Despite racing with a front wing that was virtually scrapping the ground in the latter stages of the race, Sebastian Vettel easily won the Indian Grand Prix on Sunday in New Dehli. The German led from start to finish to earn his fourth win in a row and extend his lead in the Formula One World Championship over Fernando Alonso, who finished 9.4 seconds behind him in second place. Mark Webber narrowly held off Lewis Hamilton to take third.
"A big thanks to the team, everyone - I said it on the radio - every single person is pushing very hard", Vettel said. "There's not one thing that stands out and makes a difference. This weekend I think it's all of us working hand in hand together. Whether we're here at the track or back in Milton Keynes everyone is pushing hard and I think that is what is making the difference. I'm very glad to be part of that and I'm just enjoying it at the moment."
Vettel increased his lead right from the beginning of the race and had a gap of 3.6 seconds by lap 15. Fellow countryman Michael Schumacher had a less fortunate day. The seven-time world champion suffered a first lap puncture and spent most of the race being lapped by other drivers. At one point, the Mercedes driver ignored blue flags and as a result, is now under investigation. Schumacher was one of only two retirements in the race, eventually departing two laps from the finish. Sauber's Sergio Perez was the other, leaving the race on lap 22.
By lap 27, Vettel held just over a ten second lead while Webber appeared comfortably in second place. Alonso was allowed to pass him with 11 laps left though, when the Australian's KERS power system failed. Vettel improved on his time and extended his lead to 11.3 seconds, until he was told that his front wing was beginning to drag on the circuit. Despite this, he remained undeterred and went on to win his fourth consecutive Grand Prix, edging even closer to that third consecutive world championship in the process. Webber held off a chasing Hamilton to take the final podium spot, putting both members of team Red Bull on the stage.
Jenson Button had a quiet race, finishing in fifth, while Felipe Massa took sixth for Ferrari despite nearly being out of fuel at one point. Kimi Raikkonen finished in seventh, while Force India's Nico Hulkenberg was eight. Romain Grosjean and Bruno Senna rounded up the top ten.
Vettel leads the championship by 27 points over Alonso with three races to go but the German wants to take each race as it comes. He has won the Indian Grand Prix two years in a row now and appeared to enjoy the drive yet again this year. "It has been incredible to come here, get pole on Saturday and win on Sunday. To do it in consecutive seasons is just fantastic. It's a nice trophy so I'm very happy to pick up another one. India is a very special Grand Prix. I don't know what it is about this circuit but I like the flow of it. Sector one is a bit slow with its long straights but sectors two and three are really nice and I think all the drivers enjoy that."