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Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel wins Indian Grand Prix

It was a perfect race for us, says Vettel
By Bharat Sharma (IANS)
Sun, Oct 28, 2012 16:59:10 GMT

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel wins Indian Grand Prix
Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel cruised to his second successive victory at the Formula One Indian Grand Prix in Greater Noida on Sunday and extended his championship lead over Fernando Alonso by 13 points. The Ferrari driver did well to come second, 9.4 seconds behind the German in the 60-lap race.

Mark Webber came third in the other Red Bull as India's Olympic bronze medallist Gagan Narang waved the chequered flag at the Buddh International Circuit.

Vettel's finish was on expected lines after he was left untouched in the qualifying and the three practice sessions. It was his fourth straight victory and with three races to go, it would be hard to stop him from his third title in a row.

"It has been incredible last two years for us. The circuit has become special, I really like the flow of it though the first sector is quite challenging," said Vettel after collecting the winners trophy.

Such was the dominance of Vettel that he had gained 28.1 seconds over Webber by his first pit stop.

The battle for the second and third was intense before Alonso got his nose ahead on lap 45. Webber faced issues with KERS and Alonso pressed the DRS button to get ahead of the Australian at turn four.

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton dropped a place from his grid position to come fourth, followed by teammate Jenson Button. Felipe Massa was sixth in the Ferrari while Kimi Raikkonen drove his Lotus home in seventh place.

Sahara Force India's Nico Hulkenberg finished eighth, having started from the 12th position on the grid, ahead of Lotus' Romain Grosjean and William's Bruno Senna, who picked up the final point.

Another Force India driver, Di Resta was 12th, improving four places on the grid. Narain Karthikeyan, the lone Indian on the grid, finished 21st for HRT.

Tyres worked well on the track as most teams perfectly executed one-stop strategy.

The race started with Alonso battling the McLarens on the long straight before getting past Hamilton for fourth position. The Spaniard then used the DRS on lap 5 to get ahead of Button.

The cars smoothly saw the first corner through, barring the collision at the back between Jean-Eric Verne and Michael Schumacher, causing a rear tyre puncture in the latter's Mercedes. The veteran then struggled out the race and was classified 22nd.

For Force India, Hulkenberg quickly gained three places to be ninth and got past Perez on Lap 15 for eighth. He was running sixth at the time of first stop.

Karthikeyan struggled with cooling issues. His experienced teammate Pedro de la Rosa retired on lap 45 due to brake failure. Perez's race also ended prematurely, owing to a rear tyre puncture.

It was a perfect race for us, says Vettel

Championship leader Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull said he had the perfect race as the German led from start to finish to record his successive wins at the Indian Grand Prix here Sunday.

Vettel, who leads Ferrari's Fernando Alonso by 13 points going into the final three races of the season, logged into the record books thanks to his fourth consecutive victory.

It is the first time since the legendary Brazilian driver Ayrton Senna in 1989 that a driver has led every lap for three races in a row.

"It was a perfect race for us. The whole team had done fantastically well. I didn't have any problem in area," Vettel said in the post-race press conference.

"We were much better on the soft tyres. Ferrari and McLaren were much more competitive on the prime. Luckily our tyres held on pretty well as it's not easy to manage them here," he added.

Second placed Alonso was still confident of winning the driver's championship and felt there was still a long way to go. But the Spaniard said that the car needed to improve to get to the level of the Red Bull team.

"I am still 100 percent confident of winning the championship. There is only 13 points between Vettel and I. With three races to go, anything can happen. But we need to bring in some new parts to recover the points lost to Red Bull," said Alonso.

"DRS worked very well for us and it's a good result for the team after we started fifth on the grid. The team did a great job to help me compete with Red Bulls on the raceday but during qualifying we just can't compete with them," he said.

The other Red Bull driver, Mark Webber blamed mechanical problems for finishing behind the Ferrari. The Australian lost the use of his KERS system on lap 19, losing huge chunks of time to his rivals.

"The start was good for us and I settled into the race nicely. But I lost rhythm and tempo because of the KERS. There was no battle after that happened on lap 19 and from then on in. I was a moving target," said Webber.
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