Apr.22 (GMM) F1's surprise 2012 season has kept on bubbling in Bahrain.

2nd place Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus Renault F1 Team with 1st place Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Racing and 3rd place Romain Grosjean, Lotus Renault F1 Team
2nd place Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus Renault F1 Team with 1st place Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Racing and 3rd place Romain Grosjean, Lotus Renault F1 Team

Photo by: xpb.cc

It is a measure of the excitement and unpredictability of the new championship that, just days after some media said the reigning title winner was in 'crisis', Sebastian Vettel won from pole and took the lead of the 2012 points standings.

But the German only narrowly beat the returning 2009 world champion Kimi Raikkonen, with Lotus also completing the surprise podium as Romain Grosjean sampled the sport's prestigious rostrum for the very first time.

Vettel leads the championship by 4 points from Lewis Hamilton, who finished just eighth.

Red Bull also leads the constructors' chase, by 9 points from McLaren.

Vettel is the fourth different winner in F1's four races so far this year, following Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso and Nico Rosberg.

It is his first win since India last year.

"How many good stories can we have in Formula One in terms of the racing?" David Coulthard said on BBC television. "We're only four races in and we've had such a mix of winners."