Vettel Seals The Deal At Indian GP
GREATER NOIDA, India – Sebastian Vettel wrapped up his fourth consecutive Formula One drivers’ championship in style with a convincing win in Sunday’s Indian Grand Prix at the Buddh Int’l Circuit.
The German, whose victory also secured a fourth straight constructors’ crown for Red Bull, finished half a minute clear of Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg, with Lotus’s Romain Grosjean an impressive third after starting 17th.
Vettel jumped into the lead at the start of the race, but dropped back through the field after making an early stop to remove the less durable soft tires. Ferrari’s Felipe Massa then moved ahead, followed by the Mercedes duo of Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton. But when they too stopped, the second Red Bull of Mark Webber moved into P1, the Australian having started on the medium-compound rubber.
Vettel, meanwhile, stormed back through the pack until he was in a position to reclaim the lead from his team mate when Webber was forced to use the soft tires. When both men had completed all of their stops, Vettel held a 13-second lead over Webber, but the Australian was soon ruled out of contention when an alternator problem forced him to retire.
Vettel was then left with a healthy lead over Lotus’s Kimi Raikkonen, and although the Red Bull team was nervous a similar problem to Webber’s might bite Vettel, the 26-year-old cruised to the checkered flag to record his sixth successive win.
Raikkonen, who had tried an ambitious one-stop strategy, fell back towards the tail end of the race. He lost positions to Rosberg and then begrudgingly to team mate Grosjean, who’d charged through the field after starting 17th. Massa, McLaren’s Sergio Perez and Hamilton also found their way past Raikkonen as the Finn’s tires continued to lose performance and in the end he was eventually forced to pit, emerging in seventh where he stayed to the finish.
The top ten was completed by the Force India pair of Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil in eighth and ninth, and Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo in tenth.