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Vettel laments car problems

Sebastian Vettel was left to rue what might have been after a mechanical failure denied him the chance of starting the new season with a win.

SAKHIR // Sebastian Vettel was left to rue what might have been after a mechanical failure denied him the chance of starting the new season with a win. The Red Bull-Renault driver had looked on target for victory in yesterday's opening race at the Bahrain Grand Prix until a cracked exhaust slowed his pace on the 34th lap and allowed the Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa, as well as the McLaren-Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton, to pass him.

Though the German was able to bring the stricken car home in fourth spot he was left frustrated at missing out on a sixth career victory after taking pole position on Saturday and had led the race from the start until problems outside of his control slowed him down. "All in all it was positive except the failure this weekend," said the 22-year-old. "Under any conditions from Saturday morning onwards we were the quickest. I think we had very good control of the race, we had a very good strategy. I knew how my tyres were.

"We had quite good control of the tyres and the brakes, everything was running smoothly. "I think it was 15-20 laps to the end I just lost power. I don't know what it was but I think something mechanical broke. Luckily we could continue but we should have won really." Mark Webber, Vettel's teammate, was a distant eighth. gmeenaghan@thenational.ae

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