropped further and further down.
Meanwhile, Sebastian Vettel managed to sneak in front and from there he never looked back. The lead changed hands a few times as the early pit stops unfolded, but Vettel pulled out such a gap that he was never going to be troubled.
The Lotus drivers had a good day, with Kimi Räikkönen moving up to second and Romain Grosjean third, a double podium celebration for the team. Meanwhile, Jean-Éric Vergne was the only retirement of the race, after a collision early on saw his car damaged beyond repair.
There was some inter-team jostling for position at McLaren, as Sergio Pérez got ahead of Jenson Button but not before a small bit of contact between the two. Side by side racing was the order of the day, and it continued right to the chequered flag, the normally dull Bahrain shedding its reputation to provide an exceptionally exciting afternoon.