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Sebastian Vettel wins India Grand Prix to extend F1 points lead

posted 28 Oct 2012, 08:05 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 28 Oct 2012, 08:05 ]

Vettel's rival Fernando Alonso finishes second to keep his title hunt alive.

NEAR NEW DELHIINDIA (OCTOBER 28, 2012)(FOM) -  Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel won the Indian Grand Prix on Sunday (October 28) and stretched his Formula One championship lead over Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, who was a battling second, to 13 points with three races remaining.

The victory from pole position was the world champion's fourth in a row - the first time he has done that in a single season - and maintained his dominance in India after winning last year's inaugural race at the hazy Buddh International Circuit from pole.

The 25-year-old German now has 240 points to 227 for Alonso, who started in fifth place, and his surge towards a third title in a row is beginning to look unstoppable despite the Spaniard's best efforts.

His fifth win of the season was the 26th of his career.

"A very special grand prix. I don't know what it is about this circuit but I really like the flow of it," said Vettel, who has now led every single lap for three successive races - a feat last managed by the late triple champion Ayrton Senna in 1989.

"This was another good step for us but there's still a long way to go."

Australian Mark Webber finished third for Red Bull, complaining of a loss of KERS boost after 45 of the 60 laps and being passed by Alonso three laps later.

"It is not easy at the moment to fight the Red Bull but we will never give up," said the Spaniard in a podium interview in front of the cheering crowd.

"Well done to Red Bull and Sebastian but we want to be happy and enjoy it in Brazil (the last race). It is not only here. I am sure we will do it."

Kimi Raikkonen hung on to third place in the overall standings with seventh place for Lotus but he is now 67 points off the lead and just six ahead of Webber.

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button finished fourth and fifth respectively, with the latter denying Vettel the fastest lap but with his title hopes now mathematically over for another year.

Brazilian Felipe Massa was sixth for Ferrari, ahead of 2007 champion Raikkonen, withGermany's Nico Hulkenberg eighth for Force India in the team's home race.

Frenchman Romain Grosjean finished ninth for Lotus and Brazilian Bruno Sennagrabbed the final point for Williams on an afternoon short on thrills for the crowd making the trip south from New Delhi.

Seven times champion Michael Schumacher, probably the biggest Formula One name in a country more focused on cricket, collided with Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne at the start and pitted with a punctured rear right.

That sent the 43-year-old German to the back of the field on his last race appearance inIndia. To compound his problems, he was lapped by Vettel after eight laps and was then under investigation for ignoring blue warning flags.

To his credit, Schumacher battled on until finally retiring three laps from the end.

Mexican Sergio Perez retired in the pits after also suffering a puncture when his Sauber clipped the front of Toro Rosso's Australian Daniel Ricciardo as they were leaving the pits together on lap 20.

"It's been a difficult weekend. The contact with Ricciardo came and that's it, we damaged rear suspension of the car," said Perez, who is joining McLaren next season.

India's sole driver Narain Karthikeyan finished 21st for Spanish stragglers HRT.

Result:

1. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) RedBull - Renault 1:31:10.744

2. Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari +00:09.437

3. Mark Webber (Australia) RedBull - Renault 00:13.217

4. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren 00:13.909

5. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 00:26.266

6. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 00:44.674

7. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Lotus - Renault 00:45.227

8. Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Force India - Mercedes 00:54.998

9. Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus - Renault 00:56.103

10. Bruno Senna (Brazil) Williams - Renault 01:14.975

11. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 01:21.694

12. Paul Di Resta (Britain) Force India - Mercedes 01:22.815

13. Daniel Ricciardo (AustraliaToro Rosso - Ferrari 01:26.064

14. Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) Sauber - Ferrari 01:26.495

15. Jean-Eric Vergne (FranceToro Rosso - Ferrari 1 lap

16. Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Williams - Renault 1 lap

17. Vitaly Petrov (Russia) Caterham - Renault 1 lap

18. Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) Caterham - Renault 1 lap

19. Charles Pic (France) Marussia - Cosworth 1 lap

20. Timo Glock (Germany) Marussia - Cosworth 2 laps

21. Narain Karthikeyan (India) HRT - Cosworth 2 laps

22r. Michael Schumacher (Germany) Mercedes 5 laps

r. Pedro de la Rosa (Spain) HRT - Cosworth 18 laps

r. Sergio Perez (Mexico) Sauber - Ferrari 40 laps

(rank: r = retired, nc = not classified)

Standings:

Drivers

1. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull 240

2. Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 227

3. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Lotus 173

4. Mark Webber (Australia) Red Bull 167

5. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren 165

6. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 141

7. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes GP 93

8. Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus 90

9. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 89

10. Sergio Perez (Mexico) Sauber 66

11. Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) Sauber 50

12. Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Force India 49

13. Paul Di Resta (Britain) Force India 44

14. Michael Schumacher (Germany) Mercedes 43

15. Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Williams 33

16. Bruno Senna (Brazil) Williams 26

17. Jean-Eric Vergne (FranceToro Rosso 12

18. Daniel Ricciardo (AustraliaToro Rosso 9

19. Timo Glock (Germany) Marussia 0

20. Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) Caterham 0

21. Vitaly Petrov (Russia) Caterham 0

22. Jerome d'Ambrosio (Belgium) Lotus 0

23. Charles Pic (France) Marussia 0

24. Narain Karthikeyan (India) HRT 0

25. Pedro de la Rosa (Spain) HRT 0

Constructors

1. RedBull - Renault 407

2. Ferrari 316

3. McLaren - Mercedes 306

4. Lotus - Renault 263

5. Mercedes 136

6. Sauber - Ferrari 116

7. Force India - Mercedes 93

8. Williams - Renault 59

9. Toro Rosso - Ferrari 21

10. Marussia - Cosworth 0

11. Caterham - Renault 0

12. HRT - Cosworth 0


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