Vettel Dominates Indian Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel made it a lights-to-flag win as he took the win at the Indian Grand Prix, finishing over 9 seconds ahead of his title rival Fernando Alonso of Ferrari in second place. It extends Vettel’s title lead to 13 points with three races remaining and a maximum possible points haul of 75 points available.

Vettel said he enjoyed the race, one which once he had got through the first lap, he enjoyed more. His Red Bull shot sparks in the closing stage as an apparant issue with the car gave Alonso hope that his rival could be caught. Vettel was not in any real danger and held on for a comfortable win, but said that anything can happen still, in the championship battle.

“I enjoyed the race a lot,” said Vettel. “It was crucial to open a gap in the first stint, to break DRS to Mark [Webber].

“It was quite close at Turn 1, I was able to get good exit out of Turn 3, then was able to open the gap, not just to Mark but also the cars behind.”

“I noticed the problem, I think it was when I got DRS from a backmarker pretty close to the end of the race,” he said.

“I didn’t feel anything with the balance and on the other laps.”

“We need to analyse the problem, but it didn’t cost us or slow us down.”

“To think of the championship, this was a good step for us,” he acknowledged.

“We have seen for us how quickly things can change. This feels so fantastic and it is great to have a race come the way you want it to. I am proud and happy and enjoying it.”

Alonso told Martin Brundle that he is sure he can still win the championship

Fernando Alonso finished in second and was adamant that anything was possible with three races left. He referred to Mark Webber’s issue with KERS as an example of how a reliability issue could leave Vettel short of points and allow him to win the title.

“Nothing changed in one race,” said Alonso about his championship hopes. “There are 75 points and we are 13 behind and we know we need to improve.

“We are not fast enough, especially on Saturday, but we can improve the situation in Abu Dhabi or USA.

“As we saw with Mark [Webber] with the KERS problem, it can happen to Seb or it can happen to us, so I am optimistic.”

Webber picked up his fifth podium trophy of the season in India

Mark Webber had been running in a comfortable second in the early part of the race until a problem with his KERS left him unable to use his boost, which allowed Alonso to easily pass him and in a right battle with Lewis Hamilton which Webber narrowly won. The Australian said he was disappointed given his starting position had left him hoping for the win.

“I think it was around lap 19-20, maybe a bit earlier.

“It was on and off, and then completely off. It was a moving target.

“We needed to screw around with brake balance, and just manage as best we could [to not] lose rhythm and tempo.

“We needed to keep the focus, but it is so demoralising on that straight with no KERS – it is not really a battle.”

“When I had no KERS Fernando came past – they have good top gear – and that was it.

“I pushed as strong as possible to get to the end of the race, but I was lucky Lewis made a mistake on lap 57.

“That was important because he was starting to get a bit of momentum. I was keen to keep him out of DRS as much as possible.

“I am pretty happy with how I drove but not enough – we could have got more points today for sure.”

Raikkonen admitted after the race that his championship dreams were finished for this season

Kimi Raikkonen drove a modest race as he finished in the same seventh place from which he started the race. The Finn commented the car felt good but bemoaned its lack of speed in a straight line.

“I really thought that we had a car this weekend that we would be able to fight for a podium with and I am very sure that we had,” he said. “But the mistake we made yesterday took all those chances out.”

“I got once past after he came out [of the pits] but he just passed me in a straightline,” said Raikkonen. “I had a very good car today but I just couldn’t do anything, which is we were not able to pass anyone on a straightline.”

Finishing in tenth, Bruno Senna said that his Williams team are improving after claiming a point. Senna had looked quick through the weekend up until Q2 where he was eliminated in 13th place.

“We had a strong car in the race and after a disappointing qualifying yesterday, getting a point means that I am happy with today’s performance,” said Senna, who started the race from 13th in the grid.

“It was a fun race because I was fighting with cars that were very similar on pace so I had to make my overtaking manoeuvres stick, and so that was very satisfying.

“The car has felt much better this weekend so we will head to the next race with a lot more confidence.”

Perez suffered a miserable and short Sunday afternoon out on track

Sergio Perez had an early bath as he retired his Sauber one third into race distance. A pit stop due to blistered tyres on lap 14 was not the final misery for the Mexican as he suffered a puncture when front tyre connected with Daniel Ricciardo’s front wing when trying to pass the Toro Rosso driver.

“Today was a total disappointment,” Perez admitted.

“First of all I had to pit after 14 laps because the front left tyre was blistering badly. We don’t know yet why this happened.

“I wanted to recover the lost positions but touched Daniel Ricciardo’s front wing when I overtook him. The rear right tyre came off the rim and damaged something at the rear of the car. So my race was over after 20 laps.”

Indian GP Result

Pos Driver Team Time
1. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1h31:10.744
2. Alonso Ferrari + 9.437
3. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 13.217
4. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes + 13.909
5. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 26.266
6. Massa Ferrari + 44.674
7. Raikkonen Lotus-Renault + 45.227
8. Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes + 54.998
9. Grosjean Lotus-Renault + 56.103
10. Senna Williams-Renault + 1:14.975
11. Rosberg Mercedes + 1:21.694
12. Di Resta Force India-Mercedes + 1:22.815
13. Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1:26.064
14. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 1:26.495
15. Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1 lap
16. Maldonado Williams-Renault + 1 lap
17. Petrov Caterham-Renault + 1 lap
18. Kovalainen Caterham-Renault + 1 lap
19. Pic Marussia-Cosworth + 1 lap
20. Glock Marussia-Cosworth + 2 laps
21. Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth + 2 laps
22. Schumacher Mercedes + 5 laps

Not classified/retirements:

Driver Team On lap
De la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 41
Perez Sauber-Ferrari 21

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