Tag Archives: Indian GP

Indian Grand Prix dropped for 2014, will return in March 2015

The Indian Grand Prix will not make an appearance on the 2014 F1 calendar. It has not been entirely dropped however – it is expected to reappear near the start of the 2015 F1 season.

Bernie Ecclestone confirmed the recent rumours, stating that he had always pushed for the Indian GP to take place at the start of the year, but the Jaypee group – which promotes the event – had previously negotiated an October race date for the 2011, 2012 and 2013 seasons. The apparent issue is that having two races within 6 months of each other – October 2013 and March 2014 – was unachievable for the circuit.

The 2015 race will be paired with the 4 “flyaway” races at the start of the season, expected to be Australia, Malaysia, China and Bahrain, although the running order is still unknown.

The Grand Prix event has come under scrutiny in recent weeks, after the Indian government refused to grant the event a tax break, and wished to tax 1/19th of the teams’ revenue instead of its profits. Seeing as the majority of F1 teams don’t even post an annual profit, this clearly wouldn’t have resonated well with Ecclestone.

Vettel dominates, Alonso minimizes damage in India

Sebastian Vettel has taken a 4th victory in a row at the Indian Grand Prix, while Fernando Alonso did everything he could to keep the championship in sight.

The Red Bull took yet another emphatic win, but teammate Mark Webber was forced to fend off Alonso and Lewis Hamilton during the race. After a disappointing show by Kimi Raikkonen, the title battle is now surely down between two drivers. Here is what happened:

At the start, the Red Bulls held first and second, while Fernando Alonso put the McLarens under intense pressure. Going three abreast on the main straight, Alonso found his way past Jenson Button for 4th place.

On lap 4, the Ferrari eased past the second McLaren, by which time the Red Bulls were long gone. Michael Schumacher limped back to the pits with a right rear puncture.

It became clear that Button was unable to keep up with the frontrunners, as teammate Hamilton had no issues overtaking him.

Further back, Sergio Perez fell into the clutches of Nico Hulkenberg in the battle for 8th and 9th. Despite having DRS, Hulkenberg was unable to get past the Sauber, with Sergio successfully defending his position down the straight.

However, a few laps later, the Force India found its way past. Perez reacted, being the first to pit on lap 15. After his stop, he attempted a late out-braking move on Daniel Ricciardo, but overshot turn 4. A later pass attempt on the Toro Rosso resulted in a broken front wing and puncture.

The two Williams drivers were in combat, with Bruno Senna sneakily finding his way past Pastor Maldonado. The Brazilian soon found himself getting into the top 10, catching Nico Rosberg out at turn 4.

Kimi Raikkonen spent the first half of the race stuck behind Felipe Massa, the Lotus struggling from a low 7th gear. He emerged ahead of the Ferrari after his stop, but an easy use of DRS placed Felipe ahead once again.

Pastor Maldonado tried to get past Sergio Perez, but sliced across the Sauber, giving himself a puncture, and damaging Perez’s front wing. Pastor crawled back to the pits, holding up leader Sebastian Vettel in the process.

After the only set of stops, Fernando Alonso was finally able to close up to the back of Mark Webber, but the Red Bull was just about able to keep the gap above 1 second, meaning Fernando couldn’t activate DRS.

A brake failure for Pedro de la Rosa’s HRT speared him into the barriers at turn 4, but no safety car was deployed. However, the yellow flags was enough for Alonso to close the gap to Webber, and with 12 laps to go out-braked him to take 2nd place from the Red Bull.

The slowness of the Red Bull was confirmed as a KERS failure, and Lewis Hamilton was quickly informed of the issue. The McLaren began pulling a second per lap out of Webber’s lead, and was all over the Red Bull with a few laps to go.

Sebastian Vettel was informed of a possible issue of his car, as his undertray began sparking against the ground, but it wasn’t enough to spoil Red Bull’s party. Vettel took the chequered flag with 9 seconds to Alonso, while Webber successfully defended against Hamilton until the end.

Jenson Button took the fastest lap on the final lap in 5th, while Kimi Raikkonen’s title hopes are completely over after finishing 7th.

Third Red Bull lockout in a row in India

Sebastian Vettel has taken a closely contended pole position for the Indian Grand Prix, once again leading teammate Mark Webber.

Championship contender Fernando Alonso could only manage 5th, while the McLarens pose a challenge to Webber, with Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button 3rd and 4th.

Q1

The Force Indias were out on track first, pleasing the local fans.

Hulkenberg and Di Resta took control of the session for the initial few minutes, until they were unseated by Felipe Massa. Interestingly, the Brazilian assisted Fernando Alonso in getting a slipstream down the main straight, but Alonso still did not catch up to his teammate’s time.

The Williams car proved to have huge potential, as Pastor Maldonado and Bruno Senna went ahead of everyone else, until Sebastian Vettel finally set a time, a 1:26.621, which was comfortably faster than all other drivers.

A spin for Massa ruined any chances of retaking the lead. Vettel improved on his time by 0.3 seconds, while Mark Webber could only manage 3rd.

The only battle to avoid 18th place was between the Toro Rossos, with Jean-Eric Vergne once again being knocked out of Q1. A spin into the gravel trap ended Heikki Kovalainen’s session early.

Drivers knocked out of Q1:

18) Jean-Eric Vergne – 1:27.525

19) Vitaly Petrov  – 1:28.756

20) Heikki Kovalainen – 1:29.500

21) Timo Glock – 1:29.613

22) Pedro de la Rosa – 1:30.592

23) Narain Karthikeyan – 1:30.593

24) Charles Pic – 1:30.662

Q2

The midfield teams shared top spot for a while, until Lewis Hamilton went on top.

The Red Bulls soon stamped their authority on the field, with Vettel and Webber being the first to set 1:25s.

Hamilton was set to improve further, but understeered at turn 6 and ran onto the grass. Eventually, he and Button retook 3rd and 4th, but still couldn’t catch the Red Bulls.

Despite encountering traffic, Kimi Raikkonen still got into the top 10. However, fast times from Maldonado and Hulkenberg put him under additional pressure, and forced him to set another lap.

Felipe Massa was set for another embarassing Q2 exit, but just saved face with a 10th place.

Drivers knocked out in Q2:

10)

11) Romain Grosjean – 1:26.136

12) Nico Hulkenberg – 1:26.241

13) Bruno Senna – 1:26.331

14) Michael Schumacher – 1:26.571

15) Daniel Ricciardo – 1:26.777

16) Paul di Resta – 1:26.989

17) Kamui Kobayashi – 1:27.219

Q3

Fernando Alonso was first up, setting a 1:25.773. Surprisingly, Vettel made a mistake on his first lap, running wide at turns 6 and 7.

Mark Webber got ahead of the Ferrari by 0.4 seconds, while Lewis Hamilton struggled on his opening laps. After ruining his first set of tyres, Vettel pitted earlier than his rivals.

Kimi Raikkonen was unable to make an impact, while Button was 4 tenths off Webber’s time. Vettel’s next lap was a better one, putting him on top by 0.05 seconds.

After poor opening sectors on the last lap, both Red Bulls opted to pit, putting them at risk from other drivers. However, the Ferraris didn’t have enough pace to challenge, while the McLarens could only manage 3rd and 4th, with Hamilton pipping Button.

Kimi Raikkonen’s championship hopes continued to slip away, with a poor 7th place. Despite the front row lockout, the Red Bulls were not as dominant as feared, so the battle for the championship is still open.

Massa vs Hamilton round 5 – who’s at fault now?

Today’s Indian Grand Prix saw the latest spat between Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa – both on and off track.

The pair collided while racing for 6th position, leaving Felipe with a drive-through penalty and Lewis with a broken front wing. Hamilton has borne the brunt of blame for most of their collisions this year, most notably in Monaco.

However, this time the McLaren driver is not 100% at fault, as both drivers made poor judgement:

Felipe Massa

Replays showed the Ferrari driver checking his mirrors several times, so there is no doubt that he was aware that Hamilton was closing in. The fact that Felipe continued to turn in was more than likely an estimation that the McLaren wouldn’t attempt a pass – a poor decision considering who he was racing against.

Massa was dealt the drive-through for the incident, but protested his innocence afterwards:

"I simply stayed on the ideal line, braking on the limit and staying on the part of 
the track that was rubbered in. What else could I do?

It’s the umpteenth time that Hamilton runs into me this year and it seems it’s some 
sort of fatal attraction. In the past, I tried to talk to him but he did not seem to 
be interested in doing so."

The Ferrari team have also suggested that the collision contributed towards Felipe’s suspension failure, which is of course absolute rubbish.

Lewis Hamilton

Never the one to stay out of trouble, Lewis is back in the headlines for the wrong reasons once again.

After being docked three places on the grid for ignoring yellow flags on Friday, Hamilton’s weekend was already compromised. The collision with Massa came after a very poor first stint, where the McLaren driver failed to make any progress from 7th.

It was a slightly ambitious move that presumed that Massa would give him space – which of course he didn’t. Lewis will of course argue that he had every right to move up the inside and attempt a pass, which is true. However, he failed to place his car in between Massa and the kerb, backing off slightly as the two cars entered the corner. This resulted in the Ferrari cutting across Lewis and causing the crash.

The most interesting thing I found about the crash was Hamilton’s reaction immediately afterwards. After he gestured towards the Ferrari, he continued to slow for several seconds before he got back on the throttle. To me, it seemed as if he didn’t even care about the race for a while, being incredibly frustrated after this many accidents.

In my opinion…

While Lewis could have judged his move better, I feel that Felipe gave him absolutely no opportunity to make a move. Hamilton has been lambasted for his off-form driving this year – and rightly so – but this incident should not be blamed on the Brit.

The more I look into these past collisions,the more childish Massa appears to me. While it is understandable that a driver would be furious after a collision, it is immature to say that they “don’t care” about what the other driver feels about the incident (referring to minor tap by Hamilton in Suzuka).

However, the most important thing out of this is that it doesn’t turn into a juvenile clash-fest every single race. These drivers should realise that F1 is supposed to be the collection of the finest racing drivers in the world, and should at least attempt to resolve their conflict. Not that many see that happening, of course.

Who do you hold at fault for today’s collision? Here is a replay:

Vettel untouchable as he takes win number 11 in India

Vettel heads the field, while Alonso is a bit off line

Vettel heads the field, while Alonso is a bit off line

Sebastian Vettel took another commanding victory today at the Indian Grand Prix. The German held a constant lead to Jenson Button in second, while Fernando Alonso was 3rd after battling past Mark Webber. Lewis Hamilton collided for the fifth time this year with Felipe Massa, the Ferrari suffering an absolutely torrid race. Here is what happened:

At the start, Rubens Barrichello and Jarno Trulli were damaged in seperate incidents, while Jenson Button got past Mark Webber on the main straight. Lewis Hamilton dropped to 6th, while Sergio Perez pitted after the first lap for a surprisingly sudden tyre change.

Rubens Barrichello punts the back of his teammate

Rubens Barrichello punts the back of his teammate

Despite multiple accidents, only Kamui Kobayashi retired. After a few laps, all of the drivers who started on primes had already switched to the soft compound.

Webber attempted to pass Button, but not even DRS on the main straight could get the Red Bull through – and Jenson’s good defensive driving wasn’t helping either. While the pair squabbled over 2nd, Vettel extended his lead to over 4 seconds.

Jaime Alguersuari moved past Bruno Senna to take 10th place. A KERS failure was revealed to be the issue with the Renault’s car, as Bruno was instructed to enter “recovery mode”.

Button soon shook off Webber’s assault, and began to chip into Vettel’s lead. Pastor Maldonado became the latest car to drop out with a drive issue, as Alguersuari passed Adrian Sutil for 9th.

Webber, Alonso and Hamilton all pitted on Lap 17, all taking on the soft tyres. Soon afterwards, Michael Schumacher passed Alonso after the Ferrari exited the pits. After Sebastian responded to Jenson’s increased pace, the McLaren pitted, with Vettel following him in a lap later.

Massa clashes with Hamilton yet again

Massa clashes with Hamilton yet again

After a very poor first stint, Lewis Hamilton finally got on the pace, and began to challenge Felipe Massa for 5th place. After getting close to the Ferrari on the main straight, the McLaren got up the inside, but clashed with Massa, in a severe case of deja vu. Hamilton pitted while Massa stayed out in 5th, but seemed to struggle with the handling of his car.

The stewards decided that Felipe had turned into Lewis, and so the Ferrari was dealt a drive-through penalty, emerging in 7th position. Massa pitted a lap later, replacing the front wing and putting on hard tyres, presumably to test the compound out for teammate Alonso. Replays the next lap showed that Felipe’s previous front wing – the controversial one – was shown shaking and crashing into the ground on the straight, prompting the stop.

Onboard with Massa as he gets too friendly with a vicious kerb

Onboard with Massa as he gets too friendly with a vicious kerb

Just when his race couldn’t get any worse, it did. Massa ran over a kerb in similar fashion to his incident in qualifying, again smashing the suspension and taking the Ferrari out of the race.

After being caught by Fernando Alonso, heavy rear tyre wear prompted Webber to stop for the harder tyre with 22 laps to go. Decent pace for the Red Bull made the decision for Ferrari, as Fernando pitted and emerged ahead of Mark.

Vettel takes another dominative victory

Vettel takes another dominative victory

Button pitted on Lap 47, with Sebastian pitting a lap later, the gap between the two staying constant at 3 seconds. Further back, Michael Schumacher was being caught by Nico Rosberg in the battle for 5th and 6th. Bruno Senna pitted on Lap 58 for his mandatory set of primes, dropping out of the points to 12th.

Unfortunately, the Mercedes battle failed to materialise. At the same time, Sebastian Vettel crossed the finish line in the lead for the 11th time this year, taking the fastest lap along the way. Button’s challenge never came to fruition, and finished a lonely 2nd, with Fernando Alonso holding off Mark Webber for 3rd. Lewis Hamilton was 7th, Jaime Alguersuari an impressive 8th, with Sutil and Perex finishing off the top 10.

Vettel on pole while Massa crash disrupts Q3 in India

Sebastian Vettel will start on pole position for the 13th time this season, as Q3 was disrupted by a crash from Felipe Massa.

The Ferrari hit a kerb on his final lap, breaking the suspension and sending Massa into the barriers. This prevented several drivers from setting their fastest lap time, allowing Vettel to easily take pole.

Mark Webber will start second, despite qualifying 3rd, as Lewis Hamilton has been docked 3 places after disobeying yellow flags in qualifying. Fernando Alonso will start 3rd. Here is the full report:

Q1

The two Lotus cars led the field out for the first qualifying session in India. The Renault drivers set the pace in the early few minutes, while the frontrunners stayed in the pits.

Fernando Alonso soon set a 1:27.4 on the harder tyre, while teammate Massa was shown running onto the grass, and was swiftly followed by Rubens Barrichello.

Sebastian Vettel moved into the 1:26 range, with Lewis Hamilton 2nd. Timo Glock dropped out of the session, having suffered a gearbox failure, and not set a time within the 107% rule.

The Saubers emerged from the pits with 7 minutes to go on the option tyre. Sergio Perez went 8th, with Kamui Kobayashi 11th. Bruno Senna was dangerously held up by Jaime Alguersuari exiting the pits at Turn 1, gesticulating angrily.

Amazingly, Jenson Button felt the need to take on soft tyres at the end of Q1, and to make matters worse, the McLaren emerged behind backmarkers. However, Button moved his way past to take 3rd place. Michael Schumacher was forced to slice past a HRT to move out of the drop zone, again on the soft tyres.

After abandoning his last lap, Kobayashi was the main driver taken out of Q1.

Drivers knocked out in Q1:

18) Kamui Kobayashi – 1:27.876

19) Heikki Kovalainen – 1:28.656

20) Jarno Trulli – 1:28.752

21) Daniel Ricciardo – 1:30.216

22) Narain Karthikeyan – 1:30.238

23) Jerome D’Ambrosio – 1:30.866

Outside 107% rule:

24) Timo Glock – 1:34.046

Q2

With a difference of 2 seconds between the option and prime, soft tyres were the norm for Q2.

Sebastian Vettel took a 1:24.657 to take 1st, with Hamilton and Webber behind. Both Toro Rossos moved into the top 10, while Button again struggled with his tyres, being forced to use 2 sets of the option tyre.

Adrian Sutil pushed Michael Schumacher out of the top 10 in the dying few minutes, while Paul di Resta took 12th. Schumacher improved, but was 0.012 seconds slower than 10th-placed Alguersuari.

Jaime was 0.000 seconds faster than 11th-placed Vitaly Petrov, but the Toro Rosso driver set his lap time first.

Drivers knocked out in Q2:

11) Vitaly Petrov – 1:26.319

12) Michael Schumacher – 1:26.337

13) Paul di Resta – 1:26.503

14) Pastor Maldonado – 1:2.537

15) Bruno Senna – 1:26.651

16) Rubens Barrichello – 1:27.247

17) Sergio Perez – 1:27.562

Q3

Lewis Hamilton – who will be dropped 3 places on the grid after an incident in practice – was first out. The McLaren driver only set a 1:26.4, and was swiftly beaten by the Ferraris.

Vettel soon went fastest on a 1:24.4, which was matched by Hamilton. Interestingly, the Pirelli soft tyres seemed to be faster on their second and third laps, so the frontrunners stayed out longer than expected.

Webber was 0.071 seconds off Vettel’s time, as all 10 drivers exited the pits, the first time in quite a while.

With 2 minutes to go, Jenson Button was still massively off the pace, 3 seconds slower in the first sector alone. Sebastian Vettel increased his lead at the front, while Lewis Hamilton abandoned his final run.

However, many drivers’ final laps were ruined by a crash from Felipe Massa. The Ferrari hit the inside of a kerb, ripping off the front suspension and sending Felipe into the barriers.

This resulted in Button only going 5th, with Massa remaining 6th and Nico Rosberg 7th. Lewis Hamilton was 2nd, but will start 5th. Mark Webber qualified 3rd (effectively 2nd), with Fernando Alonso just behind.

Adrian Sutil, Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari failed to set a time, despite exiting the pits.

Massa heads the field for Indian second practice

Massa led the way for second practice

Massa led the way for second practice

Felipe Massa put his controversial Ferrari on top of the timesheets for second practice for the Indian Grand Prix.

The Scuderia’s front wing continued to raise eyebrows, scraping off the track surface on occasions during the session. Felipe was 0.088 seconds faster than Sebastian Vettel in 2nd.

The other Ferrari driver, Fernando Alonso, was 3rd, followed by Lewis Hamilton, Mark Webber and Jenson Button.

The main event of the session was Jerome D’Ambrosio crashing out at Turn 11. The Belgian lost control at the exit of the corner, and slammed the right-rear end of the car into the barriers.

Vitaly Petrov and Pastor Maldonado both had off-course excursions, but both were able to rejoin the session.

Times from Friday practice 2:

 1.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari                1:25.706   	    33
 2.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault       1:25.794   0.088  34
 3.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                1:25.930   0.224  34
 4.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes       1:26.454   0.748  26
 5.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault       1:26.500   0.794  30
 6.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes       1:26.714   1.008  28
 7.  Adrian Sutil          Force India-Mercedes   1:27.316   1.610  34
 8.  Bruno Senna           Renault                1:27.498   1.792  36
 9.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes   1:27.853   2.147  35
10.  Sebastien Buemi       Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1:27.868   2.162  35
11.  Vitaly Petrov         Renault                1:27.890   2.184  37
12.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari         1:28.050   2.344  34
13.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari         1:28.289   2.583  36
14.  Jaime Alguersuari     Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1:28.552   2.846  31
15.  Rubens Barrichello    Williams-Cosworth      1:28.691   2.985  29
16.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Cosworth      1:28.708   3.002  24
17.  Jarno Trulli          Lotus-Renault          1:29.332   3.626  39
18.  Heikki Kovalainen     Lotus-Renault          1:30.241   4.535  41
19.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes               1:31.098   5.392  38
20.  Timo Glock            Virgin-Cosworth        1:31.469   5.763  32
21.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes               1:31.804   6.098  28
22.  Jerome D'Ambrosio     Virgin-Cosworth        1:32.593   6.887  12
23.  Daniel Ricciardo      HRT-Cosworth           1:32.768   7.062  33
24.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth           1:32.824   7.118  33

Hamilton penalised en route to leading India first practice

Hamilton set the fastest time in first practice

Hamilton set the fastest time in first practice

Lewis Hamilton headed the first ever official practice session for the Indian Grand Prix – but suffered a grid penalty in the process.

Hamilton set a flying lap at the very end of the session, putting him half a second ahead of anyone else, but sped through Turn 16 under double-waved yellows, resulting in a penalty from the stewards.

Lewis will be dropped 3 places on the grid, with Sergio Perez receiving the same penalty for the same action.

The red flag was out within minutes of the session beginning, as a stray dog wandered onto the track. Once the session restarted, Karun Chandhok (who will only participate in Practice 1) and Narain Karthikeyan led proceedings.

Pastor Maldonado's stray Williams soon caught out Hamilton and Perez

Pastor Maldonado's stray Williams soon caught out Hamilton and Perez

Fernando Alonso was out of the session early, with the Ferrari losing power. Felipe Massa was handed the Spaniard’s new front wing, which has since caused controversy, as it has been seen vibrating and showering sparks through Turn 4.

Pastor Maldonado pulled over near the end of the session, causing double-waved yellows, which consequently caused Hamilton and Perez’s penalties.

The Red Bulls were 2nd and 3rd, over half a second behind Hamilton. Jenson Button was a further second behind Vettel and Webber, with Michael Schumacher 5th.

Indian drivers Chandhok and Karthikeyan were 19th and 22nd in their respective Lotus and HRT cars.

Times from Friday practice 1:

01.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes       1:26.836    	     22
02.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault       1:27.416   0.580   23
03.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault       1:27.428   0.592   27
04.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes       1:28.394   1.558   23
05.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes               1:28.531   1.695   23
06.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes               1:28.542   1.706   29
07.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari                1:28.644   1.808   22
08.  Adrian Sutil          Force India-Mercedes   1:28.705   1.869   23
09.  Sebastien Buemi       Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1:29.219   2.383   24
10.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari         1:29.355   2.519   29
11.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes   1:29.700   2.864   24
12.  Vitaly Petrov         Renault                1:29.705   2.869   22
13.  Bruno Senna           Renault                1:29.799   2.963   20
14.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari         1:30.132   3.296   25
15.  Rubens Barrichello    Williams-Cosworth      1:30.367   3.531   21
16.  Jaime Alguersuari     Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1:30.566   3.730   19
17.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Cosworth      1:30.699   3.833   22
18.  Jarno Trulli          Lotus-Renault          1:30.818   3.982   22
19.  Karun Chandhok        Lotus-Renault          1:32.487   5.651   24
20.  Daniel Ricciardo      HRT-Cosworth           1:32.771   5.935   24
21.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth           1:33.928   7.092   27
22.  Jerome D'Ambrosio     Virgin-Cosworth        1:34.113   7.277   30
23.  Timo Glock            Virgin-Cosworth        1:35.896   8.960   19
24.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                1:35.899   9.063    4

Karthikeyan to replace Liuzzi for inaugural Indian GP

Karthikeyan will be racing at the first ever Indian Grand Prix

Karthikeyan will be racing at the first ever Indian Grand Prix

Vitantonio Liuzzi has surrendered his HRT race seat to Narain Karthikeyan for the Indian Grand Prix later this month.

The Indian driver most recently drove an F1 car in Friday practice in Singapore. While this of course is a move to generate further interest in the country’s first ever Grand Prix, Karthikeyan’s sponsors are also believed to be paying the team for this one-off drive.

After being replaced by Daniel Ricciardo halfway through the 2011 season, Narain has stated that he is looking forward to being back in the racing seat:

"Driving in front of the home crowd cheering on is going to be a surreal 
experience. [It's] a once in a lifetime experience and I feel extremely 
fortunate.

There is a huge buzz around the Grand Prix already and I’m sure that it’ll be 
a resounding success that will motivate more youngsters towards the sport and 
give us the future F1 drivers. Making it into F1 at the time I did was a 
seriously uphill task and the thought of being able to compete in the inaugural 
Indian Grand Prix was non-existent.

But it is finally here and I’ll be on the grid. It is going to be one of the most 
challenging circuits on the calendar. There are points at which, if you’re in an 
F1 car, you will see nothing but the sky.

The layout itself is going to put tremendous energy through the tyres and the 
strategy will play a key role in the final result. For sure I’ll race hard and 
try to get a good result for myself and the team. I would like to express my 
gratitude towards Tata Group and the rest of sponsors for their continued support 
and belief throughout my career."

Petrov handed 5-place grid penalty for India

Petrov launches into Schumacher, taking both cars out

Petrov launches into Schumacher, taking both cars out

Vitaly Petrov will be docked 5 places on the grid for the Indian Grand Prix later this month, after today’s collision with Michael Schumacher.

Petrov was racing Fernando Alonso for position entering Turn 3, when both cars out-braked themselves and slid off the track. Alonso took to the run-off area, while Petrov launched into an innocent Schumacher, taking both cars out of the race.

Vitaly accepted the blame soon after the race:

"It was not his fault, it was absolutely my fault – once my wheels were locked 
there was nothing I could do about it. But that’s racing and tomorrow is another 
day.

I tried to defend my position from Fernando but I was in the braking zone on the 
dirty side of the track which meant I locked my wheels and hit Michael.

I was focused on my battle with Fernando as there was potential for me to be 
ahead of him. We both braked too late as he missed the corner too."
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