/Vettel Wins Grand Prix And Championship In India

Vettel Wins Grand Prix And Championship In India

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After a Vettel-dominated practice, I have just watched the young German not just annihilate everyone in qualifying, but witnessed his raw skill as he left everyone for dead. It’s almost a given that every time you see his Red Bull leave the pit lane, you just know who is going to be on top. This is thanks to the fact he’s matured in recent years, his consistent wins and records due to lack of error.

To save me time and effort on a Saturday afternoon, I may as well just say Vettel has won the Indian Grand Prix and World Championship, and then leave this as it is…

…but this is Formula One and that could mean anything as far as the race goes tomorrow. Vettel will be looking to take the championship with a dominant win, whilst his team will be praying he finishes and stays out of trouble.

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As Vettel dominated qualifying and grabbed pole at the Buddh International Circuit, I’ll keep this review brief. The session’s only saving grace was Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton and his teammate Nico Rosberg keeping the 26-year-old honest.

After the usual suspects were illuminated from P1 + P2, Rosberg managed a 1m 24.8s for second place, just ahead of Hamilton in third.

Perhaps not as disappointing as it may seem due to different strategy, Vettel’s Red Bull teammate Mark Webber completed the second row in forth.

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Ferrari ended up in their usual mid top-10 area with Felipe Massa in fifth and Alonso in eighth. The man set to replace Massa in the Ferrari seat next season, former Ferrari World Champion Kimi Raikkonen managed sixth.

Nico Hulkenberg was seventh for Sauber, whilst McLaren drivers Sergio Perez and Jenson Button completed top-10.

In tomorrow’s race Vettel only needs to finish fifth to claim the world title for the fourth successive season.

Qualifying Top-10:

1) Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)

2) Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)

3) Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

4) Mark Webber (Red Bull)

5) Felipe Massa (Ferrari)

6) Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus)

7) Nico Hulkenberg (Sauber)

8) Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)

9) Sergio Perez (McLaren)

10) Jenson Button (McLaren)

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With one eye fixed firmly on the lights, the other staring down the straight towards a potential forth world championship, Vettel made a brilliant getaway when the lights flashed green. Teammate, Webber, however, received contact in the form of Alonso. The Australian had a rare spell of good luck and managed to continue whilst Alonso needed to pit for a new nose.

On the long run down to Turn 4 Massa stormed past both of the Silver Arrows and into second place – great stuff from the Brazilian needing to impress for a seat next season.

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Although Vettel had already made a 3.3-second lead, he pitted on lap 2, along with Alonso who had a front wing change.

By lap 3 Massa led, Rosberg was second, Hamilton third, and Hulkenberg was fourth. In sixth, Webber’s strategy seemed to working okay as he was in front of all the runners on the harder tyre option.

As the race settled down, Jenson Button made a great move on Vergne into Turn 3, but as he tried to take Raikkonen into Turn 4, he lost out to the Frenchman and remained in 18th.

Several laps later Massa and Hamilton pit together and both come out behind Vettel.

On lap 11 Vettel made it past Lotus’ Grosjean, the Frenchman still on the soft tyre – Lotus look like they have a one stop planned for him.

Hungry to tie up his championship in India, Vettel punched in the fastest lap on lap 19. At this pace he was catching McLaren’s second placed man Sergio Perez. McLaren tell him not to get involved with the German, as he is not racing the Red Bull.

Three laps on and Webber’s lead over Vettel is 11 seconds. This looks good for the Australian, although he did need a bigger gap, as he needed to pit again.

The Australian finally pitted on lap 29, opting for the soft tyre compound. He looked set to put in five or six qualifying laps before coming in again for the harder tyre.

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Despite the race looking like Vettel’s, lap 32 saw a fantastic battle between world champions Alonso and Button. The Ferrari past the McLaren on the long run to Turn 4, but the Brit cut back in front down the inside. Here he ran wide, and Alonso didn’t need an invite to take advantage and into 13th place.

Over the next handful of laps, Webber pitted for his final tyre change and lost out to Vettel on track. A few laps on and in true Webber style, bad luck spanked his chances of even finishing the race. An alternator failure saw him park the car at the side of the road – this led to some concern about Vettel’s car finishing.

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The Mercedes have been out of the action in India, but it has been entertaining watching them both take glory in qualifying and races this season. Today it’s Rosberg who is on top as he made a clean pass on Raikkonen to move into second. Meanwhile, on lap 52, teammate Hamilton trailed in sixth.

On lap 54, it was clear the Red Bull garage were nervous, Rocky coming over the radio to Vettel regarding an attempt at the fastest lap: “Don’t even think about it.”

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Hulkenberg joined Webber and retired with a problem. Romain Grosjean, however, was now right up the gearbox of his teammate Raikkonen. The Frenchman went around the outside into Turn 4, and Kimi pushed him right off the track. Grosjean has no choice in giving the place back, but Kimi had to hand it right back again after Grosjean remonstrated over the team radio.

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Lap 60 and Vettel scored a hatrick in India whilst taking his forth consecutive world championship – and only aged 26!

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Rosberg finished second, Grosjean third, Massa fourth, and McLaren’s Perez made a good finish in fifth.

Vettel is clearly elated as he performed donuts on the finish line, to which the FAI fined him £21,000 – not that the German cared. He then jumped out of his car and bowed down in front of it whilst the fans went mad. These were great sporting scenes that left the young champion speechless and permanently on the verge of tears.

Race Results Top-10:

1) Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)

2) Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)

3) Romain Grosjean France (Lotus)

4) Felipe Massa (Ferrari)

5) Sergio Perez (McLaren)

6) Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

7) Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus)

8) Paul di Resta (Force India)

9) Adrian Sutil (Force India)

10) Daniel Ricciardo (STR-Ferrari)

(Journalist) – James is a published fiction and article writer from London (UK) with a serious penchant for Ferrari F1, anything with an engine, and English Pointers.