Good afternoon and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage of this afternoon's much-maligned Bahrain Grand Prix.
Doubts have been cast in number over the past week on whether the race should take place because of protests and human rights issues in Gulf state.
However, F1 chiefs have been happy for the Grand Prix to go ahead and Sebastian Vettel will start from pole position for the first time this season, with Lewis Hamilton the filling of a Red Bull sandwich as Mark Webber starts third.
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Vettel picks up a maximum 25 points and now leads the drivers' championship by four points from Hamilton with Webber, Button and Alonso rounding off the top five. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for coverage.
Di Resta manages to hold off Alonso on the final corner to take an impressive sixth. Here's the top ten: 1 Vettel 2 Raikkonen 3 Grosjean 4 Webber 5 Rosberg 6 Di Resta 7 Alonso 8 Hamilton 9 Massa 10 Schumacher
SEBASTIAN VETTEL WINS THE BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX!
A typically composed drive from the two-time world champion who finishes ahead of Lotus duo Raikkonen and Grosjean.
Lap 57: Vettel looks comfortable as ever as he crosses the line for one final circuit.
Lap 56: Two laps left and Vettel has a 3.2s lead over Raikkonen as Senna retires for Williams and Button pulls out of the race!
Lap 54: Di Resta's being caught by Button but the McLaren pits because of a left rear puncture! He resumes in 13th position, out of the world championship points. Awful day for McLaren.
Lap 53: Hamilton's also closing on Alonso in eighth, he's around 0.6s behind the Spaniard.
Lap 52: Rosberg takes Di Resta at last for fifth place. Button will now look to pass fellow Brit Di Resta in the final five laps.
Lap 51: Raikkonen had cut the gap the 2.6s a couple of laps ago but Vettel knows this situation and has pulled out to three-and-a-half seconds again.
Lap 49: Di Resta's just ahead of Rosberg and is likely to be passed by the Mercedes. Wherever the Scot finishes it will have been a great race. Football fans out there might be interested to hear that Everton have a grabbed a memorable 4-4 draw at Manchester United. Read more here.
Lap 47: With ten laps to go can Force India's Di Resta, currently fifth having only made two stops, hold out in fifth and fend off Rosberg, Alonso, Hamilton and Massa?
Lap 46: Raikkonen is told that his tyres will wear better than Vettel's. The Finn is around three seconds adrift of the German world champion. Lotus still looking good for a 2,3 podium finish as Grosjean is 15 seconds ahead of Webber in fourth.
Lap 41: Grosjean pits from the lead and resumes in the final podium position. Here's a top ten update: 1 Vettel 2 Raikkonen 3 Grosjean 4 Webber 5 Di Resta (2 stops) 6 Rosberg 7 Button 8 Alonso 9 Hamilton 10 Massa
Lap 40: Vettel and Raikkonen enter the pit together and the latter's stop is slower as Vettel retains his lead.
Lap 39: Hamilton sets the fastest lap of the race and it means that he is just in front of Massa as the Brazilian exits the pit lane.
Lap 37: Hamilton pits for the third time and it's again slow, this time 5.4s. By my calculations the McLaren man has lost around 15 seconds because of slow pit stops today.
Lap 37: 20 laps left and a little lock-up from Raikkonen means he can't pass on lap 37 either.
Lap 36: So close for Raikkonen at turn one but he pulls out of a move up the inside. Surely he'll pass soon?
Lap 34: Can Raikkonen make the move on Vettel? He gains ever nearer down the home straight. He's right behind the German!
Lap 32: Alonso, Massa and Hamilton are separated by just a second in in eighth, ninth and tenth. Raikkonen cuts the gap to 1.1s at the front, he's almost in the crucial one-second DRS window.
Lap 30: 27 laps to go and Vettel leads by 1.9s from Raikkonen with Grosjean dropping back by five seconds.
Lap 27: Alonso is fuming with Rosberg after that incident and reports to his team that you "must always leave a space". Something the German did not do. The stewards have again decided to look at the incident after the race.
Lap 27: Raikkonen sets a fastest lap and is just 2.2s behind Vettel as Maldonado takes a wild spin which results in the first retirement of the race.
Lap 26: Vettel and Grosjean pit from first and second and Raikkonen's gained time in that phase, he's now much closer to Vettel.
Lap 25: Rosberg's really getting in amongst it and he forces Alonso on to the sand in the same place he did Hamilton earlier. Super wheel-to-wheel racing.
Lap 24: Finally Raikkonen passes Grosjean for second place as Webber, Hamilton and Alonso all pit. There's something seriously wrong on the left rear at McLaren as Hamilton stop takes 12.2 seconds! That's around four times longer than it should be. The 2008 world champion's race has been ruined by his pit crew who have made the same mistake twice this race.
Lap 23: Raikkonen's closing in on teammate Grosjean in second while Button pits from fifth and changes to the medium compound tyres.
Lap 22: Di Resta's flying, coming out on top in a three-way overtake and he's now trying to pass Massa for ninth position.
Lap 20: The two Lotus's aren't losing time to Vettel while Webber is around ten seconds further back in fourth. The stewards have decided to look at the Hamilton-Rosberg incident in more detail after the race.
Lap 17: Vettel's lead over Grosjean is at the five-second mark with third-placed man Raikkonen the fastest car out on track.
Lap 15: Di Resta pits as does Kobayashi so the first pit-stop phase is just about over. Here's the top ten: 1 Vettel 2 Grosjean 3 Raikkonen 4 Webber 5 Button 6 Hamilton 7 Alonso 8 Rosberg 9 Massa 10 Perez
Lap 14: Di Resta and Kobayashi are the only two men in the top ten yet to pit as Hamilton passes Alonso for eighth place.
Lap 13: Raikkonen passes Webber for fifth position. The Lotus Renault looks strong today.
Lap 13: Vettel uses his much fresher tyres to take Di Resta on the home straight and regain the lead.
Lap 12: The race stewards are investigating the incident between Hamilton and Rosberg from a couple of laps ago. Rosberg has told his team that the Englishman passed him off the track.
Lap 12: Vettel pits from the lead, as does Raikkonen. Di Resta takes up the lead of the race but the Force India man is yet to stop.
Lap 11: So, to recap, Hamilton had a problem with his left rear at the pit stop and fell behind Webber and Alonso who were also in the pit.
Lap 10: Amazing stuff from an understandably frustrated Hamilton who drives off the track into the sand to get past Rosberg.
Lap 10: Poor stop from Hamilton who loses time to Webber and Alonso.
Lap 9: Webber's got his eyes on Hamilton who is dropping time rapidly, he's now nine seconds behind leader Vettel. Hamilton pits from third.
Lap 9: Button, Massa and Rosberg all pit to change their wearing tyres.
Lap 8: Ricciardo has to pit to change his front wing in the Toro Rosso as both McLaren drivers complain about a lack of grip in their rear tyres. They're both struggling and losing time.
Lap 7: The McLaren's are struggling and Button gets past by the Raikkonen in the other Lotus Renault.
Lap 7: Grosjean passes Hamilton on the home straight! Cracking stuff from the Frenchman who breezes past the McLaren driver. Great pace from the Lotus Renault car.
Lap 6: Hamilton is informed that he's down on Vettel in the first and second sectors. Lewis needs to get away from the attentions of the impressive Grosjean.
Lap 5: Last week's victor Rosberg had a sluggish start in fifth and is down in ninth hunting down Massa ahead of him.
Lap 4: This is horribly familiar from Vettel who is setting fastest laps and pulling further away from Hamilton. Grosjean passes Webber for third place!
Lap 2: Here's the top ten as it stands: 1 Vettel 2 Hamilton 3 Webber 4 Grosjean 5 Alonso 6 Button 7 Raikkonen 8 Massa 9 Rosberg 10 Perez
Lap 2: Vettel's pulled out a handsome 2.2s lead after the opening circuit over Hamilton. Webber remains third with Grosjean fourth from Alonso and Button. Massa also had a great start so Ferrari will be pleased.
Lap 1: Five red lights out and we are GO GO GO! Vettel starts well and holds his lead into turn one ahead of Hamilton. Webber stays third while Button is under pressure in fourth. Cracking start from Alonso from ninth!
Can Hamilton jump Vettel at the start or will the double world champion coast to victory as we're so used to?
Formation Lap: Vettel leads round the 24 drivers and as the cars prepare to go off here's how the top ten line up: 1 Vettel 2 Hamilton 3 Webber 4 Button 5 Rosberg 6 Ricciardo 7 Grosjean 8 Perez 9 Alonso 10 Di Resta