Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel - Image courtesy of Red Bull RacingEnlarge Photo
From there it was simply a case of both drivers managing tire wear in order to maintain their one-two status, with Vettel seizing victory in the end and Webber coming in second place, approximately 8 seconds behind.
While most eyes were on the Red Bull Racing duo, thrilling performances were also being played out by Ferrari drivers Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa.
At the start of the race, Alonso tussled with McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton, getting past the Brit to go third at the end of lap one. Massa had got the better of Lotus’ Kimi Räikkönen and went up one place to fifth.
Alonso and Massa eventually took their Ferraris to third and fourth places, respectively, with neither driver encountering much drama later on.
Getting to fifth place would prove difficult, but in the end it was Kimi Räikkönen. He was lucky to avoid an incident involving several drivers at the start of the race, which saw the yellow flags come out.
Sauber's Sergio Perez hit Jenson Button’s McLaren before his teammate Kamui Kobayashi did the job properly, hitting it twice and sending it into immediate retirement with right-front suspension damage. Kobayashi also hit Mercedes-AMG driver Nico Rosberg at this point, taking him out as well.
Rounding out the top ten places were Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg in sixth, following by Lotus’ Romain Grosjean seventh. The remaining spots were taken by the twin Toro Rossos of Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo, and finally Lewis Hamilton.
With his latest win, Sebastian Vettel moves to the top of the points ladder with 215 points, just six ahead of Fernando Alonso. Third on the ladder is still occupied by Kimi Räikkönen who has 167 points.
In the Constructors’ Championship, Red Bull Racing remains the clear leader with 367 points, but now Ferrari moves up to second with 290 points, which is just ahead of McLaren’s 284 points.
The 2012 Formula One World Championship is still long with four races and 100 points up for grabs in the Drivers’ title, and it continues in two weeks time with the Indian Grand Prix, now in its second year.