Button must fend off 'Kate's Dirty Sister'

Sebastian Vettel and the Red Bull car he calls 'Kate's Dirty Sister' have given Formula One championship leader Jenson Button plenty to think about ahead of Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix.

The eye-catching moniker came to light after Vettel powered through rain, spray and treacherous standing water to hand his team a breakthrough first victory at the Shanghai circuit last weekend.



"Like a ship, a car should be named after a girl as it's sexy," the 21-year-old German explained to reporters when asked about the name stuck on the dashboard of his car.



"My original car was called Kate. But then it got smashed at the opening race in Australia. So we called this one Kate's Dirty Sister because it is more aggressive and faster."



That was evident in China, with Vettel leading Australian team mate Mark Webber to a one-two finish ahead of Button's third-placed Brawn.



Button had won the first two races in Australia, where Vettel crashed, and Malaysia from pole position with rivals fearing Brawn could have the championship wrapped up early thanks to their controversial rear diffuser.



It does not look that way now. Red Bull are breathing down Brawn's neck while other teams are rushing their own 'double-decker' diffusers into play.



"We still have a lot more to come, we have a lot in the pipeline," team boss Christian Horner told the autosport.com website.



"It is too early to say whether this is a championship challenge but we are firmly on the scoreboard."



Unless Bahrain suffers the same fate as the rain-delayed MotoGP season-opener in Qatar, Sunday's race at the desert Sakhir circuit should be both hot and dry.



That could turn the balance back towards Brawn, whose cars qualified with considerably more fuel on board than those ahead of them in Shanghai but whose strategy was undone by the atrocious conditions.



Renault, who rushed out a new floor and diffuser for Shanghai and have the advantage of the KERS energy recovery system that Brawn and Red Bull are not using, could also come more into the picture while Toyota tested in Bahrain pre-season.



Renault's double world champion Fernando Alonso has won twice there before.



So too has Felipe Massa, whose Ferrari team have yet to score a point in three races and will suffer their worst ever start to a season if they draw another blank.



The Gulf kingdom has been good for both Ferrari and Massa with the Brazilian chasing his third win in a row at Sakhir after leading team mate Kimi Raikkonen in a one-two last year.



Massa, who also arrived at Sakhir without a point to his credit in 2008, hopes to have the KERS system back on his car this weekend after Ferrari ditched it for China.



"Bahrain is a very important track for KERS, so I hope we can be more competitive," he said.



Poland's Robert Kubica handed BMW-Sauber their first Formula One pole in Bahrain last year but, like Massa and Raikkonen, is also empty-handed in a season turned upside down by new regulations.



McLaren's world champion Lewis Hamilton, runner-up in Bahrain in 2007, is another one struggling to come to terms with changed circumstances but he also has KERS on his side.



"We should have a few new components at Bahrain so I hope we'll continue with our progress," said the Briton, who has just four points.



"I still think we are several races away from being truly competitive but a straightforward race in Bahrain would give us a very good opportunity to accurately assess where we sit among our rivals."



PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Happy in his hat: Pharrell Williams
people
Life and Style
fashion

News
The Magna Carta
archaeologyContemporary account of historic signing discovered
News
Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a 'one-nation Tory' and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic '13-year-olds' who foolishly think they can 'change the world'.
peopleFormer Newsnight presenter is being touted for a brand new role
News
The two-year-old said she cut off her fringe because it was getting in her eyes
news

Video: It is the type of thing no parent wants to hear

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game