October 30, 2011
Vettel dominant in Indian GP win
By Sports Network
New Delhi, India - Red Bull driver and two-time Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel made his 11th win of the season look easy in Sunday's inaugural running of the Indian Grand Prix.
Vettel was untouchable on the newly built Buddh International Circuit. The 24- year-old German started on the pole and led all 60 laps. He also posted the fastest lap time on the final circuit around the 3.192-mile course, as he finished 8.4 seconds ahead of runner-up Jenson Button from McLaren.
"It was a very good race for us," said Vettel, who claimed his 21st career F1 win. "The car was very well balanced. I felt more confident on the hard tires at the end. But overall, it was a fantastic performance."
Vettel had already clinched his second F1 title earlier this month in the Japanese Grand Prix. If he wins the last two races -- Abu Dhabi and Brazil -- he will equal Michael Schumacher's season-record of 13 victories.
Button's second-place finish allowed McLaren to clinch the second spot in this year's constructors' championship standings. Red Bull wrapped up its second straight constructors' title two weeks ago in the Korean Grand Prix.
"I got a good start and was able to get up to second by turn four, and then it was basically hang on to Sebastian," Button said.
Fernando Alonso drove his Ferrari to a third-place finish, while Vettel's teammate, Mark Webber, took the fourth spot. Mercedes GP drivers Schumacher and Nico Rosberg finished fifth and sixth, respectively.
"We didn't have the perfect start today," Alonso said. "I think we didn't have the grip that we were expecting."
Shortly before the halfway point, Lewis Hamilton from McLaren made contact with Ferrari's Felipe Massa while battling for the fifth spot. Massa ran off course but maintained his position. Hamilton had to pit for a new front wing. The two have had a series of on-track altercations throughout the season.
Hamilton complained over his team radio that Massa turned into him.
"I tried to overtake but pulled out of it, as [Massa] didn't give me any space," Hamilton said after his seventh-place finish.
Race stewards agreed with Hamilton by assessing a drive-through penalty to Massa for causing the collision. Massa later sustained left-front suspension damage when he hit a curb. He wound up retiring with a 20th-place finish.
During Saturday's qualifying, Massa slammed into the barrier after his right- front suspension broke when he ran over another curb.
Jamie Alguersuari from Toro Rosso finished eighth, while Force India's Adrian Sutil and Sergio Perez from Sauber completed the top-10.
Indian driver Narain Karthikeyan finished 17th in front of his home crowd. Karthikeyan drove in place of Vitantonio Liuzzi in this race only for HRT.
During pre-race ceremonies, a moment of silence was observed for IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon and MotoGP competitor Marco Simoncelli. This was the first F1 grand prix held since Wheldon's death in an IndyCar race two weeks ago in Las Vegas and Simoncelli's fatal crash in a MotoGP event last weekend in Malaysia.
"We lost two of our mates," Vettel said. "I didn't know Dan Wheldon, but he was obviously a big name in motorsports. I got to know Marco Simoncelli this year. Our thoughts are with them. We are willing to take certain risks when we jump into the car, but we pray every time that nothing happens. Sometimes you get reminded, and it's the last thing we want to see."