Fernando Alonso has won the Bahrain Grand Prix on his Ferrari debut, leading a one-two for the Italian team at Formula One’s season-opening race.
Swiss Toro Rosso driver Sébastien Buemi was in 14th position when technical problems forced him to give up three laps before the end.
The race also ended early for both Sauber drivers. The Swiss team’s Kamui Kobayashi went out in the 11th of 49 laps and Pedro de la Rosa’s car headed to the garage in the 28th.
Alonso passed teammate Felipe Massa at the second corner. He then overtook Sebastian Vettel, who had started in pole position, on the 34th lap for a lead he would never relinquish.
Massa passed Vettel soon afterwards to claim second on his return to racing after a life-threatening crash in July in Hungary.
Lewis Hamilton overtook Vettel at the same spot to finish third. Nico Rosberg was fifth. Mercedes teammate Michael Schumacher, who started seventh, was sixth in his first race in three years.
Defending champion Jenson Button finished seventh.
swissinfo.ch and agencies