Vettel Wins Inaugural Indian Grand Prix
F1 may be visiting a new circuit but once again it was a Red Bull which took the plaudits with Sebastian Vettel claiming victory in Greater Noida; his eleventh win of the season and 21st in total. Not content with adding another win to his growing list of records, the German added fastest lap and most laps lead in a single season to his list of achievements, taking the latter record from Nigel Mansell who had held it since 1992. Jenson Button had another productive weekend to finish second ahead of third place driver Fernando Alonso with Mark Webber who had started second but dropped back in the field during the race finishing fourth.
Jenson’s podium secured McLaren’s second place in the Constructor’s championship ahead of Ferrari who will finish third, further down the table, points finishes for Force India, Toro Rosso and Sauber mean the battle is on to secure sixth place with only ten points separating the three. In the driver’s championship, the fight for second place is hotting up with Button leading Alonso and Webber by 13 and 19 points respectively, and, with fifty points still available from the remaining two races it’s looking unlikely that Hamilton, who’s 38 points adrift can catch up.
Driver of the Day:
With little on track action there wasn’t any one driver who deserved driver of the day. Vettel was flawless once again but starting on pole and seemingly unchallenged, apart from a few laps post pit stops when Button tried to reel him in on fresher rubber, I’m loathe to give him the nod. There were solid performances from Button, Alonso and the Mercedes pair whilst Jaime Alguersuari continued his points run to take Toro Rosso into contention for sixth in the Constructor’s championship.
It was a good day for Mercedes as Schumacher and Rosberg finished fifth and sixth respectively, on balance their points positions were probably higher than they deserved, based on race pace alone. Meanwhile, Alguersuari’s eighth place must have done his chances of retaining his seat next year immesurable good as he secured back to back points performances.
Notable mention must go to Narain Karthikeyan, the Indian driver, dropped in favour of Daniel Ricciardo hadn’t driven an F1 car since Valencia yet put in a solid performance to finish ahead of the young Australian, with the silly season now in full swing I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Narain next year if HRT are struggling for finance.
Without doubt it was a race to forget for Felipe Massa. Whilst fighting for position, he collided with Hamilton on the run up to turn five; the pair seem to have an almost magnetic attraction for each other! Both were able to continue their race but Massa was deemed responsible, serving a drive through penalty for the privilege of his error. As if that wasn’t enough, his day was to go from bad to worse as he re-lived his own groundhog day moment, a near identical accident to qualifying when he broke his front suspension mounting the raised orange kerb behind the rumble strip and ending his race.
A track that promised so much delivered very little in the way of action and enjoyment, it’s all becoming so predictable at the front with Red Bull’s bullet proof reliability.
|1.||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||1h30:35.002|
|4.||Mark Webber||Red Bull-Renault||+25.529|
|8.||Jaime Alguersuari||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||+1 Lap|
|9.||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||+1 Lap|
|10.||Sergio Perez||Sauber-Ferrari||+1 Lap|
|11.||Vitaly Petrov||Renault||+1 Lap|
|12.||Bruno Senna||Renault||+1 Lap|
|13.||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||+1 Lap|
|14.||Heikki Kovalainen||Lotus-Renault||+2 Laps|
|15.||Rubens Barrichello||Williams-Cosworth||+2 Laps|
|16.||Jérôme D’Ambrosio||Virgin-Cosworth||+3 Laps|
|17.||Narain Karthikeyan||HRT-Cosworth||+3 Laps|
|18.||Daniel Ricciardo||HRT-Cosworth||+3 Laps|
|19.||Jarno Trulli||Lotus-Renault||+5 Laps|
Fastest Lap: Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull-Renault, 1:27.249
Fastest Pitstop: Michael Schumacher, Mercedes – 20.893s (entry-exit)
|Felipe Massa||Ferrari||Lap 33||Suspension|
|Sebastien Buemi||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||Lap 25||Engine|
|Pastor Maldonado||Williams-Cosworth||Lap 13||Gearbox|
|Timo Glock||Virgin-Cosworth||Lap 3||Collision damage|
|Kamui Kobayashi||Sauber-Ferrari||Lap 1||Collision|
World Drivers’ Championship:
|1.||Sebastian Vettel||374 Points|
|2.||Jenson Button||240 Points|
|3.||Fernando Alonso||227 Points|
|5.||Lewis Hamilton||202 Points|
World Constructors’ Championship:
|1.||Red Bull-Renault||595 Points|
What did you make of the Indian Grand Prix? Who do you think was driver of the day? Who had a weekend to forget? Did Massa deserve a penalty for his tangle with Hamilton or was it just a racing incident? Let us know your thoughts in the comments…
Photo: Red Bull Racing/Paul Gilham/Getty Images