Sebastian Vettel took another step towards the 2012 title yesterday, with an emphatic victory in the Indian Grand Prix, with championship rival, Fernando Alonso finishing almost 10 seconds adrift. The win now puts Vettel 13 points clear at the head of the championship. He remains the only person to ever win an Indian Grand Prix, following the heroics of 2011.
Right from the start, Vettel stormed into a lead, with his teammate falling behind in second. Mark had built up a sizable margin to Alonso, however a KERS failure cost the Aussie second place, and allowed Fernando the best possible damage limitation.
The only issue faced by Sebastian however, came with only 6 laps remaining. The front floor stay (otherwise known as the skid block) had broken, meaning that the downforce shift courtesy of high speeds would send sparks skittering across the circuit. Fortunately for Red Bull, this problem only effected the right hand side of the car, and the plank had survived to remain inside FIA regulations.
The KERS failure for Webber cost him the second place, and more than just the 0.4 seconds, or 80bhp per lap. The harvesting of DRS runs through the rear brakes, and as a result of the failure, Mark had to transfer bias to the front brakes. This meant that he was suffering severely from front locking issues. This made the one stop altogether a harder task, coupled with the blistering of the inside shoulder on the right front. He was left with a severe drop off in pace, with no answer to the fast charging Alonso.
McLaren disappointed, after the long run promise of FP2. Despite Button achieving McLaren’s 150th fastest lap, the team could only manage P4 and P5, falling further behind Red Bull in the constructors battle. Button is now officially out of the championship running, while Hamilton needs a miracle beyond all miracles.
Mercedes had yet another weekend to forget. Micheal Schumacher collided with Vergne in turn 1, resulting in a right rear puncture. He was later lapped, and then faced a stewards inquiry into ignoring blue flags, before he later retired with 4 laps remaining. Rosberg fell out of 10th in the latter stages after a resergant Bruno Senna passed him in the DRS zone. Yet another weekend where no points are scored by the German team. The only positive is that they now have an official date as to when Lewis Hamilton will join up with the team, which is 1st January 2013.
Pedro De La Rosa suffered another frightening brake failure at the end of the back straight for HRT, following Karthikyean’s incident in Korea. It has been suggested that these issues are merely a fact that the brake ducts are just not big enough. Charles Pic had another solid result, finishing ahead of teammate Timo Glock, despite a poor qualifying performance which saw him line up behind both HRT’s.
Force India finished their home race with mixed emotions. Nico Hulkenburg grabbed another two points, while Paul Di Resta struggled into P12, stating that it was the maximum that he could get out of the car. Williams had a race of the characteristics as Force India. Senna managed to score a point, while teammate Maldonado suffered a puncture after contact with Kobayashi, which ruined his race.
Without being a classic, the Indian Grand Prix drew up several talking points, and was fueled with tension throughout. Vettel does it again, and even Alonso admits that in the current state, the German is unbeatable. Ferrari need updates to fight this unstoppable duo of Vettel and Newey.