Sunday, 30 October 2011

Vettel revels in comfortable Indian victory

Vettel wins again, comfortably dominating the Indian Grand Prix after Hamilton and Massa collide yet again.

Sebastian Vettel took yet another dominant and comfortable victory in his Red Bull car, this time at the inaugral Indian Grand Prix. Vettel led all 60 laps of the Buddh International Circuit, making it his eleventh race win of the season. Vettel was never threatened by second placed man Jenson Button, who was well ahead of Fernando Alonso, who took another impressive battle after winning a long battle with eventual fourth placed Mark Webber.

Alonso made a strong start but lost ground and a place to Button as he went too deep, allowing Vettel to coast away while Button began his assault on Webber. In fact Button almost instantly got past Webber, on the long straight on the first lap. Behind the front runners, contact was been made everywhere. Rubens Barrichello lost his front wing at the first corner after a collision with his team mate and ran wide, pushing Kamui Kobayashi off. The Sauber driver drove into the path of Timo Glock when he returned to the track, forcing Glock's team mate Jerome D'Ambrosio to take avoiding action. The pair made contact, which ultimately put both out. As they reached turn three home man Narain Karthikeyan hit Jarno Trulli, tipping the Lotus into a spin, but both continued.

The three best drivers of 2011, on top in India.
Webber began trying to pass Button, but it was to no avail. Behind them were both Ferrari's, Felipe Massa having passed his best friend Lewis Hamilton at the start. Michael Schumacher had made another brilliant start and moved up to eighth, after starting eleventh. The Toro Rosso drivers had lost places at the start, but both quickly used their amazing straight line speed and DRS to pass Adrian Sutil and Bruno Senna.

After the first round of stops, around Lap 17, the race went quiet for a while before Lap 24, when Felipe Massa made a slight mistake, allowing Lewis Hamilton to close on him. The McLaren driver suddenly had a run on Massa into Turn Five. Massa moved to defend his position but Hamilton was able to get down the inside of the Ferrari. Massa turned in, and contact was as inevitable as it was avoidable, not for the first time this season. Hamilton had to pit for a front wing, while Massa was adjudged to have caused the collision, and the stewards awarded him a drive-thru' penalty. After serving his drive-thru', Massa had an incident very similar to the one in qualifying he suffered yesterday. He hit the kerb hard at Turn Nine and suffered a suspension failure, causing the unhappy Ferrari driver to retire.

Vettel was basically having a laugh at the front, Button may have been a few seconds down the road, but the German was never troubled. Elsewhere, Alonso had caught Webber in the second stint, and Alonso's fast in lap, coupled with his later, faster stop, got the Ferrari driver ahead of the Australian.

Also swapping places at the final round of stops were the two Mercedes' drivers, with Schumacher beating Rosberg to fifth place. After his extra stop, and almost expected collision with Massa, Lewis Hamilton finished seventh, ahead of the ever improving Jaime Alguersuari. Under fire Adrian Sutil scored two points, while Sergio Perez claimed the final point for Sauber, meaning that Sauber and Toro Rosso are now level on 41 points each.

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