SAKHIR, Bahrain - Sebastian Vettel gave a reminder of how dominant he can be when he's at his best.
The Red Bull driver won his second straight Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday, easily beating Lotus drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean in a display that will bolster his chances of winning a fourth consecutive championship.
"Fantastic race. It was seamless from start to finish," said Vettel, who was heavily criticized last month after ignoring team orders and passing teammate Mark Webber for the victory in Malaysia.
This race, a political flashpoint, was run free of commotion off the track. It has been the target of rights groups that contend it glosses over the country's problems. There were, however, sporadic clashes in other parts of the Gulf country.
Vettel started from second but grabbed the lead for good on the 17th lap and beat Raikkonen by nine seconds. Grosjean was nearly 20 seconds back in third. The Frenchman passed Force India's Paul di Resta for third with five laps to go for his best finish this season. The fourth-place finish for Di Resta matches his best finish - last year in Singapore.
"I thought it was crucial to get into the lead from the start and go from there," Vettel said. "It seemed to get better and better toward the end."