Sebastian Vettel wins inaugural Indian Grand Prix
Sunday 30 October 2011
Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel won the inaugural Formula One Indian Grand Prix on Sunday, staying on track to equal the record for the number of wins in a season.
Vettel led from start to finish, maintaining a comfortable buffer throughout to finish 8.4 seconds ahead of McLaren's Jenson Button, with Ferrari's Fernando Alonso a distant third at the Buddh International Circuit.
The race saw yet another collision between McLaren's Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari's Felipe Massa to intensify their rivalry, with Massa in the wrong and given a pit drive-through penalty before later breaking his front suspension and retiring from the race.
Red Bull's Mark Webber was fourth, ahead of the Mercedes pair of Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg.
Vettel has 11 wins this season and victories in the final two races in Brazil and Abu Dhabi would equal Schumacher's record of 13 wins.
It was a comprehensive victory by the German, who completed the perfect race of starting from pole position, securing race victory, leading every lap and recording the fastest lap.
He made his trademark brilliant start, pushing his lead beyond four seconds after just five laps. Button cut the gap to 2.7 seconds after the second set of pitstops, when both switched to the harder tires, and looked capable of mounting a challenge but could get no closer.
Webber closed within a second of Alonso on the final lap, but the Spaniard held on to claim a podium finish.
Hamilton was forced to pit with damage after the collision with Massa, and that was enough to push him down to seventh. Massa made it a weekend to forget when he went too hard over a high-speed curb and snapped his front suspension — the same mistake he made in qualifying.
Toro Rosso's Jaime Alguersuari was eighth, Adrian Sutil was ninth to give Force India points in its home race and Sauber's Sergio Perez took the final point for tenth after starting 20th on the grid.
Button increased his lead in the fight for second in the championship, moving 13 points ahead of Alonso, with Webber a further six points back.
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