Sebastian Vettel wins Indian GP, with Ferrari's Fernando Alonso second

 

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel won the Indian Grand Prix on today 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, with Germany's Nico Hulkenberg eighth for Force India in the team's home race.

Frenchman Romain Grosjean finished ninth for Lotus and Brazilian Bruno Senna grabbed 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 in India. 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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?