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Sebastian Vettel wins Indian GP

30th Oct 2011 10:25 pm

World champion Sebastian Vettel strolled to his 11th victory of the season to become the winner of Formula 1's first ever Indian Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel strolled to his 11th victory of the season at the Buddh International Circuit to become the winner of Formula 1's first ever Indian Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver's latest triumph was one of his most straightforward of his ultra-successful year. As his front row partner and team-mate Mark Webber was attacked by Jenson Button's McLaren and Fernando Alonso's Ferrari at the start, Vettel was free to pull clear.

He sat on a four to five second lead for most of the distance, as he led every lap and completed a perfect performance with the fastest lap of the race as well.

Button got through to second at the first corner, as Alonso twitched under braking and ran wide, letting Webber keep third. The Australian mounted some vigorous attacks on Button over the opening laps, before the McLaren managed to escape and head off for an ultimately uncontested second.

Webber then lost third to Alonso at the final stops, when being the first of the frontrunners to change to the hard Pirellis cost him.

Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa's turbulent season continued with yet another collision between them. The Ferrari had got ahead of the McLaren on the first lap and was a safe distance ahead until an error just before half-distance left Massa vulnerable to attacks from Hamilton.

They eventually collided as Hamilton went down the inside at Turn 5 - with the stewards deciding Massa was at fault for leaving insufficient room and giving the Brazilian a drive-through penalty. Massa later retired when he smashed his suspension on a kerb, just as he had in qualifying, while Hamilton recovered from ninth to seventh after pitting for a new front wing.

He finished behind the two Mercedes, which were led by Michael Schumacher, who had moved onto Nico Rosberg's tail with a fast start then jumped him for fifth with a late final pitstop.

Toro Rosso looked set to get both cars in the points until Sebastien Buemi stopped with smoke pouring from his machine. Jaime Alguersuari went on to take eighth, ahead of Adrian Sutil in the leading Force India, and Sergio Perez, as the Sauber man proved the most successful of those who ran ultra-short opening stints on hard tyres then switched to softs for the duration.

Perez narrowly beat Renault's Vitaly Petrov, who followed the same strategy. Bruno Senna challenged for points in the second Renault but was hampered by KERS issues and finished 12th, followed by Paul di Resta (Force India) and Heikki Kovalainen's Lotus - which showed strong race pace to run as high as 10th.

The Buddh layout proved tricky for the field to safely navigate as one on the first lap. First a brush between the two Williams sent Rubens Barrichello into Kamui Kobayashi's Sauber, which then rejoined in the path of Timo Glock's Virgin. Among several other brushes of wheels around the lap, Jarno Trulli was left with a puncture after his Lotus was punted into a spin by an HRT.

PROVISIONAL RACE RESULTS

The Indian Grand Prix
Noida, New Delhi, India;
60 laps; 308.220km;
Weather: Dusty.

Classified:

Pos  Driver        Team                       Time
 1.  Vettel        Red Bull-Renault           1h30:35.002
 2.  Button        McLaren-Mercedes           +     8.433
 3.  Alonso        Ferrari                    +    24.301
 4.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault           +    25.529
 5.  Schumacher    Mercedes                   +  1:05.421
 6.  Rosberg       Mercedes                   +  1:06.851
 7.  Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes           +  1:24.183
 8.  Alguersuari   Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +     1 lap
 9.  Sutil         Force India-Mercedes       +     1 lap
10.  Perez         Sauber-Ferrari             +     1 lap
11.  Petrov        Renault                    +     1 lap
12.  Senna         Renault                    +     1 lap
13.  Di Resta      Force India-Mercedes       +     1 lap
14.  Kovalainen    Lotus-Renault              +    2 laps
15.  Barrichello   Williams-Cosworth          +    2 laps
16.  D'Ambrosio    Virgin-Cosworth            +    2 laps
17.  Karthikeyan   HRT-Cosworth               +    3 laps
18.  Ricciardo     HRT-Cosworth               +    3 laps
19.  Trulli        Lotus-Renault              +    4 laps

Fastest lap: Vettel, 1:27.457

Not classified/retirements:

Driver        Team                         On lap
Massa         Ferrari                      33
Buemi         Toro Rosso-Ferrari           25
Maldonado     Williams-Cosworth            13
Glock         Virgin-Cosworth              3
Kobayashi     Sauber-Ferrari               1


World Championship standings, round 17:                

Drivers:                    Constructors:             
 1.  Vettel       374        1.  Red Bull-Renault          595
 2.  Button       240        2.  McLaren-Mercedes          442
 3.  Alonso       227        3.  Ferrari                   325
 4.  Webber       221        4.  Mercedes                  145
 5.  Hamilton     202        5.  Renault                    72
 6.  Massa         98        6.  Force India-Mercedes       51
 7.  Rosberg       75        7.  Toro Rosso-Ferrari         41
 8.  Schumacher    70        8.  Sauber-Ferrari             41
 9.  Petrov        36        9.  Williams-Cosworth           5
10.  Heidfeld      34       
11.  Sutil         30       
12.  Kobayashi     27       
13.  Alguersuari   26       
14.  Di Resta      21       
15.  Buemi         15       
16.  Perez         14       
17.  Barrichello    4       
18.  Senna          2       
19.  Maldonado      1       
       Story source: autosport.com
Copyright (c) Autocar India. All rights reserved.


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