Vettel in command as Red Bull clinch one-two in ChinaApril 19th, 2009 - 6:37 pm ICT by IANS
Shanghai, April 19 (DPA) Germany’s Sebastian Vettel clinched a rain-soaked Chinese Formula One Grand Prix in commanding fashion ahead of team-mate Mark Webber in a Red Bull one-two finish in Shanghai Sunday.
Overall leader Jenson Button, who had won the first two races of the season, had to make do with third place, with Brawn GP team-mate Rubens Barrichello fourth.
It was the second Grand Prix victory for 21-year-old Vettel who last season became the youngest race winner in F1 history when he won the Italian GP in Monza in a Toro Rosso.
Neither of the Red Bull cars are designed with the controversial double-diffuser but Vettel and Webber coped best in the treacherous conditions on the Shanghai International Circuit to give the team it’s first Grand Prix victory.
Button continues to lead the overall standings on 21 points, ahead of Barrichello on 15.
Vettel, seeking his first points of the season, put in a faultless performance, to win by almost 11 seconds over Webber, with Button almost 45 seconds back.
Vettel led from pole position in a safety-car start in the rain, with cars taken round the circuit for eight laps before racing began.
With drivers struggling to keep their cars on the track, the safety car was out again after 18 laps when Robert Kubica in a BMW Sauber ran heavily into the back of Toyota driver Jarno Trulli.
Vettel was fortunate to survive with his car unharmed when Sebastien Buemi in a Toro Rosso clipped his rear during the safety car phase.
But the German was one of the few in the field not to spin off, and after he squeezed past Button with 15 laps remaining — with the Brawn GP man refuelling two laps later - the race was his to win.
“Yes, we made it,” Vettel said on the team radio after crossing the line.
“Thank you for working so hard on the car. It was a dream to drive today. Together we made it. Thank you.”
Webber completed Red Bull’s supremacy with second place, ahead of the Brawn pair Button and Barrichello and the McLaren-Mercedes duo Heikki Kovalainen and reigning champion Lewis Hamilton.
Swiss newcomer Buemi - seventh in the Australian GP - was in the points again in eighth place, one behind German Timo Glock in a Toyota.
The Force India team was close to its first F1 points but German Adrian Sutil crashed out in sixth place with five laps remaining.
Ferrari missed out on the points again in what is now the team’s worst start to a F1 season for 27 years.
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Tags: bmw sauber, china shanghai, chinese formula, crossing the line, faultless performance, formula one grand prix, gp team, italian gp, jarno trulli, jenson button, mark webber, mate mark, race winner, rubens barrichello, safety car, sebastian vettel, shanghai international circuit, team mate, toyota driver, treacherous conditions