Dominant Vettel cruises to Indian GP victory
28 October 2012 – Sebastian Vettel has won four consecutive Grands Prix in one season for the first time, clinching a controlled victory in India. Fernando Alonso seized second place by overtaking both McLarens and making the most of a KERS problem for Mark Webber. Vettel’s championship-leading gap is now 13 points with three races to go.
Heading into the second Formula 1 event to be staged at the Buddh International Circuit, there were celebrations in the paddock as supremo Bernie Ecclestone celebrated his 82nd birthday. On the grid, Alonso started fifth and aimed to split both McLarens to keep pressure on the Red Bull duo. The action began at three o’clock, in the usual smoggy conditions.
Punctures appeared to be theme of the afternoon. Aforementioned Schumacher – who was lapped and eventually retired – was the first, with Sergio Pérez touching Daniel Ricciardo before coasting into the garage himself. Contact between team-mate Kamui Kobayashi and Pastor Maldonado left the Williams driver with a deflated tyre, having moved over towards the Sauber on the run to Turn 5. The Venezuelan duly dropped back to a lowly 16th. The HRT of Pedro de la Rosa was the only car to crash, suffering a high-speed brake failure at Turn 4.
Felipe Massa was in touch with the McLarens all afternoon and crossed the line sixth, with Kimi Räikkönen salvaging seventh which was the most possible for Lotus today. Nico Hülkenberg’s eighth place came as a relief to Force India head Vijay Mallya, in front of hundreds of team guests, as Romain Grosjean finished ninth. The final point went to the Williams of Bruno Senna, who pulled off a strong move around the outside of Nico Rosberg at Turn 4; the Brazilian had showed good pace in India since practice started on Friday.
Formula 1 rapidly continues with Round 18 of 20 of the 2012 season, taking place at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina circuit next weekend