Indian GP 2012

Seven Super Moments of the Indian GP

1. A Fourth to be Reckoned With

It’s hard to argue that Vettel is nothing other than a strong force within Formula One at the moment, the combination of his natural and innate skill and a team fully behind him is something that has others quaking in their boots. And ‘others’ cover the rest of the grid. Vettel’s first lap launch is something to marvel, from a consistently good start he can usually get out of the DRS zone of whoever lines up behind him, he did that in India despite admitting Webber got a better start. Having to go on the attack early he squeezed Webber out of a pass and essentially secured the win.

2. Excitement Elsewhere

For the fourth race in a row you had to look elsewhere to find a sliver of excitement, because it wasn’t at the front of the race. It only took ten laps for Vettel to overtake the backmarker in the form of a soon to be outgoing Schumacher, getting touchy feely with Vergne at the start he suffered a puncture which effectively ended his race. Alonso was a catalyst for much of the on track action, another stunning start saw him take on both McLaren’s at once, forcing Hamilton to lose two positions whereas Button hung on for a little longer. But with a touch of Vettelian inevitability Alonso marched ever onward, gaining time in the pit stop he picked off Webber after the Australian encountered a KERS issue.

Early on in the race Grosjean illustrated he top set of skills overtaking Maldonado going into turn two, and smelling blood Senna decided to pick off his team mate. Raikkonen and Massa going into some close quarters fighting all afternoon, but despite having the pace the Raikkonen couldn’t find a way past the revitalised Ferrari driver.

3. KERSed

Webber certainly had the pace today, he had the pace in qualifying and after sending a strong message to Vettel about not pulling over for him if he was in front, the Australian was ready to fight. And he did, saving his tyres at the beginning he unleashed purple sector time and time again in sector two to make up for time lost in the first he kept a charging Alonso at bay, breaking out of the clutches of his DRS

But while Vettel did his best 2011 impression, Webber unfortunately gave his, around lap 20 his KERS became an intermittent ally which left him 2/3 race distance without it, hardly something you want with Alonso breathing down your neck. The Spaniard did eventually pass and left Webber vulnerable to Hamilton just behind, but he fought for every hundredth to cling to the bottom step, aided by the Brit making a mistake on lap 57.

So after losing KERS and having to push Vettel down the pit lane Webber walked out of the post race press conference after the question, ‘What is the one thing you would like to give each other,’ was asked. Now as FOM coverage just covers the podium interviews context regarding the rest of the questions in the conference is lost, so it’s hard to judge why he walked out. However some reports suggest that the focus was wholly on Alonso and Vettel, and maybe was taking a leaf out of Alan Jones’ (driver steward for the weekend) and aiming to get away on time. What has been confirmed is that he apologised to the relevent people.

4. Braziliant

There are a few more opportunities to use the pun at this end of the season and during the race Senna was courting the attention. Rather overlooked as the focus has naturally drifted to the championship fight, Senna quietly exhibited what he can do on a track that suits him. Fast all weekend and unfortunately out of the top ten in qualifying, he was often matching the pace of the frontrunners and had the first sector under control consistently. Senna has been largely overlooked regards a drive next year, but compared to Maldonado he has been Williams most regular points scorer. He may be behind on points, but Maldonado has only been in the points three times (including a race win) whereas the Brazilian has been in the top ten eight times.

5. Take Care of Your Rubber

This was the lesson of the day in India. Get fresh with them at your peril and they’ll shred beneath your very hands. Or endplate. Schumacher’s race ended rather quickly after making contact with Vergne’s front wing at the start, his right rear tyre started flapping about and decided to stay out on track as the Mercedes driver trundled back for a new set. Vergne soon followed for a new front wing.

Next up was Perez who made contact with Ricciardo in a spookily similar fashion, another right rear puncture on the board and although the Mexican came in for a replacement set he managed one more lap before retiring. Although Button didn’t suffer a puncture he struggled throughout the race on his tyres, complaining about shuddering and oversteer his rubber was wearing down to the limit.

6. What are HRT’s brakes made of?

After extensive research courtesy of the wit and brains on Twitter a range of composite materials have been revealed, and are as followed: Bakerlite, (@DaveMorecambe) flip flops (@crackf1), children’s bicycle brake calipers (@danwellsracing), marshmallow (@jagolevert) and Tata truck brakes (@CastingSA_II).

7. Championship standings

Vettel may have increased his lead over Alonso from 6 to 13 points, but it is Red Bull Racing the team that has edged closer to their third consecutive title. Stretching out to a 91 point lead over Ferrari, who have pulled an extra 4 points over McLaren to a 10 point gap, the Milton Keynes based team have every chance of taking the title in Abu Dhabi if they finish strongly. Vettel on the other hand has Alonso promising to to chase him in every lap left until the drivers’ title has been officially decided.

Race Stats

Qualifying

Vettel

Webber

Hamilton

Pole

S Vettel  1:25.283 (Red Bull)

Laps

60

Weather

Dry

Safety Car

None

Results

1. Vettel

Red Bull

1:31:10.744

2. Alonso

Ferrari

1:31:20.181

3. Webber

Red Bull

1:31:23.961

Fastest Lap

Button

McLaren

1:28.203

Retirements

Perez

Sauber

[20] Puncture damage

De la Rosa

HRT

[42] Brakes

Schumacher

Mercedes

[55]

Penalties

Schumacher

Impeding Grosjean

No further action

Maldonado/

Kobayashi

Collision

No further action

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