The weekend of speed at the Buddh International circuit came to a close with Sebastian Vettel orchestrating a light to chequered flag victory for Red Bull Racing at 2012 Indian Grand Prix. He was followed in second place by the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso who drove a splendid race but could not catch the defending world champion. Mark Webber clinched third place in the sister Red Bull but struggled after lap 30 due to the failure of his KERS unit.
The podium finishers were followed by Lewis Hamilton who fought a spirited battle with Mark Webber for third place right up to the chequered flag but could not match the Australian’s pace. Jenson Button followed in fifth in the second McLaren ahead of a resurgent Felipe Massa who took sixth place. He suffered fuel issues and ultimately had to park his Ferrari at the pit entrance after running dry on the cool down lap. Kimi Raikonnen who had started in seventh stayed at the same spot when the flag dropped 60 laps later.
Nico Hulkenberg, another racer going through a phase of resurgence, took eighth place for ‘local’ team Sahara Force India. His team mate Paul di Resta finished in twelfth place. Romain Grosjean and Bruno Senna took ninth and tenth place in final point scoring positions. Home hero Narain Karthikeyan managed to bring his HRT home in 21st place while team mate Pedro De La Rosa spun himself into a tyre wall after brake failure on lap 51.
Many of the teams before the start of the race expressed concern over excessive tyre wear but this turned out to be no cause for worry as most completed the race on a one-stop strategy. Victims of second Indian Grand Prix included seven-time world champion Micheal Schumacher who suffered puncture after an opening lap scuffle with the Torro Rosso of Jean Eric Vergne. McLaren bound Sergio Perez suffered a similar fate in his Sauber after clashing with the Torro Rosso of Daniel Ricciardo. Perez ultimately retired after damaging his rear suspension. Kamuyi Kobayashi clashed with the Williams of Pastor Maldonado but both men managed to finish the race.
This is Vettel’s his fourth successive victory of the season and has puts him 13 points ahead of title rival Fernando Alonso (227 points). It is now confirmed that the duo will fight for the championship till the last race as third place Kimi Raikonnen is at a distant third with 173 points.
In the constructors’ championship, Red Bull has further pulled away from the rest of teams with 407 points and will most likely wrap up the title by the next race if they continue at same pace. However, there is a good battle going on for second place between Ferrari and McLaren as they are just 10 points apart (316 and 306 respectively).
Image courtesy: Buddh International Circuit Facebook page