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Rediff.com  » Sports » Red Bull's Vettel wins Chinese GP

Red Bull's Vettel wins Chinese GP

Last updated on: April 19, 2009 16:04 IST

German Sebastian Vettel gave Red Bull their first Formula One win with a pole to chequered flag victory ahead of team mate Mark Webber in the rain-soaked Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday.

The 21-year-old claimed the second victory of his career, with Australian Webber taking his best result to date, in a Red Bull one-two on a track that resembled a skidpan for much of the race.

Briton Jenson Button, who won the first two races of the season, finished third to extend his championship lead to six points over Brawn GP team mate Rubens Barrichello, who was fourth.

McLaren's Heikki Kovalainen was fifth to finally get his season going after failing to finish a lap in the previous two races, while world champion team mate Lewis Hamilton finished sixth after a late spin robbed him of a better result.

German Timo Glock was seventh for Toyota, who slipped to third in the constructors' standings behind Red Bull, and Toro Rosso's Swiss rookie Sebastien Buemi won the final point in eighth.

There was heartache for Force India, still without a point since their debut last year, who had Adrian Sutil in sixth place until the German crashed out six laps from the finish.

Ferrari's misery continued with the champions failing to score for the third race in a row.

Felipe Massa's car ground to a halt during the second safety car period while 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen finished 10th.

Ferrari, who remained bottom of the constructors' standings, are now suffering their worst start to a season since 1981 when their cars retired from the first three races.

Heavy rainfall meant the first eight laps of the race were run behind the safety car, which returned on lap 20 after one of the string of collisions and crashes in the race left debris strewn over the track.

Vettel, who became Formula One's youngest winner for Red Bull's sister team Toro Rosso in similarly wet conditions at last year's Italian Grand Prix, had his share of luck and escaped unscathed when Buemi shunted into the back of his car on lap 19.

He emerged from the pits in third place with 19 laps to go and only had to wait for Webber and Button to make their final stops to retake the lead.

With Button struggling with his tyres, Vettel took on the championship leader and reclaimed the lead on track before steering his car through the pools of water to victory.

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