Daily Archives: October 28, 2012

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.

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