Manama: Paul di Resta delivered his best result of the 2012 season by earning eight points for Sahara Force India with a sixth place finish while Nico Hulkenberg ended 12th at the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday.

Resta, who had started ninth on the grid, beat the likes of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso (7th), McLaren's Lewis Hamilton (8th), Alonso's teammate Felipe Massa (9th) and the legendary Michael Schumacher (10th).

Schumacher, though, did extremely well to be in top-10 as he had dropped to 18th on the grid after being handed a five grid place penalty for an unscheduled gearbox change.

Before Sunday's race, a seventh-place finish at the Malaysian Grand Prix was Resta's best show in the current season.

Now the Briton has been among points thrice in four races so far this year. He had missed out on points at the last week's Chinese Grand Prix.

Nico had started 13th on the grid and did well to gain one position.

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel finally won the first race of the season from pole position, holding off the Lotus duo of Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean.

India's Narain Karthikeyan also recorded his best result as he finished 21st, just behind Hispania teammate Pedro de la Rosa.

Di Resta, who opted a two pit stop strategy instead of three unlike the many other top-10 finishers, was ecstatic with his show.

"The result today is massive for us. The team did an amazing job all weekend, the strategy came together and the pit-stops were perfect. We knew it would be a big ask to make only two stops and it was a close run thing at the end because my tyres completely went away on the final lap.

"So we go away from here as a very happy team with a few weeks to reflect on things and determined to arrive in Barcelona in fighting form," the Scot said.

Nico Hulkenberg had a tough time on Sunday but put up a brave face.

"I think my race was decided at the very start when I had some clutch issues and the anti-stall kicked in, which really compromised my getaway and dropped me right to the back of the pack. From then on it was a long, hard fight back through the field, and it was hard work coming through the traffic. I made it to P12, but there wasn't much more I could do. So a tough race for me, but great to see Paul pick up some points."

(Agencies)