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Vettel defies rain for a rare triumph

SEBASTIAN Vettel was Red Bull's rainmaster yesterday, dodging debris and pools of water to win the Chinese Grand Prix in a breakthrough first victory for his team.

The German became Formula One's youngest winner at a rainswept Monza last year when he gave Toro Rosso its first triumph from pole position, and the 21-year-old repeated the feat for sister team Red Bull at a soaking Shanghai International Circuit.

"I'm extremely happy, second time now in the wet I've won a grand prix so I would probably like to have some more rain," he joked after celebrating a one-two finish with Australian teammate Mark Webber.

"It was very, very difficult throughout the whole race. There was so much aquaplaning, sometimes you were just catching the car. And I had the best of the conditions because I had no car in front of me for most of the race."

Vettel said the conditions - he described 'rivers' running down the track and survived a shunt with Toro Rosso's Sebastien Buemi - made it impossible for him to coast to victory even when comfortably clear of Webber.

"At some point with 10 laps to go I was trying to bring the car home but then I thought, 'don't do that', because you lose the focus," said the youngster who replaced Britain's David Coulthard at the end of last year. "I tried to be focused corner by corner and not look too far ahead and in the final two laps I backed off a bit because I didn't want to go over the lakes."

Webber, who broke his leg in a cycling accident in Tasmania in November, was delighted with the highest placing of his 126-race career but would have preferred to be in Vettel's shoes.

"It's the best result of my career and I'm hoping to go one step better in the future," said the 32-year-old, whose team moved up to second place overall. "But it's an incredible result for Red Bull."

Webber had a real battle with Brawn GP's championship leader Jenson Button to claim second - his previous best result had been a couple of thirds - and described the overtaking manoeuvre that won him the tussle as "one of the best of my career."

Button, who won in Australia and Malaysia, finished third to extend his championship lead to six points over Brawn GP teammate Rubens Barrichello, who was fourth.

McLaren's Heikki Kovalainen was fifth, while world champion teammate Lewis Hamilton finished sixth after a late spin robbed him of a better result. German Timo Glock was seventh for Toyota, which slipped to third in the constructors' standings behind Red Bull, and Toro Rosso's Swiss rookie Sebastien Buemi was eighth.


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